Tag Archive for: fissures

Bill Lund, one of our senior scientists here at the Utah Geological Survey, weighs in on the issues surrounding groundwater mining and its effects in Iron County.


We can’t see aquifers, but these underground water reservoirs make life possible in the West. As we continue our series on Utah’s Uncertain Water Future, we explore the consequences of mining groundwater in Utah’s Cedar Valley.



Part of SR 143 in the town of Brian Head, Utah has been shut down after the ground slowly started to shift during construction of a man-made pond.



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.


The Iron County Commission was poised to vote Monday on a geologic hazard ordinance that has been in the making for about six months when Commissioner Lois Bulloch threw a wrench in the works.

Bulloch recommended that an independent group review the proposed ordinance and make recommendations.

“I’ve heard a lot of consternation over this issue and had input in letters and calls and am just not comfortable moving forward,” said Bulloch. “Sorry to drop this bomb.”

Bulloch suggested that a committee with representatives of the county’s six municipalities, a city attorney and engineers look at the ordinance line by line and make specific changes.

“This way we won’t be accused of not listening,” said Bulloch.

Bill Lund, a geologist with the Utah Geological Survey, told commissioners a review by new eyes is a good idea and recommended including an official of a city or county in Utah that has already dealt with a similar ordinance.