Silicon Valley is at risk of being below sea level by 2100

The main cause is the rising sea level and the severely subsided city's lands.

San Francisco, USA, where Silicon Valley is located.

A new large area of the San Francisco Bay area is sinking while rising sea levels, according to a study published today in Science Advances journal. The results are derived from the InSAR observation satellite data for the period 2007-2011.

Some areas are submerged at a rate of 10mm per year, but a more worrying thing is that the sea level is by 3mm per year and there is no sign of stopping.

According to Dailymail, the ground in the San Francisco Bay area is at increased risk of subsidence due to the large area of land being built on natural mudflats and burial sites.


Combining the geological features of San Francisco Bay and rising sea levels, the heady land of the world's leading technology companies such as Apple or Google is in danger of becoming an undersea city in the future.

Lead author of the study, Manoochehr Shirzaei, assistant professor at the Arizona School of Earth and Space Exploration revealed: "The ground is falling, sea level is rising and floods are getting more and more inland." Most of the San Francisco Bay coast is sinking below 2mm a year, but in some areas the subsidence rate is up to 10mm/year or more."

Previous research has shown optimistic predictions that only about 51 km2of land area is at risk of flooding in 2100. However, based on the effects of coastal subsidence, they have increased the size of affected land to at least 125km2.

The places in the San Francisco Bay Area are at risk of sinking below sea level by 2100.

Even in case of high tides and storm surges, the land area is at risk of submergence can range from 130 -430 km2 by 2100.

Most endangered works are landfill sites or San Francisco International Airport, which handles more than 200,000 transports and about 56 million passengers each year. When sea water hits the mainland, the airport runway may be inundated and affect its ability to take off and land.

"There are a lot of estimates and models for sea level rise, but they are not enough because they do not take into account the change in elevation," said Dr Shirzaei.

Not all critical areas are landfills. Areas of rivers and streams that contain sludge flowing into the Bay show that groundwater levels are significantly reduced. Decrease of underground aquifers is also responsible for making the soil more easily submerged below sea level. The study will be an important source of data for local officials to plan emergency responses to future land subsidence and sea level rise in the future. This will also be a top concern for many high-tech companies such as Apple, Google and Microsoft if the companies want to maintain their existence as the world's long-established technological capitals.

By: Scarlet Johnson

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