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24.6.2017 : 21:05 : +0200

Land Subsidence

Subsidence occurs in many part of the world as the results of natural compaction of sediments, of extraction of underground resources or of underground construction. Most of the major subsidence areas around the world have developed in the past half-century at accelerated rates due to the rapidly increasing use of ground water, oil and gas. Even if the type of hazards associated with subsidence is different from that caused by sudden and catastrophic natural events like floods and earthquakes, because surface sinking is a slow event, extremely expansive damages occur.

In particular, most areas of known subsidence are along coasts where the phenomenon becomes quite obvious when the ocean or lake waters start coming further up on the shore. In addition, spatially heterogeneous subsidence in urban areas produces damages in buildings and in other man-made structures such as bridges, highways, electric power lines, railroads and underground pipes. In conclusion, accurate monitoring of land subsidence is required in order to give best recommendations for a sustainable use of the underground resources.