Technology

NASA warns the town in the US is sinking abnormally


Satellite data from NASA shows that a town in central California (USA), located between Los Angeles and San Francisco, is sinking at an alarming rate.

NASA satellites show that parts of the town of Corcoran have sunk 3.35 meters in the past 14 years, enough to “swallow” the entire first floor of a house. 2 floors.

As of 2015, satellite data shows that Corcoran has subsided only about 1.2 meters in some areas. However, the local water management agency estimates it will sink by 1.8-3.35 meters over the next 19 years, endangering infrastructure and homes.

“This is our risk,” Corcoran resident Mary Gonzalez-Gomez told New York Times. “We know that, but what are we going to do? We can’t really do anything. I don’t want to move somewhere else,” this person said.

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Satellite data shows the subsidence of the town of Corcoran from June 2015 to June 2020. Photo: New York Times.

According to the Futurism, the problem of subsidence in Corcoran stems from the high intensity of water use for agriculture. When the rivers no longer supply enough water to the farm, farmers pumped groundwater from underground reservoirs. After many years of mining, the ground crumbled and compacted, causing subsidence.

Jay Famiglietti, a scientist who used to work at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, insists there is no way to solve this situation. “The size of the ‘bowl’ created from the water pumping is already huge, that’s why people don’t realize the subsidence. Detailed analysis shows potential risks to the infrastructure here.” , Famiglietti said.

Based on satellite images, Mr. Famiglietti, now director of the Global Institute for Water Security at the University of Saskatchewan (Canada), warned of subsidence at Corcoran since 2009. Years later, his colleague Cathleen Jones at NASA recorded subsidence 0.76 m west of Corcoran.

Besides Corcoran, scientists at NASA have spent years tracking subsidence in several parts of the San Joaquin Valley using radar and satellites. In addition to the impact on infrastructure, the subsidence also causes economic damage when the locality has spent millions of dollars building dikes and pumping stations, the cost is contributed by farmers.

There aren’t many solutions for Corcoran to fix the subsidence, but the town can reduce damage by limiting pumping, controlling groundwater use in neighboring towns, and farming.

“The situation at Corcoran is the obvious consequence of arbitrary groundwater pumping, which is unacceptable in California,” said California Department of Water Resources Director Karla Nemeth.

According to the Zing/Futurism

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