Fault control of subsidence, Houston, Texas.
The author describes how land subsidence in Harris and Galveston Counties results primarily from ground-water production. The two-county area is interlaced with active surface faults with topographic escarpments and surface faults with no topographic escarpments that control drainage patterns and create subtle photographic linear patterns. Ground-water production activates these faults by differential compaction of the aquifer. The faults appear to be partial hydrologic barriers that compartmentalize land subsidence into several individual basins.