Discussion on the origin of surface failures in the Valley of Aguascalientes, México
- 1Departamento de Geotecnia e Hidráulica, Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes, México
- 2Departamento de Construcción y Estructuras, Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes, México
- 3Doctorado en Ciencias de los Ámbitos Antrópicos, Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes, México
Abstract. Surface failures have been observed in the valley of Aguascalientes since the early 1980's. Although, groundwater pumping began in the early 1950's but became intensive until the late 1970's, when many of the surface failures appeared. For this reason, surface deformation (surface failures and land subsidence) has been associated to groundwater withdrawal. Recent observations, however, suggest that some of these surface discontinuities are the result of natural geologic stresses rather than those associated groundwater decline, at least in its origin. Geologically, this valley is a tectonic graben flanked by two north-to-south trending normal faults, and seismicity of low intensity has been detected into the valley evidencing that the study area is seismically active. In this work, we present and discuss evidence showing tectonic discontinuities on the surface or at a shallow depth. Evidence presented in this investigation brings up uncertainty about the purely pumping-induced origin of fissuring in the valley, and allows addressing some key questions, for instance, are the surface failures caused by the combined stresses of pumping and tectonism? Is the current tectonism sufficient to cause some surface or deep failures?