Sinking Bay Area could exacerbate risk of flooding in years to come


Researchers say that sinking land in the Bay Area will increase the risk of flooding predicted for 2100 due to rising sea levels.

Several locations, such as Treasure Island, Foster City and the San Francisco Airport could be at risk, according to researchers from University of California at Berkeley and Arizona State University.

These sinking land areas could nearly double the impact of flooding from sea level rise alone.

Original estimates predicted that 20 to 160 square miles of the San Francisco Bay could be flooded by 2100, based on the rate of sea level rise.

Taking into account subsidence, or the gradual sinking of land, researchers say this number could increase to between 48 and 166 square miles.

Even then, the number offered by scientists is only an average. If there are king tides, storms, or other scenarios of peak water-level change, scientists say the risk of flooding could be even higher.

"The ground goes down, sea level comes up and flood waters go much farther than either change would produce by itself," said author Manoochehr Shirza, a member of NASA's sea level change planning team and a former UC Berkeley postdoctoral fellow.

Researchers say city planners and local officials will use their findings to plan for the future and improve emergency response strategies.

— Bay City News Service


29 people like this
Posted by MV Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 9, 2018 at 12:45 pm

Between hypothetical flooding in 2100 and the drug dealers with loaded AR-15s living in RV's in my neighborhood, I'm more worried about the latter.

Like this comment
Posted by John Geibel
a resident of another community
on Mar 9, 2018 at 3:05 pm

If the water rises and the land sinks, common sense tells us that would lead to more rapid flooding. But is the land actually sinking? Did the land sink in the San Francisco earthquake or did it rise or was there any change in elevation of the land or only a large horizontal movement, northward on the west side of the fault and southward on the eastside of the fault?

Like this comment
Posted by Curious
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 10, 2018 at 9:52 am

Why do they high tech industries insist on building here?

10 people like this
Posted by Housing
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 10, 2018 at 11:13 am

I'm so glad we're going to fix our "housing imbalance" by building 10,000 housing units over land that will be flooded in a generations time. Way to go Mountain View City Council. You guys are so slick, nothing gets by you! ;)

Like this comment
Posted by Sailor
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Mar 10, 2018 at 3:26 pm

Everyone should by a boat.

12 people like this
Posted by Juan
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Mar 10, 2018 at 4:47 pm

This city council has the chance to go down in history as the worst in city history. Not only did they give away our water rights for pennies on the dollar, they approved construction of thousands of new homes that will soon be flooded. These historically bad decisions will hurt Mountain View for decades and centuries to come.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


To post your comment, please login or register at the top of the page. This topic is only for those who have signed up to participate by providing their email address and establishing a screen name.

Opa closes in Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 6 comments | 2,745 views

Could You Be In An Abusive Relationship and Not Know It?
By Chandrama Anderson | 6 comments | 1,621 views


Short story writers wanted!

The 32nd Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult (15-17) and Teen (12-14) categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by April 6. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

View Details