Groundwater-abstraction induced land subsidence and groundwater regulation in the North China Plain
- 1China Institute of Geo-Environment Monitoring, Beijing, 100081, China
- 2Beijing Geo-Environmental Monitoring Station, Beijing, 100195, China
Abstract. Land subsidence can be induced when various factors such as geological, and hydrogeological conditions and intensive groundwater abstraction combine. The development and utilization of groundwater in the North China Plain (NCP) bring great benefits, and at the same time have led to a series of environmental and geological problems accompanying groundwater-level declines and land subsidence. Subsidence occurs commonly in the NCP and analyses show that multi-layer aquifer systems with deep confined aquifers and thick compressible clay layers are the key geological and hydrogeological conditions responsible for its development in this region. Groundwater overdraft results in aquifer-system compaction, resulting in subsidence. A calibrated, transient groundwater-flow numerical model of the Beijing plain portion of the NCP was developed using MODFLOW. According to available water supply and demand in Beijing plain, several groundwater regulation scenarios were designed. These different regulation scenarios were simulated with the groundwater model, and assessed using a multi-criteria fuzzy pattern recognition model. This approach is proven to be very useful for scientific analysis of sustainable development and utilization of groundwater resources. The evaluation results show that sustainable development of groundwater resources may be achieved in Beijing plain when various measures such as control of groundwater abstraction and increase of artificial recharge combine favourably.