Tag Archive for: Cedar valley


The small lichen-riddled boulders dot a Cedar Valley site, crumbling and splitting from age. Depending on the light, you can see the faded drawings on some of the rocks made by the natives so many millennia ago.



At the northern end of a small but rapidly growing southern Utah community lies a modern ghost town.


Here’s a read covering the issues in Iron County surrounding the declining underground water levels, and its effects up above.


Since at least the 1960s, more water has been removed from Cedar Valley’s underground water supply than has been replenished, and that problem is only getting worse.



With wells at Quichapa Lake having dropped approximately 75 feet since 1990, officials in Cedar City and Central Iron County Water Conservancy District are planning for additional water resources they can develop in the near future with the hopes of taking stress off the aquifer that geologists insist is being over-mined.



Cracks in the earth and settling of the ground in areas of the Cedar Valley, both believed to be caused by over-pumping of the underground aquifer, were the focus of a special Central Iron County Water Conservancy District work meeting March 27.

To find the publication, visit the Utah Natural Resources Map & Bookstore, or find it online HERE.

Watch these interviews featuring one of our geologists, Tyler Knudsen, talk about the ground fissures and their causes.


Giant cracks running through an Iron County subdivision are the result of drawing too much water from the ground, according to a new state report.


Report: Cedar Valley Ground Slowly Sinking


A new report from the Utah Geological Survey shows that the ground in Iron County’s Cedar Valley is slowly sinking due to groundwater pumping.



Over-pumping of groundwater from a deep aquifer in Cedar Valley for the past three decades has caused the ground to sink and crack, inflicting damage on a would-be subdivision and putting future development at risk.


Read further in this article from KCSG Television

Land Subsidence and Earth Fissures in Cedar Valley, Iron County, Utah


A just-released report from the Utah Geological Survey (UGS) shows the ground has been sinking in some areas around Cedar City for decades. The comprehensive 116-page report presents the results of an investigation of land subsidence and earth fissures in Cedar Valley, Iron County, Utah, primarily due to groundwater pumping. “The sediments in the Cedar Valley that form the groundwater aquifer contain a significant amount of fine-grained silt and clay sediments. Those sediments become compacted when water is removed and the ground begins to sink,” said Tyler Knudsen, UGS project geologist.


Just as a bank account dips when withdrawals exceed deposits, so the water table in the Cedar Valley Aquifer has been dropping over the past 70 years as discharge rates have exceeded recharge, and the losses likely will continue unless measures are taken to plug the problem.

That was the conclusion of a report delivered Thursday night to a meeting of the Central Iron County Water Conservancy District in Cedar City.

The report, compiled by senior geologist William Lund and his staff with the Utah Geological Survey (UGS), was commissioned by the conservancy district in 2009 after a ground fissure nearly 4 miles long was discovered snaking through a subdivision in the city of Enoch.



Big cracks are forming in the floor of Cedar Valley. They’ve already undermined one unfinished subdivision north of Enoch, and they’re still growing. One is 2.4 miles long. If unchecked, they could threaten Enoch itself, not to mention local roads and buried utility lines.

This is not a Halloween story, or the movie “Tremors.” It’s scarier, in fact, because it’s real. Fortunately, the Utah Geological Survey knows what the cause is, and if the people who pump water from the many wells in the area can cooperate, the problem is fixable. But a solution will require both community spirit and self-sacrifice, because people will have to use less water.

Since 1939, according to the UGS report, more water has been taken from the aquifer below Cedar Valley than Mother Nature has funneled back in. The water table has dropped by as much as 114 feet. This has caused the underground sediments in the aquifer to compact. The fissures and sinkholes visible on the surface of the ground are evidence of subsidence, that is, ground settling. The ground has sunk by as much as four feet over a broad area of Cedar Valley.

This settling has caused about 4 miles of cracks or fissures in the ground, particularly in the area of Enoch (north of Cedar City) and around Quichapa Lake. There may be other fissures that are not yet visible.


This Issue Contains:

  • Modeling Ground-Water Flow in Cedar Valley
  • Bringing Earth’s Ancient Past to Life
  • Ground-Water Monitoring Network
  • Energy News: Saline Water Disposal in the Uinta Basin, Utah
  • Glad You Asked: How many islands are in Great Salt Lake?
  • GeoSights: Fremont Indian State Park, Sevier County, Utah
  • Survey News
  • New Publications