Land subsidence is marked by large fractures in the earth’s surface or vast and deep holes that appear unexpectedly beneath people’s feet in towns and villages. Subsidence has now evolved into a global environmental, social, and economic threat.
The threat of Land Subsidence
According to the findings of an article published earlier this year in the journal Science titled “Mapping, the Global Threat of Land Subsidence,” 19 percent of the world’s population lives in subsidence-prone areas. Furthermore, 12 percent of global GDP, or $8.17 trillion, is created in places prone to subsidence.
Subsidence not only poses a direct threat to human life and property, but it also exacerbates flood damage and can even result in permanent land loss, resulting in infrastructure and construction destruction, as well as environmental degradation.
The occurrence of land sinking
The occurrence of land sinking is not limited to a single country or logic; some places on all continents are susceptible to subsidence. North America, Asia, Europe, and South Australia are just a few of the regions that have experienced subsidence.
The economic effects of subsidence are not simply speculation, according to reports on the harm caused by these phenomena. Despite the subsidence phenomena, the annual cost of flooding in the world’s coastal cities is expected to exceed $635 billion by 2050.
Subsidence damages critical infrastructure
Subsidence’s economic implications can be divided into two categories: direct and indirect. Subsidence damages critical infrastructure including water management, transportation, energy, and communications, and this is just one of the direct effects of subsidence.
Another direct result of economic subsidence is the damage and destruction of residential buildings and factories. The expense of restoration, migration, and uncertainty are all imposed on the economy as a result of these damages. Other direct effects of subsidence include its negative influence on the environment, cultural-historical assets, and damages resulting from poor performance.
Indirect effects of subsidence
Indirect effects of subsidence, on the other hand, might have an impact on the economy. Increased flood risk, lower agricultural production, and social and healthcare difficulties are only a few of them. According to calculations, Iran’s GDP is at risk of subsiding by $77.7 billion.
About 500 of Iran’s 609 plains have fresh water, all of which are subject to subsidence. According to the most recent monitoring of Iran’s plains, there is now no plain in the country where freshwater is available yet subsidence is not a problem.
Water resource management
The reason for this is indiscriminate water harvesting from aquifers and the government’s lack of water resource management.
It is not surprising that next year’s investigations will reveal that the northern cities of Gilan and Mazandaran have been added to the total number of cities at risk of sinking, even if they are not experiencing drought.
The rate of subsidence in Tehran’s lowlands has lessened during the last five years, but its extent has expanded. Isfahan province is the most dangerous province in terms of subsidence, and Isfahan is the only metropolis in the country where sinking has infiltrated the city.
Threat to Isfahan’s tourism sector
As a result, not only may subsidence be regarded a threat to the province’s historical and cultural areas, but it also poses a threat to Isfahan’s tourism sector, which in turn threatens citizens’ livelihoods.
Reduced water harvesting from subterranean water resources is the most basic approach to deal with land subsidence. Because the loss and damages are not easily reversible, the only remedy left for the country is the management of consumption from subsurface water resources owing to proper administration and control by the government.