An investigation and analysis of surface faults in Galveston County, Texas.
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Galveston County is an area of widespread subsurface fluid extraction, marked water-level declines, extensive land-surface subsidence, and recent activation of pre-existing faults. Eleven field-documented surface faults and 15 additional topographic lineaments were identified over the course of this study. Surficial fault creep is undoubtedly related to long-term geologic processes that are active throughout the Gulf Coast region. The present number of active surface faults and their average rates of movement are nevertheless abnormally high compared to those of the late Cenozoic, suggesting that an adjunct process may have accelerated fault activity in the Houston-Galveston area. The temporal and areal correlation of artesian head decline and active faults in the Galveston region implies that these phenomena may be related.