Research and Application News
Ground subsidence in Mekong Delta, Vietnam
07 March 2019
Ground subsidence is the sinking or settling of the ground that can occur due to various factors, for example, from the settlement of native low-density soils, or from the collapsing of natural or man-made underground voids. Subsidence is usually a slow gradual process as sags or depressions form on the ground surface. However, in some cases, it can create serious hazards and accidents can occur with no visible warning as sinkholes can open and swallow any structure that happens to be on top.
Subsidence has been affecting the Mekong Delta for decades. Whilst being a naturally occurring phenomenon, ground movement in the area has been greatly accelerated through human activities such as groundwater extraction and infrastructure loading. This accelerated rate of degradation exacerbates flood severity, coastline regression, and salinification of soil and water.
Image credit: Copernicus EMS © 2019 EU - Estimated Annual Subsidence Displacement