Modeling subsidence due to groundwater withdrawal

Wolfram Rühaak1, Pham Hung2, Ingo Sass2
1 Darmstädter Exzellenz Graduiertenschule für Energiewissenschaft und Energietechnik, Technische Universität Darmstadt
2 Institut für Angewandte Geowissenschaften, Fachgebiet Angewandte Geothermie, Technische Universität Darmstadt

P 14.4 in Urbane Hydrogeologie


Drawdown of the groundwater table due to extensive pumping can lead to land surface subsidence. At coastal locations drawdown can also result from a declining sea level. Especially in urban areas such a subsidence can have a severe impact (Zeitoun & Wakshal, 2013). Numerous groundwater flow and transport models are based on the software FEFLOW (Diersch 2014). Based on the so called Terzaghi (1943) approach a new software module has been developed which can be added to FEFLOW and which this way takes land subsidence due to groundwater drawdown into account. More advanced approaches like a full 3D mechanical coupling are also available (Rühaak et al., 2014). However, such an advanced approach is far more tedious while the simplified approach already can give sufficient results.



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RÜHAAK, W.; BENSE, V.F., SASS, I. (2014): 3D hydro-mechanically coupled groundwater flow modelling of Pleistocene glaciation effects. Computers & Geosciences, 67: 89-99.

TERZAGHI, K. (1943): Theoretical Soil Mechanics. John Wiley, New York.

ZEITOUN, D.G., WAHSHAL, E., (2013): Land Subsidence Analysis in Urban Areas, Springer, Dordrecht.