Earth  ID: 30176

Subsidence in California's Central Valley

This animation shows, in exaggerated terms, how the surface of the southern Central Valley of California deformed from the period 2007 to 2011. Interferometric data from the Japanese ALOS PALSAR imaging radar was used to measure the deformation, shown in color overlaid on an ASTER image. The large subsidence "bowl" that developed over this time period was caused by withdrawal of groundwater, causing subsurface layers to compact. Interferometric synthetic aperture radar, or InSAR, can be used to monitor subsidence in order to prevent groundwater overdraft and irreversible compaction of aquifers. ALOS PALSAR data is copyright JAXA/METI and was provided by the GEO Supersites and the U.S. Government Research Consortium datapool at the Alaska Satellite Facility.

For More Information


Vincent Realmuto (NASA/JPL CalTech): Visualizer
Please give credit for this item to:

Short URL to share this page:


Data Used:
Advanced Land Observation System (ALOS)/Phased-Array Synthetic-Aperture Radar (PALSAR)/L-band frequency (1.27 GHz) radar
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

GCMD >> Location >> California
SVS >> Hyperwall
NASA Science >> Earth
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Terrestrial Hydrosphere >> Ground Water
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Terrestrial Hydrosphere >> Ground Water >> Aquifers

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version