Geophysics/Surveying Unit

Primary Purpose

The Geophysics/Surveying Unit's primary purpose is to gather, process and interpret land subsidence and aquifer storage in order to aid the Arizona Department of Water Resources in better management of the State's water resources. The data are gathered by using survey-grade Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment, gravity meters, and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellites. The data consist primarily of GPS positions and elevations at discrete points, absolute and relative gravity values at discrete points for depth to bedrock and aquifer storage modeling, and broad swaths of SAR data that cover several critical areas of the State.

Geophysics/Surveying Unit Fact Sheet

List of Past, Current and Future Projects for the Geophysics/Surveying Unit

Department Programs Supported

The primary programs supported by the Unit are the Land Subsidence Monitoring Program, the Aquifer Storage Monitoring Program, and Depth-to-Bedrock Modeling Projects. In addition, the Geophysics/Surveying Unit has performed surveys and supplied data to a wide variety of ADWR programs.


In the past, the Geophysics/Surveying Unit has worked collaboratively with numerous outside groups to perform projects that aid the Department in a variety of efforts, including: water resource management, required survey-grade GPS measurements, gravity measurements, and/or the collection, processing, and interpretation of InSAR data. These efforts are mutually beneficial to a great many organizations, including:

  • Flood Control District of Maricopa County
  • Pinal County Flood Control District
  • Maricopa County Department of Transportation
  • Arizona Geological Survey
  • Arizona Department of Transportation
  • Arizona State Land Department
  • Salt River Project
  • Central Arizona Project
  • Metropolitan Domestic Water Improvement District
  • Community Water Company of Green Valley
  • City of Scottsdale
  • City of Surprise
  • Cochise County
  • Petrified Forest National Park
  • Arizona State University
  • University of Arizona
  • National Geodetic Survey
  • United States Geological Survey
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • University of Texas at Austin Center for Space Research
  • Microsoft Vexcel Corporation
  • Neva Ridge Technologies
  • AMEC Earth and Environmental
  • Arizona Land Subsidence Group

Organizations with projects that may benefit from a collaboration with ADWR should contact the Department.

If you wish to request data from the Geophysics/Surveying Unit, please download the fillable Data/Public Request Form and return it by email or fax.