Prediction of land subsidence due to groundwater withdrawal in Las Vegas Valley, Nevada
AuthorWaichler, Scott R
AdvisorCochran, Gilbert F.
Geological Sciences & Engineering
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A one-dimensional finite-difference model that simulates vertical compaction (consolidation) due to groundwater withdrawal is applied to two sites in Las Vegas Valley, Nevada. The input to the model consists of interpreted water level records and driller’s lithologic logs. The calibrated constant parameters, vertical hydraulic conductivity and virgin specific storage of the compacting clay beds, are back-calculated with historical subsidence data from survey levelings. Although there are no definitive water level or lithologic records at either site, a broad range of possible input values predicts 4 to 16 cm of subsidence at one site from 1990-2000, and 11 to 63 cm at another site during the same period. Lithologic data are the weakest component of the study and deserve priority in future modeling efforts. The model can be used as a groundwater management tool to aid in planning placement and intensity of pumping and artificial recharge in Las Vegas Valley to minimize land subsidence.
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Subjectone-dimensional finite-difference model
Las Vegas Valley
driller's litholigic logs
calibrated constant parameters
vertical hydraulic conductivity
virgin specific storage
compacting clay beds