Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Could Sandy happen again? Maybe, says Tufts geologist

18.10.2013
Due to rising sea levels, smaller storms could produce significant flooding

Almost a year after Hurricane Sandy, parts of New York and New Jersey are still recovering from billions of dollars in flood damage. Tufts University geologist Andrew Kemp sees the possibility of damage from storms smaller than Sandy in the future.

"Rising sea levels exacerbate flooding," says Kemp. "As sea level rises, smaller and weaker storms will cause flood damage." An assistant professor in Tufts' Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Kemp co-authored a study on sea-level change close to New York that was published recently in the Journal of Quaternary Science.

Sandy hit New York as a team led by Kemp was researching sea-level change and flooding that had occurred in seven historically damaging hurricanes in New York since 1788. Last October, Sandy's storm surge hit the coast at high tide, but storm and tidal conditions were not the only cause of the devastation, Kemp says. Seawaters off New York's coast have risen 16 inches since 1778, the year of New York City's first major recorded storm, his research shows.

To make this determination Kemp and his team studied salt-marsh sediments from Barnegat Bay in northern New Jersey, south of the tide gauge at Battery Park in New York. Using sediment cores, long cylinders drilled into the marsh floor that offer scientists a look back through time, they were able to reconstruct sea-level changes since 1788.

Kemp cites two factors for rising seas. One is the natural sinking of land called glacio-isostatic adjustment. A second factor, and one supported by the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), points to the melting of the ice-covered terrain of Greenland and Antarctic as well as the thermal expansion of ocean waters.

Looking forward, Kemp sees the possibility of storms less powerful than Sandy inflicting serious damage. He uses a basketball analogy. "It's like playing basketball and raising the level of the court so that shorter and shorter people can dunk. It makes low lying property and infrastructure more vulnerable at a time when developers are pumping money into coastal cities and towns."

Tufts University, located on three Massachusetts campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville, and Grafton, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all Tufts campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs across the university's schools is widely encouraged.

Katherine Cinnamond | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.tufts.edu

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland
19.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

nachricht Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle
17.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>