Land-surface subsidence in the Texas coastal region.




Ratzlaff, K.W.

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Texas Department of Water Resources.


Land-surface subsidence has been mapped in the Houston-Galveston area and is known to have occurred in other areas within the Texas coastal region. Most of the subsidence has been caused by both the withdrawal of ground water and by the production of oil, gas, and associated ground water. Land-surface subsidence was determined by comparing adjusted elevations of bench marks for various periods of releveling and by comparing topographic maps of the same areas for different years. In general, most of the Texas coastal region is in the Pasadena-Houston Ship Channel area, where the land surface subsided between 8.5 and 9.0 feet (2.5 and 2.7 meters) during 1906-73. The cause of the subsidence caused by sulfur mining in the Spindletop Dome area has been estimated to exceed 10 feet (3.0 meters). In southeastern Jackson County and northwestern Matagorda County, the land surface subsided more than 1.5 feet (0.46 meter) during 1943-73 as a result of ground-water withdrawals. Withdrawals of oil, gas, and associated ground water caused more than 5 feet (1.5 meters) of subsidence during 1942-75 in the western part of Corpus Christi in Nueces County.


26 p.


subsidence; ground water; oil and gas production