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Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 573;

Analysis of Factors in Land Subsidence in Shanghai: A View Based on a Strategic Environmental Assessment

State Key Laboratory of Ocean Engineering and Collaborative Innovation Center for Advanced Ship and Deep-Sea Exploration (CISSE), Department of Civil Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Received: 18 March 2016 / Revised: 17 May 2016 / Accepted: 13 June 2016 / Published: 17 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
PDF [1319 KB, uploaded 17 June 2016]


It has been observed that in the urban center of Shanghai, land subsidence has accelerated, and the groundwater level has continued to drop even though the net withdrawn volume (NWV) of groundwater has remained unchanged since 1980. An analysis of monitoring data shows that drawdown of the groundwater level is one of the factors that have influenced land subsidence since 1980. The NWV of groundwater in urban areas, however, is not the critical factor controlling the drawdown of the groundwater level. Since the 1980s, there have been many underground works constructed in the unique strata of Shanghai, which has an interlayered structure known as a multi-aquifer-aquitard system (MAAS). Investigation into land subsidence caused by urban construction is now receiving much attention. Based on the principle of a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) for sustainable urban development, this paper presents a discussion and analysis of the factors which can influence the development of land subsidence during continued urbanization in Shanghai. The main factors include the additional loading caused by the construction of structures, the cut-off effect due to construction in aquifers, the drawdown of groundwater level caused by leakage into underground structures, and the decrease of groundwater recharge from neighboring zones. SEA is recommended for the future development of Shanghai. View Full-Text
Keywords: land subsidence; groundwater; urbanisation; strategic environmental assessment land subsidence; groundwater; urbanisation; strategic environmental assessment

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Xu, Y.-S.; Shen, S.-L.; Ren, D.-J.; Wu, H.-N. Analysis of Factors in Land Subsidence in Shanghai: A View Based on a Strategic Environmental Assessment. Sustainability 2016, 8, 573.

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