Land Subsidence

Land Subsidence

In just 25 years the Mekong Delta, where there was no subsidence previously, has moved into the top three of rapidly-subsiding deltas.

Throughout the world, coastal and delta areas are confronted with land subsidence and we are feeling the consequences. After 1000 years of land subsidence in Netherlands, there are more and more places where we are reaching the limits of what the physical system can handle. In different areas around the globe, such as the Mekong Delta, human activities are causing the land to subside faster than climate change is pushing up sea levels. Levels of flood damage are rising and the risk of casualties is following. Land subsidence can also lead to major economic losses such as structural damage and high maintenance costs for roads, railways, dikes, pipes and buildings.

In many areas, people are coming to realise that something has to be done. Good data, innovative techniques and the understanding and acknowledgement of the land-subsidence problem will be needed to devise targeted strategies and solutions. It is the ambition of Deltares to establish a strong scientific base for land subsidence, and to use that science throughout the world in problem analysis and prediction models. This will allow us to establish a picture of the impact of land subsidence in a range of scenarios.