U.S. Geological Survey Subsidence Interest Group Conference, Proceedings of the Technical Meeting, Galveston, Texas, November 27-29, 2001

U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 03-308


Keith R. Prince and Devin L. Galloway, Editors


Austin, Texas



The fourth conference of the Aquifer Mechanics and Subsidence Interest Group (referred to herein as the Subsidence Interest Group) was held in Galveston, Tex., November 27–29, 2001. The conference consisted of 2 days of technical presentations, including a poster session, followed by a field trip to view and discuss subsidence features in the Houston-Galveston area. The conference was jointly hosted by the Harris-Galveston Coastal Subsidence District and the Water Discipline Office, Texas District, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The focus of the conference was on water-related causes of land subsidence, for example aquifer-system compaction, drainage and subsequent oxidation of organic soils, and sinkholes in carbonate and evaporite rocks. Most of the presentations addressed the detection, measurement, monitoring, analysis, and (or) simulation of processes associated with the compaction of susceptible aquifer systems that typically accompanies the exploitation of ground-water resources. The goal in convening the conference was to broaden the understanding and knowledge, on behalf of scientists and non-scientists alike, with regard to subsidence-related science and societal issues.

The oral technical presentations were arranged in seven moderated sessions organized loosely around geographic and technical themes. For example, most of the presentations pertaining to subsidence in the Houston-Galveston area were delivered in the first three sessions. Other sessions included two presentations on subsidence in the Las Vegas, Nev., area. One other session and grouping of talks focused on the application of Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) to detect and map subsidence in high spatial detail and measurement resolution, and to constrain conceptual and numerical simulations of ground-water flow and aquifer-system compaction. The application of satellite-borne SAR data, using InSAR, to subsidence detection has emerged since the third USGS Subsidence Interest Group Conference held in Las Vegas, February 14–16, 1995. Consequently, this fourth conference consisted of a number of oral and poster presentations demonstrating the applications of this powerful new technique—InSAR.

Each of the presenters was encouraged to submit short papers for these proceedings. Not all oral and poster presentations are documented in this report but many are. Some of the contributed papers have titles that differ from the title of the presentation and expand upon the content of the presentation. The information presented at the conference and in these proceedings should expand the knowledge and technical basis for characterizing and managing land subsidence.

The Subsidence Interest Group was formed in 1989 to facilitate technology transfer and to provide a forum for the exchange of information and ideas among USGS scientists actively working in subsidence and aquifer-mechanics-related projects. The decision was made to open attendance to the fourth conference of the Subsidence Interest Group to anyone actively working on issues related to land subsidence. Nearly one-half of the conference attendees and presenters were from outside the USGS, greatly expanding the scope of the conference and resulting in a broader range of topics and technical issues than was presented at any of the previous conferences. Having recognized the benefits to the Subsidence Interest Group of broadening the exposure of the group to scientific research and activities beyond the USGS, membership in the group has been opened to include anyone working on subsidence-related issues. Membership is free and can be obtained by contacting Keith R. Prince, U.S. Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Road, MS 470, Menlo Park, CA 94025, or by e-mail to krprince@usgs.gov.




Subsidence Interest Group Conference Agenda

Keynote Address

On Aquifer Mechanics: How Did We Get Here and Where Might We Go?
by Francis S. Riley

Subsidence Observations Based on Traditional Geodetic Techniques, and Numerical Models The Harris-Galveston Coastal Subsidence District/National Geodetic Survey Automated GPS Subsidence Monitoring Project
by David B. Zilkoski, Lucy W. Hall, Gilbert J. Mitchell, Vasanthi Kammula, Ajit Singh, William M. Chrismer, and Ronald J. Neighbors

Hydrogeology and Simulation of Ground-Water Flow and Aquifer-System Compaction in the Chicot and Evangeline Aquifers, and Land Subsidence in the Houston Area, Texas
by Mark C. Kasmarek and Eric W. Strom

Optimal Withdrawal of Elastically Stored Ground Water in the Chicot Aquifer, Houston Area, Texas
by Wesley R. Danskin, Mark C. Kasmarek, and Eric W. Strom

Characterization and Modeling of Land Subsidence Due to Ground-Water Withdrawals From the Confined Aquifers of the Virginia Coastal Plain
by Jason P. Pope and Thomas J. Burbey

Application of Nonlinear Regression Methods to Estimate Hydraulic Properties that Control Vertical Aquifer-System Deformation at the Lorenzi Site, Las Vegas, Nevada
by Michael T. Pavelko

Sea-Level Rise and Subsidence: Implications for Flooding in New Orleans, Louisiana
by Virginia R. Burkett, David B. Zilkoski, and David A. Hart

Simulation of Land Subsidence in a Glacial Aquifer System Above a Salt Mine Collapse Redux: A Post Audit
by Richard M. Yager

Subsidence Observations Based on Interferometric Synthetic Aperature Radar (InSAR) Observations (Complemented With Traditional Geodetic Techniques), and Numerical Models

Separating Ground-Water and Hydrocarbon-Induced Surface Deformation From Geodetic Tectonic Contraction Measurements Across Metropolitan Los Angeles, California
by Gerald W. Bawden

Aquifer-System Characterization Using InSAR
by Michelle Sneed, Sylvia V. Stork, and Randell J. Laczniak

Use of InSAR to Identify Land-Surface Displacement and Aquifer-System Compaction, Paso Robles Area, California
by Jill N. Densmore, Devin L. Galloway, and David W. Valentine

Inverse Modeling of Regional Aquifer-System Compaction Based on Land Subsidence Measurements, Antelope Valley (Mojave Desert), California
by Jörn Hoffmann, Devin L. Galloway, and Howard A. Zebker

Land Subsidence in Las Vegas Valley, Nevada: Evolution, Spatial Patterns, and Rates Through 2000
by John W. Bell and Falk Amelung

InSAR Detection of Post-Seismic and Coseismic Ground-Surface Deformation Associated With Underground Weapons Testing, Yucca Flat, Nevada Test Site [Abstract]
by Randell J. Laczniak, Devin L. Galloway, and Michelle Sneed

InSAR-Derived Temporal and Spatial Patterns of Land Subsidence and Uplift Caused by Aquifer-System Deformation Controlled in Part by Ground-Water-Level Variations and Geologic Structures Near Albuquerque, New Mexico
by Charles E. Heywood, Devin L. Galloway, and Sylvia V. Stork

Status of Radar Interferometry for Operational Subsidence Monitoring
by Sean M. Buckley

Subsidence Database

International Land Subsidence Data Base
by Keith R. Prince, Roy Sonenshein, and George Karavitis

References Cited


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