About 4,000 square miles of West Texas is sinking at a rapid rate, according to a study done by Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
Radar imagery shows a huge area from Midland to Reeves County is sinking. Some areas are dropping as much as 40 inches in the past two and a half years. The study shows that abandoned natural gas and oil wells are to blame.
If left unchecked, it could cost taxpayers and property owners millions of dollars for repairs to roads, bridges and underground pipelines.
"We are enjoying the lower price of hydrocarbon but on the other hand we have to be aware those activities can produce ground surface deformation," said SMU Geophysics Professor Zhong Lu.
Researchers say the way to stop the sinking is to go back and properly reseal wells.