GROUND DISPLACEMENTS CAUSED BY AQUIFER-SYSTEM WATER-LEVEL VARIATIONS
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GROUND DISPLACEMENTS CAUSED BY AQUIFER-SYSTEM WATER-LEVEL VARIATIONS
OBSERVED USING INTERFEROMETRIC SYNTHETIC APERTURE RADAR
NEAR ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO 
(pdf file 2.4 Mb)


By Charles E. Heywood, Devin L. Galloway, and Sylvia V. Stork



ABSTRACT

Six synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images were 
processed to form five unwrapped interferometric 
(InSAR) images of the greater metropolitan area in the 
Albuquerque Basin. Most interference patterns in the 
images were caused by range displacements resulting 
from changes in land-surface elevation. Loci of land-
surface elevation changes correlate with changes in 
aquifer-system water levels and largely result from the 
elastic response of the aquifer-system skeletal material 
to changes in pore-fluid pressure. The magnitude of the 
observed land-surface subsidence and rebound 
suggests that aquifer-system deformation resulting 
from ground-water withdrawals in the Albuquerque 
area has probably remained in the elastic (recoverable) 
range from July 1993 through September 1999. 
Evidence of inelastic (permanent) land subsidence in 
the Rio Rancho area exists, but its relation to 
compaction of the aquifer system is inconclusive 
because of insufficient water-level data. Patterns of 
elastic deformation in both Albuquerque and Rio 
Rancho suggest that intrabasin faults impede ground-
water-pressure diffusion at seasonal time scales and 
that these faults are probably important in controlling 
patterns of regional ground-water flow.



Abstract from Water-Resources Investigations Report 02-4235 
 


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