Saturday, December 01, 2012

A USGS and UNESCO Joint Publication

Development of a new irrigation well in west-central Florida triggered
hundreds of sinkholes over a 20-acre area. The sinkholes ranged
in size from less than 1 foot to more than 150 feet in diameter.
Land subsidence due to the depletion of groundwater is a problem in many parts of the United States. The subsidence, when it occurs, breaks water mains and sewer lines, disrupts underground telephone cables, and collapses roads. It can even endanger buildings. The problem costs many millions of dollars per year, straining the budgets of many municipalities.

The Guidebook was originally Published in 1984 by Unesco as one of the contributions to the International Hydrological Program. Although the IHP is a scientific and educational program, Unesco has been aware of the need to direct its activities toward the practical solutions of the world's water resources problems. The Guidebook was intended as one of the tools to help provide for a multidisciplinary approach to the assessment, planning, and rational management of water resources.

Written in 1984, the Guidebook provides an overview of case studies illustrating the major occurrences of land subsidence due to ground-water withdrawal throughout the world at the time of its publication. But probably it's most enduring contributions are the chapters on field measurement of deformation and the mechanics of land subsidence. These chapters provide a basic understanding of subsidence that is valuable for both resource managers and scientists.

The Guidebook has enjoyed enduring demand. It has long since been out of print, but now is available in electronic form. Click here to download, an 11 MB compressed file in Winzip format. Interested in only a part of the document? Check out the PDF files available here.

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