New report in Nature maps subsidence, addresses flooding in New Orleans
Most of New Orleans is sinking at an average rate of 6mm a year. In some areas, subsidence is occurring at a rate of as much as 29mm/year. Thats according to research published in this weeks edition of the journal Nature by scientists from the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. Titled, "Subsidence and Flooding in New Orleans," the authors conclude that when global sea level rise is factored into their analysis, the average rate of subsidence of the city relative to sea level is even higher – 8mm on average per year.
"When you multiply this over 20, 30, or even 100 years, you can see that New Orleans will be lower, and this information should be factored into reconstruction plans, as we look at subsidence that is up to 3 feet in 40 years," said the lead author of the paper, Dr. Tim Dixon, Rosenstiel School geophysics professor. "What we found is that some of the levee failure in New Orleans were places where subsidence was highest. These levees were built over 40 years ago and in some cases, the ground had subsided a minimum of 3 feet which probably put them lower than their design level."
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