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Risk Mapping of Groundwater-Drawdown-Induced Land Subsidence in Heterogeneous Soils on Large Areas

Journal article
Authors Jonas Sundell
Ezra Haaf
Tommy Norberg
Claes Alén
Mats Karlsson
Lars Rosén
Published in Risk Analysis
Volume 39
Issue 1
Pages 105-124
ISSN 0272-4332
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Mathematical Sciences
Department of Earth Sciences
Pages 105-124
Language en
Subject categories Geotechnical Engineering, Water Engineering, Geology


Groundwater leakage into subsurface constructions can cause reduction of pore pressure and subsidence in clay deposits, even at large distances from the location of the construction. The potential cost of damage is substantial, particularly in urban areas. The large-scale process also implies heterogeneous soil conditions that cannot be described in complete detail, which causes a need for estimating uncertainty of subsidence with probabilistic methods. In this study, the risk for subsidence is estimated by coupling two probabilistic models, a geostatistics-based soil stratification model with a subsidence model. Statistical analyses of stratification and soil properties are inputs into the models. The results include spatially explicit probabilistic estimates of subsidence magnitude and sensitivities of included model parameters. From these, areas with significant risk for subsidence are distinguished from low-risk areas. The efficiency and usefulness of this modeling approach as a tool for communication to stakeholders, decision support for prioritization of risk-reducing measures, and identification of the need for further investigations and monitoring are demonstrated with a case study of a planned tunnel in Stockholm.

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