Lexicon

Subsidence

A lowering of a portion of the earth's crust, such as a graben. Land subsidence can occur naturally or through human activity. Natural subsidence may occur when limestone, which is easily carved by underground water, collapses, leaving sink holes on the surface, such as in Florida. Earthquakes can also cause subsidence of the land because of the movement of faults. Permafrost, or the permanently frozen ground in tundra regions, can subside during local warming trends, a phenomena called thermokarst.