CSDMS 2013 annual meeting poster Stephanie Higgins

Presentation provided during CSDMS annual meeting 2013

Land Subsidence at Aquaculture Facilities in the Yellow River Delta, China

Stephanie Higgins, CSDMS/INSTAAR Boulder Colorado, United States. stephanie.higgins@colorado.edu
Irina Overeem, CSDMS/INSTAAR Colorado, United States.
Akiko Tanaka, AIST , Japan.
James Syvitski, CSDMS/INSTAAR Boulder Colorado, United States.

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While many researchers have mapped and tracked coastal erosion in the Yellow River Delta, determining its cause has proven nearly impossible, because myriad natural and anthropogenic processes are simultaneously affecting the delta. These processes include reduced sediment supply, reduced river discharge, changing tide and current patterns, new seawalls, groundwater withdrawal, substrate compaction, oil extraction, burgeoning urban centers, and rising sea level. Here, we use Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) to map surface deformation in the delta between the years 2007 and 2011. We find that rapid, localized subsidence of up to 22 cm/y is occurring along the coast, apparently related to groundwater extraction at aquaculture facilities. This finding has important consequences for the sustainability of the local aquaculture industry. Similar subsidence may also be occurring in deltas like the Mekong, though these signals may be difficult or impossible to measure.

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