When a snapshot is created, its space is initially shared between the snapshot and the file system, and possibly with previous snapshots. As the file system changes, space that was previously shared becomes unique to the snapshot, and thus is counted in the snapshot's used property. Additionally, deleting snapshots can increase the amount of space unique to (and thus used by) other snapshots.
You can identify additional information about how the values of the used property are consumed. New read-only file system properties describe space usage for clones, file systems, and volumes. For example:
$ zfs list -o space NAME AVAIL USED USEDSNAP USEDDS USEDREFRESERV USEDCHILD rpool 25.4G 7.79G 0 64K 0 7.79G rpool/ROOT 25.4G 6.29G 0 18K 0 6.29G rpool/ROOT/snv_98 25.4G 6.29G 0 6.29G 0 0 rpool/dump 25.4G 1.00G 0 1.00G 0 0 rpool/export 25.4G 38K 0 20K 0 18K rpool/export/home 25.4G 18K 0 18K 0 0 rpool/swap 25.8G 512M 0 111M 401M 0
For a description of these properties, see Table 6–1.