INTERA’s John Ellis, Principal Hydrogeologist, will be presenting at the Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists (AEG) 66th Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon, held September 19-24, 2023. Mr. Ellis’ presentation will take place at 8:40 am on Friday, September 22 during Technical Session #14, Land Subsidence Symposium, Part I, and is entitled, “The Land Surface—Groundwater Nexus: A Case Study on the Brownwood Subdivision, the Science, and Why It Matters”. The abstract for the presentation is provided below.
To learn more about the meeting and technical sessions, visit: https://www.aegannualmeeting.org/
The Land Surface—Groundwater Nexus: A Case Study on the Brownwood Subdivision, the Science, and Why It Matters
The plight of Brownwood, a suburb in Baytown, Texas, gained national attention in the 1960s and 1970s after four hurricanes and three tropical storms caused repeated widespread flooding and eventually the demise of the neighborhood. Although the suburb was abandoned in 1983 after Hurricane Alicia, the roots of the problem began more than 60 years prior. The devastating flooding between 1961 and 1983 was only partly due to the series of storms that struck the neighborhood. In the background, the subdivision had been irreversibly slipping into the sea year after year. This subsidence began slowly with little notice by the residents and surrounding community. However, by 1959 subsidence had left the neighborhood perilously close to sea level and largely sealed the fate of the suburb—before construction was complete. At the peak of the subsidence rate between 1971 and 1973, the suburb was subsiding nearly half a foot per year—the greatest subsidence rate ever recorded in the greater Houston area. This is the story of Brownwood with a discussion on the implications for the greater Houston area.