Rising sea levels are predicted to submerge many coastal areas around San Francisco Bay by 2100, but a new study warns that sinking land — primarily the compaction of landfill in places such as Treasure Island and Foster City — will make flooding even worse.
Using precise measurements of subsidence around the Bay Area between 2007 and 2011 from state-of-the-art satellite-based synthetic aperture radar (InSAR), scientists from the University of California, Berkeley, and Arizona State University mapped out the waterfront areas that will be impacted by various estimates of sea level rise by the end of the century.
They found that, depending on how fast seas rise, the areas at risk of inundation could be twice what had been estimated from sea level rise only.
Previous studies, which did not take subsidence into account, estimated that between 20 and 160 square miles (51 to 413 square kilometers) of San Francisco Bay shoreline face a risk of flooding by the year 2100, depending on how quickly sea levels rise.
Adding the effects of sinking ground along the shoreline, the scientists found that the area threatened by rising seawater rose to between 48 and 166 square miles (125 to 429 square kilometers).
Read more at UC Berkeley