East Coast Is Submerging Into The Ocean: Satellite Study Reveals

by | Feb 15, 2024 | Environmental News, Research Updates

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A recent study conducted by Virginia Tech and the U.S. Geological Survey has unveiled alarming findings regarding how the East Coast is submerging into the ocean. The research underscores the escalating dangers posed by a combination of land subsidence, exacerbated by groundwater depletion and rising sea levels.

Satellite data has revealed that nearly 40% of Americans reside in areas highly susceptible to these coastal threats. Groundwater overuse has emerged as a significant contributor to land sinking, intensifying the impact of global sea level rise. Identified as “distortion hotspots,” regions such as Cape Canaveral and the Delmarva Peninsula are particularly at risk, threatening critical infrastructure.

East Coast Is Submerging Into The Ocean: Satellite Study Reveals

Utilizing satellite imagery, geologists have identified substantial sinking in major cities along the U.S. Atlantic coast, with some areas sinking at a rate of 2 to 5 millimetres (.08-0.2 inches) per year. Referred to as subsidence, this land sinking is occurring more rapidly than previously estimated, as outlined in a recent paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences. The researchers emphasize the significant implications of their analysis for community and infrastructure resilience planning, specifically concerning roadways, airport runways, building foundations, rail lines, and pipelines.

The implications of this study are profound. The slow but steady encroachment of the sea, coupled with sinking land, presents a silent yet increasingly urgent threat to communities, infrastructure, homes, and emergency routes along the East Coast. Vulnerable populations lacking alternative shelter are poised to bear the brunt of these environmental shifts.

As policymakers and stakeholders grapple with the reality of the way the East Coast is submerging into the ocean, swift and decisive action is imperative to mitigate the impending risks. Failure to address these challenges promptly could lead to catastrophic consequences for millions of residents and the vital infrastructure that supports them. This study serves as a stark reminder of the pressing need for proactive measures to safeguard coastal communities and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Also Read: Climate Change In The News: Tracking The Latest Developments

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