Advertisement

Effects of Land Subsidence in the Greater Houston Area

  • Devin L. Galloway
  • Laura S. Coplin
  • Steve E. Ingebritsen
Chapter
Part of the Water Science and Technology Library book series (WSTL, volume 46)

Abstract

The greater Houston area, possibly more than any other metropolitan area in the United States, has been adversely affected by land subsidence (Coplin and Galloway, 1999). Extensive subsidence caused mainly by ground-water extraction has increased the frequency of flooding, caused extensive damage to industrial and transportation infrastructure, motivated major investments in levees, reservoirs, and surface-water distribution facilities, and caused substantial loss of wetland habitat in and around Galveston Bay. Subsidence ultimately limited local ground-water development and drove expensive efforts to store and convey surface water to supplant ground-water pumpage. In the eastern part of the greater Houston region, near the coast, subsidence has been controlled. The area of active subsidence has shifted from the low-lying, tidal areas toward higher elevations inland. Total costs of subsidence damage and mitigation are difficult to assess but likely range in the billions of dollars.

Keywords

Global Position System Land Subsidence Submerged Aquatic Vegetation National Geodetic Survey Geological Survey Professional Paper 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Carpenter, M.C., 1999. South-central Arizona — Earth fissures and subsidence complicate development of desert water resources in Galloway, D.L., Jones, D.R., and Ingebritsen, S.E., 1999, Land subsidence in the United States: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1182: 65–78.Google Scholar
  2. Casagrande, A., 1936. The determination of the pre-consolidation load and its practical applications, Proceedings of the First International Conference on Soil Mechanics, 3: 60–64.Google Scholar
  3. Coplin, L.S., and Galloway, D.L., 1999. Houston-Galveston, Texas — Managing coastal subsidence in Galloway, D.L., Jones, D.R., and Ingebritsen, S.E., 1999. Land subsidence in the United States: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1182: 35–48.Google Scholar
  4. Gabrysch, R.K., 1983. The impact of land-surface subsidence in managing our fresh-water resources: Paris, United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization [UNESCO], Impact of Science on Society, 1: 117–123.Google Scholar
  5. Galloway, D.L., Jones, D.R., and Ingebritsen, S.E., 1999. Land subsidence in the United States: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1182, 175 p.Google Scholar
  6. Galloway, D.L., and Riley, F.S., 1999. San Joaquin Valley, California — Largest human alteration of the Earth’s surface in Galloway, D.L., Jones, D.R., and Ingebritsen, S.E., 1999. Land subsidence in the United States: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1182: 23–34.Google Scholar
  7. Galveston Bay National Estuary Program, 1995. The Galveston Bay plan — The comprehensive land management plan for the Galveston Bay ecosystem, Oct. 18, 1994: Galveston Bay National Estuary Program Publication GBNEP-49, 457 p.Google Scholar
  8. Grubb, H.F., 1998. Summary of the hydrology of the regional aquifer systems, Gulf Coastal Plain, south-central United States: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1416-A, 61 p.Google Scholar
  9. Holzer, T.L., 1984, Ground failure induced by ground-water withdrawal from unconsolidated sediment inGoogle Scholar
  10. Holzer, T.L., ed., Man-induced land subsidence: Geological Society of America Reviews in Economic Geology, v. 6, p. 67–105.Google Scholar
  11. Holzer, T.L., 1998, History of the aquitard-drainage model in Borchers, J.W., ed., Land subsidence case studies and current research: Proceedings of the Dr. Joseph F. Poland Symposium on Land Subsidence: Association of Engineering Geologists Special Publication 8: 7–12.Google Scholar
  12. Holzer, T.L., and Gabrysch, R.K., 1987, Effect of water-level recoveries on fault creep, Houston, Texas: Ground Water, 25: 392–397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Holzschuh, J.C., 1991. Land subsidence in Houston, Texas U.S.A.: Houston, Field-trip guidebook for the Fourth International Symposium on Land Subsidence, May 12–17, 22 p.Google Scholar
  14. Houston Chronicle, 27 August 1997, “That sinking feeling hits northwest Houston”Google Scholar
  15. Ingebritsen, S.E., and Jones, D.R., 1999. Santa Clara Valley, California — A case of arrested subsidence in Galloway, D.L., Jones, D.R., and Ingebritsen, S.E., 1999. Land subsidence in the United States: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1182: 15–22.Google Scholar
  16. Jones, L.L., 1976. External costs of surface subsidence — Upper Galveston Bay, Texas in Proceedings of the 2nd International Symposium on Land Subsidence, Anaheim, California, December: International Association of Hydrological Sciences Publication 121: 617–627.Google Scholar
  17. McGowen, J.M., Garner, L.E., and Wilkinson, B.M., 1977. The Gulf shoreline of TexasProcesses, characteristics, and factors in use: University of Texas, Bureau of Economic Geology, Geological Circular 75–6, 43 p.Google Scholar
  18. Paine, J.G., and Morton, R.A., 1986. Historical shoreline changes in Trinity, Galveston, West, and East Bays, Texas Gulf Coast: University of Texas, Bureau of Economic Geology, Circular 86–3,58 p.Google Scholar
  19. Poland, J.F., and Ireland, R.L., 1988. Land subsidence in the Santa Clara Valley, California, as of 1982: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 497-F, 61 p.Google Scholar
  20. Poland, J.F., Lofgren, B.E., Ireland, R.L., and Pugh, R.G., 1975. Land subsidence in the San Joaquin Valley, California as of 1972: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 437-H, 78 p.Google Scholar
  21. Pratt, W.E., and Johnson, D.W., 1926. Local subsidence of the Goose Creek oil field: Journal of Geology, v. 34: 577–590.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Terzaghi, K., 1925. Principles of soil mechanics, IV—Settlement and consolidation of clay: Engineering News-Record, 95: 874–878.Google Scholar
  23. Tolman, C.F., and Poland, J.F., 1940. Ground-water infiltration and ground-surface recession in Santa Clara Valley, Santa Clara County, California: Transactions American Geophysical Union, 21: 23–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. White, W.A., Tremblay, T.A., Wermund, E.G., Jr., and Handley, L.R., 1993. Trends and status of wetland and aquatic habitats in the Galveston Bay system, Texas: Galveston Bay National Estuary Program Publication GBNEP-31, 225 p.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Devin L. Galloway
    • 1
  • Laura S. Coplin
    • 2
  • Steve E. Ingebritsen
    • 3
  1. 1.U.S. Geological SurveySacramentoUSA
  2. 2.U.S. Geological SurveyAustinUSA
  3. 3.U.S. Geological SurveyMenlo ParkUSA

Personalised recommendations