Giant cracks in the ground emerging across U.S. Southwest, scientists warn

By | September 13, 2023

Science Alert reports:

The United States has been pumping so much groundwater that the ground is beginning to split open across southwestern parts of the country for miles on end.

These giant cracks, aka fissures, have been spotted in states including Arizona, Utah, and California.

Groundwater is one of the main sources of freshwater on Earth – it provides almost half of all drinking water, and about 40% of global irrigation.

But humans are pumping groundwater faster than Earth can naturally replenish it.

When too much groundwater gets pumped up from the natural aquifers below the surface, it causes the land to sag and create these cracks, Joseph Cook, who researches Earth fissures at the Arizona Geological Survey, told Insider.

The fissures “are not a naturally occurring thing,” Cook said. “It’s something we’ve caused to form.” [Continue reading…]

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