Smith and Hasan develop model for monitoring subsidence and groundwater storage loss

Fahim Hasan standing in green field with sunset behind him
PhD student Md Fahim Hasan
Ryan Smith, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Walter Scott Jr. College of Engineering, Colorado State University, July 11, 2022
Assistant Professor Ryan G. Smith

Groundwater is a critical yet finite resource. When groundwater is excessively pumped for its many uses (drinking, irrigation, etc.), the surrounding land area can sink, known as land subsidence, causing permanent groundwater storage loss.

Prof. Ryan G. Smith and colleagues have developed a new model to map subsidence globally for the first time. They published the results of their study in Nature Communications journal, entitled “Global land subsidence mapping reveals widespread loss of aquifer storage capacity“. The study was led by Md Fahim Hasan, a PhD student in Smith’s lab. “Our study puts land subsidence happening from excessive groundwater pumping to a global context and we will be eagerly waiting to see more studies addressing subsidence and groundwater at a global scale,” said Hasan.

In addition to producing a global map of subsidence, the model estimates the amount of aquifer groundwater storage loss. Their findings should also help identify groundwater-stressed areas that are susceptible to subsidence.

To read the full article, please visit