Investigation of the phenomenon of subsidence due to the decrease of groundwater level in the city of Urmia using the zoning of changes in the distribution of soil layers

Document Type : Research Article


1 Geology, Science Faculty, Payam e Noor University

2 Assistant Professor Department of Geology. Urmia University, Urmia

3 Msc Department of Geology, Payame Noor Abhar University, Zanjan.


In the present study, the phenomenon of land subsidence in the Urmia plain (west of Lake Urmia) has been investigated. In the study area, 53 observation wells were used to study the changes in groundwater depth. The groundwater depth of the plain varies between 1 and 50 meters and decreases from west to east. In the northwest of the plain in Nooshinshahr lands, the number of isothermal curves is 50 meters, which decreases to the east of the water table depth. Examining the information obtained from periodic subsidence visits, a number of piezometers were observed in the margins of the eastern margin of the Urmia aquifer, which led to the protrusion of the pipe and its fittings. The trend of subsidence at 18 piezometers was studied. Subsidence values in Urmia plain vary from 5 to 17 cm. Most subsidence has occurred in the north and northwest of the plain, which in terms of granulation has a higher percentage of fine sediments. In the area of Chai shrine to Shahrchay, it decreases and reaches 5 cm in Jarchilo well. The amount of subsidence between Shahrchay to Barandozchay Rivers has increased significantly towards Lake Urmia and varies between 6 cm to 13 cm. These changes are due to two main reasons, one is a sharp drop in the water table (uncontrolled withdrawals) and the other is the compaction of fine-grained sediments due to a drop in the water table and a decrease in hydrostatic pressure and weight gain of high sediments.


  • Al‌Khamis R, Karimi Nasab S, Ariana F. Investigation of the effect of subsidence resulting from groundwater exploitation on the wall pipe of water wells, Journal of Water and Sewerage. 2006; 60. [Persian]
  • Ashraf H, Cawood F. Geospatial subsidence hazard modelling at Sterkfontein Caves. South Africa J Geomat. 2015; 4(3):273–284.
  • Bell F.G. Subsidence, ground engineer's reference book, F.G. Bell, ed., 1st Ed., Butterworths and Co. Publishers. 1987.
  • Dehghan‌Soraki Y, Sharifikia M, Sahebi MR. A comprehensive interferometric process for monitoring land deformation using ASAR and PALSAR satellite interferometric data. GISci Remote Sens. 2015; 52(1):58–77.
  • Firdaus HS, Prasetyo Y, Diyanah D. Spatial Correlation Analysis of Land Subsidence and The Water Table Changes in Unconfined Aquifers Using Sentinel 1‌SAR Image and Geographic Information Systems (Case Study: Semarang City – Indonesia). Published in E3S Web of Conferences. 2018; 73: p 03022.
  • Galloway DL, Jones DR, Ingebritsen SE. Land subsidence in the United States. US Geological Survey. 1999; 1182.
  • Ghorbanzadeh O, Rostamzadeh H, Blaschke T, Gholaminia K, Aryal J. A new GIS‌based data mining technique using an adaptive neuro‌fuzzy inference system (ANFIS) and k‌fold cross validation approach for land subsidence susceptibility mapping, Natural Hazards, Springer. 2018; 94:497–517.
  • Ganguli M. Groundwater withdrawal and land subsidence: a study of Singur Block, West Bengal, India. Intern. J. Geom. Geo. Sci; 2011. p465.
  • Ghorbanzadeh O, Feizizadeh B, Blaschke T. Multi‌criteria risk evaluation by integrating an analytical network process approach into GIS‌based sensitivity and uncertainty analyses. Geomat, Nat. Hazards Risk. 2017; 9(1):127–151.
  • Huijun Li1, Lin Zhu, Gaoxuan Guo, Yan Zhang, Zhenxue Dai, Xiaojuan Li, Linzhen Chang, Pietro Teatini. Subsidence due to groundwater pumping: hazard probability assessment through the combination of Bayesian model and fuzzy set theory. Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. 2021; 21: 823–835.
  • Karimi Nasab S. Research report of the project to investigate the causes of rupture of wall pipes of drinking water wells, Bahonar University of Kerman. 2004. [Persian]
  • Lofgren B. E. Analysis of stresses causing land subsidence, in Geological Survey Research 1968, U.S. Geol. Survey Prof. 1968; 600: 219‌
  • Li H, Zhu L, Guo G, Zhang Y, Dai Z, Li X, Chang L, Teatini P. Land subsidence due to groundwater pumping: hazard probability assessment through the combination of Bayesian model and fuzzy set theory. 2021; 21: 823‌
  • P, Lundgren P, Manzo F, Casu F. Satellite radar interferometry time series analysis of surface deformation for Los Angeles, California, Geophysical Research Letters; 2004. p 31.
  • Mousavi S. M, Shamsai A, EI Naggar M. H, Khamehchian M. A GPS‌based monitoring program of land subsidence due to groundwater withdrawal in Iran. Can. Journal Civ. Eng. 2001; 28(3):452‌
  • Moradi A, Amadedin S, Arkhi S, Rezaee. Land subsidence analysis using radar interferometry technique, well information Geotechnical and piezometric (Case study: Tehran urban area 18). Journal of Spatial Analysis of Environmental Hazards. 2020; 7(1): 153‌
  • Navas JM, Telfer TC, Ross LG. Separability indexes and accuracy of neuro‌fuzzy classification in geographic information systems for assessment of coastal environmental vulnerability. Ecol. Inform. 2012; 12:43–49.
  • Pacheco J, Arzate J, Rojas E, Arroyo M, Yutsis V, Ochoa G. Delimitation of ground failure zones due to land subsidence using gravity data and finite element modeling in the Quere´taro valley, Me´xico. Eng Geol. 2006; 84(3):143–160.
  • Rahnama M. B, Moafi H. Investigation of land subsidence due to groundwater with draw in Rafsanjan plain using GIS Software, Iran, Geotech. Geol. Eng. 2010; 2. 241‌
  • Skenderas D, Loupasakis C, Papoutsis I, Alatza S, Kontoes Investigation of Land Subsidence Phenomena in the wider Tirana (Albania) Region by applying Persistent Scatterer Interferometry Techniques, EGU21‌12199. 2021.
  • Waltham A. C, Waltham T. Ground Subsidence, Pub. Blackie, Michigan University, USA; 1989.


Volume 8, Issue 3
October 2021
Pages 791-806
  • Receive Date: 02 March 2021
  • Revise Date: 03 August 2021
  • Accept Date: 27 July 2021
  • First Publish Date: 20 September 2021
  • Publish Date: 23 September 2021