Depth-dependent mechanisms that drive land subsidence in Beijing plain, China

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Yonquan Zhang1, Huili Gong1, Rong Wang2, Huanhuan Liu1, Zhaoqin Gu1 and Xiaojuan Li1, (1)CNU Capital Nornal University, Beijing, China, (2)Beijing Institute of Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology, Beijing, China
The Beijing city, located in the north of North China Plain, China, has undergone severe land subsidence for the last several decades. An integrated subsidence-monitoring program, including leveling survey, borehole extensometer and and Satellite radar interferometry (InSAR) time series analysis, has been designed to meet the needs of mapping and monitoring land subsidence in this region. The monitoring data reveal that the subsidence rates of plain area exhibit significant spatial variability, ranging from 1cm to 15cm/yr. The purpose of this article is to identify and analyze the natural and anthropogenic mechanisms that drive the land subsidence. The movement sources are described and classified by their depth of occurrence. We attribute effects of displacement of the Beijing plain to three major components: (1) shallow components, (2) mediate component, and (3) deep component. Deep components are recognized as tectonic movement of the pre-Tertiary basement. Medium component act at depths generally range of 50 to 450m, and include groundwater exploitation; geochemical compaction, due to the high salt concentration in the deep lacustrine sendiments. Shallow components are related to the settlement of building; natural consolidation, due to the compaction of the loose sediments occurred mainly in the clayey layers of the uppermost 26-m Holocene deposits and organic soil subsidence occurs mainly with drainage and development of peat by land reclamation. The latter factor primarily involve the southeast area of the Beijing plain. The loads of new buildings may also cause short-live compaction of shallow deposits. Groundwater exploitation is thought to be the major factor that contributes to the present land subsidence in the Beijing plain. Settlement caused by buildings loads cannot be omitted in newly developed area, but such phenomenon might be localized.