A study published in the journal Earth’s future ensures that New York faces the risk of flooding due to the weight of its large skyscrapers. In particular, the Big Apple sinks every year Between one and two millimetersHowever, some areas are more affected than others.
To this we must add Sea level rise and increased hurricane intensity, which indicates an “accelerated problem in coastal and riparian areas”. The study explains that between now and 2050, sea level rise will range from 200 to 600 mm worldwide.
For New York, the city is between one and two millimeters above sea level The estimated fall is 2.1 millimeters per yearIt refers to the Big Apple Third place in the world in flood risk Coastal. In fact, since 1950, the water around the city has risen by about 22 centimeters. In total, the scientists calculated the mass of 1,084,954 buildings in New York’s five boroughs. The total weight is about 760,000 million kg, This is equivalent to about 140 million elephants.
“A deeply concentrated population of 8.4 million people, New York City faces varying degrees of flood risk. […] Not something to be immediately afraid of, though This process is ongoing, increasing the risk of flooding“, the researchers note.
Composition of New York soil
The soil of New York is made of an ale Complex glacial terrain What is included? sediments, ArenaDeposit ClayGlacial moraines and rocky outcrops, Among other things. He Weight of buildings This pushes all the elements down, especially affecting the sand and clay mix They increase the decline.
“The overall pressure exerted on the ground by large buildings contributes to subsidence not only by initial primary settlement that reduces soil compaction and voids.But secondary settlement may occur due to creep in clayey strata It can continue indefinitely,” the study notes.
Seawater can “corrode steel” and weaken the structure
On the other hand, increased building construction may increase subsidence by extracting groundwater. This, combined with rising sea levels, means an increased risk of flooding. “Additionally, repeated exposure of building foundations to salt water pReinforcing steel can rust and chemically weaken concrete, cause Structural weakness“, the researchers note.
Los Cyclone They can also do a disservice to the fabric of buildings. “In 2012, Hurricane Sandy forced seawater into the city, while 2021 saw heavy rainfall from Hurricane Ida. Excessive drainage systems “Mostly due to the large flow within the pedestrianized city,” the study explains.
“The softer the ground, the more compact the buildings. It’s not wrong to build such big buildings in New York, but we have to remember that every time you build something there. You push the soil a little more,” the scientists conclude.