Is New York City sinking? : Scientists have found that most of the New York City metropolitan area is slowly sinking, making the region more at risk for flooding, according to a study released this week.
A team of scientists from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California and Rutgers University in New Jersey published the study in Science Advances. They found that the major metropolitan area is sinking by an average of 0.06 inches per year.
The study came as New York State Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency on Friday, and heavy rains caused flash flooding in Manhattan, Staten Island and Brooklyn.
Scientists studied the region’s vertical land motion from 2016 to 2023 to see how much land sinks or rises. They used a synthetic aperture interferometric radar to study the topography of the terrain.
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“Much of the movement they observed occurred in areas where previous modifications to the Earth’s surface, such as land reclamation and landfill construction, made the soil looser and more compressible beneath later buildings,” wrote the Wednesday Sally Younger of NASA’s Earth Science News Team.
The study found that Arthur Ashe Stadium, built on a landfill in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens, is sinking the fastest at 0.18 inches per year. On the other hand, Woodside in Queens is rising at 0.27 inches per year.