UBC Undergraduate Research

Asymmetrical Subsidence Resulting from Material and Fluid Extraction Martz, Patrick


Land subsidence has been experienced all over the world due to a multitude of natural processes and anthropogenic activities. Groundwater and material extraction both lead to subsidence at surface. Much of the literature related to subsidence evaluates parameters and modelling methods based on continuum derivations. These models often only simulate symmetrical profiles of subsidence because of assumptions of isotropy, homogeneity and continuum behaviour, when in many cases the geological conditions do not promote symmetry. The heterogeneity of the soil or rock mass and the presences of disconformities both contribute to difficult prediction of asymmetrical subsidence. Areas prone to subsidence are therefore of great concern as differential surface subsidence can compromise engineered structures. This paper focuses on the contributing factors of asymmetry in subsidence as observed in five industries: longwall mining, tunnelling, groundwater withdrawal, oil and gas extraction, and geothermal fluid withdrawal.

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