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Earth fissures linked to sinking valley

Posted at 3:45 PM, Feb 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-13 17:45:48-05
ELOY, Ariz. (AP) - The valley surrounding a southern Arizona city is sinking.
 
The Casa Grande Dispatch reports geologists determined the valley around Eloy is 20 feet lower than it was 50 years ago, and earth fissures are likely to blame.
 
Earth fissures are believed to be created by quickly depleting groundwater causing land to cave in. Six new Arizona Geological Survey maps show these hazards in southern Arizona.
 
No human deaths have been linked to earth fissures, though the survey has been mapping them since a horse fell into one and died in 2007.
 
Survey geological extension service chief Michael Conway says the group anticipates the land could eventually stop sinking if people abstain from drawing on the groundwater table.
 
Earth fissures open the possibility of potential groundwater contamination, among other hazards.
 
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Information from: Casa Grande Dispatch.