Venice Sinking Again, Slowly

Satellite measurements show it tilting slightly to the east as well
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2012 1:28 PM CDT
Venice Sinking Again, Slowly
A view of the north lagoon, partially iced because of unusually low temperatures, in Venice, Italy, Monday, Feb. 6, 2012.   (AP Photo/Luigi Costantini)

(Newser) – Venice is sinking once again, according to new satellite readings. The famous canal-ridden city sank significantly last century thanks to underground water extraction, but once that practice stopped, data from the early 2000s indicated that the city had stabilized. But now a team of US and Italian researchers has concluded that it's still on its way down, at the leisurely pace of 2mm per year. It's also tilting slightly to the east, reports the BBC.

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The water in Venice's lagoon is also increasing by around 2mm a year. While the figures may not sound like much, the data should help city officials plan flood defenses for the far-flung future, says one team member. "It's critical information that they need to take into account." In the short term, Venice has a new flood barrier system planned for 2014, but in the long term Venice will always be threatened by geological pressures, the team leader said. "Venice is always on the move." (Read more Venice stories.)

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