AZGS geologists Joe Cook and Mike Mahan are in the field this week with Brian Conway from the AZ Dept. of Water Resources, examining recent earth fissures formed in Cochise County [right]. Brian runs the ADWR basin subsidence program.
Our two agencies are studying the relationships between areas of high subsidence, due to rapid groundwater withdrawal, and the development of earth fissures.
Fissures in the Three Sisters Buttes and others areas of the county appear to have opened up quickly after a large monsoon rainstorm last August and are located around the margins of a rapidly subsiding part of the basin.
Longer-term, we hope we can find ways to predict where fissures will occur and work on ways to mitigate their impacts.