How Groundwater Extraction & Replenishing Causes Surface Deformation & Subsidence

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Researchers at Caltech made the animations below which show the seasonal deformation and subsidence of Earth’s surface, respectively,  as a result of groundwater extraction and refilling. This occurs when soil and earth layers are compacted and undergo subsidence due to the decrease of upward hydrostatic pressure balancing the weight of the layers.

Surface deformation and subsidence of Earth’s surface is measured using Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR). ISAR is also used for natural hazard assessment. This includes applications to regions of volcanic, tectonic (e.g. faults and mountains), and construction activities.

 

source: Caltech

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