Land subsidence as a result of groundwater overpumping in the San Joaquin Valley, California, is associated with the loss of groundwater storage and aquifer contamination. Although the physical processes governing land subsidence are well understood, building predictive models of subsidence is challenging because so much subsurface information is required to do so accurately. For the first time, we integrate airborne electromagnetic data, representing the subsurface, with subsidence data, mapped by interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR), to model deformation. By combining both data sets, we are able to solve for hydrologic and geophysical properties of the subsurface to effectively model the complex spatiotemporal process of deformation. The resulting model reveals that roughly 3 m of subsidence has occurred at one location of our study area from 1990 to 2018. This model also allows us to predict subsidence more accurately under future hydrologic scenarios, which is needed to develop plans for sustainable groundwater use.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Center for High Performance Computing Research


This research was funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. R. Smith was supported by a National Science Foundation Fellowship (grant DGE‐114747).

Keywords and Phrases

InSAR; Subsidence; Electromagnetics; MCMC; Groundwater

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0043-1397; 1944-7973

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2019 The Authors, All rights reserved.

Creative Commons Licensing

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Publication Date

01 Apr 2019

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