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  1. #1
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    Default New Orleans Sinking Faster Than Expected

    By SETH BORENSTEIN (AP Science Writer)
    From Associated Press
    May 31, 2006 12:05 PM EDT

    WASHINGTON - Parts of New Orleans are sinking far more rapidly than scientists first thought, more than an inch a year, new research suggests.

    That may explain some levee failures during Hurricane Katrina and raises more worries about the future.

    The research, being published Thursday in the journal Nature, is based on new satellite radar data for the three years before Katrina struck in 2005. The data show that some areas are sinking - from overdevelopment, drainage and natural seismic shifts - four or five times faster than the rest of the city. And that, experts say, can be deadly.

    "My concern is the very low-lying areas," said lead author Tim Dixon, a University of Miami geophysicist. "I think those areas are death traps. I don't think those areas should be rebuilt."

    For years, scientists figured New Orleans on average was sinking about one-fifth of an inch a year based on 100 measurements of the region, Dixon said. The new data from 150,000 measurements taken from space finds that about 10 percent to 20 percent of the region had yearly subsidence in the inch-a-year range, he said.

    As the grounds in those rapidly sinking areas shift downward, the protection from levees also falls, scientists and engineers said.

    For example, the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, built more than three decades ago, has sunk by more than 3 feet since its construction, Dixon said. That, he added, explained why water poured over the levee and part of it failed.

    "The people in St. Bernard got wiped out because the levee was too low," said co-author Roy Dokka, director of the Louisiana Spatial Center at Louisiana State University. "It's as simple as that."

    The subsidence "is making the land more vulnerable; it's also screwed up our ability to figure out where the land is," Dokka said. And it means some evacuation roads, hospitals and shelters are further below sea level than emergency planners thought, he said.

    So when government officials talk of rebuilding levees to pre-Katrina levels, it may really still be several feet below what's needed, Dokka and others say.

    "Levees that are subsiding at a high rate are prone to failure," Dixon said.

    The federal government, especially the Army Corps of Engineers, hasn't taken the dramatic sinking into account in rebuilding plans, said University of Berkeley engineering professor Bob Bea, part of an independent National Academy of Sciences-Berkeley team that analyzed the levee failures during Katrina.

    "You have to change how you provide short- and long-term protection," said Bea, a former engineer in New Orleans. He said plans for concrete walls don't make sense because they sink and can't be easily added onto. In California, engineers are experimenting with lighter weight reinforced foam-middle levee walls, he said.

    Dixon and his co-author Dokka disagree on the major causes of New Orleans not-so-slow falling into the Gulf of Mexico.

    Dixon blames overdevelopment and drainage of marshlands, saying "all the problems are man-made; before people settled there in the 1700s, this area was at sea level."

    But Dokka said much of the sinking is because of natural seismic shifts that have little to do with construction.

    All is not completely lost, Dokka said. Smarter construction can buy New Orleans some time.

    "We've made the pact with the devil by moving down here," he said. "If we do things right, we probably can get another 100-200-300 years out of this area."


    Maybe we should start gradually moving New Orleans to the other side of Ponchartrain and up the river?

  2. #2
    Hang 'Em High janthraxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy007


    That may explain some levee failures during Hurricane Katrina and raises more worries about the future.
    LOL! Or maybe it was the fact that areas of the levees weren't built to nearly the levels they were supposed to...
    "Suck a fat one, faggot."
    -MikeL, showing off that sharp wit of his.

    "You may recognize some of these chemicals. Let's start with cyanide...The one the Aum Shinrikyo cult attempted to use to commit mass murder in a Tokyo subway in May 1995...The same cyanide produced routinely--1.4 million tons per year--for use in the production of plastics, adhesives, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and so on. It seems that those who put small amounts of cyanide in subways are terrorists. But those who produce it in mass quantities and contaminate broad reaches of soil, water, and air, killing countless living beings, are not terrorists, but rather capitalists, and are counted among the finest and most powerful people on the planet."

    -Derrick Jensen, "What We Leave Behind"

    "You know what's weird to me is Christians who are against the death penalty. After all, if it weren't for the death penalty, we wouldn't celebrate Easter!"

    -the late, great, Bill Hicks

  3. #3
    Eruption KleeHee's Avatar
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    When Ray Nagin got reelected, the city itself must have just given up.
    The only adventures I regret
    are the ones I missed,
    and the thought of all the pretty girls
    I never tried to kiss.
    -DLR

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk smithjc's Avatar
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    Well that explains all the weird maps the psychics were showing way back when of the new coastlines in the USA. It seemed to involve a lot of water.
    RIP - Classic Van Halen

    "A lot of people take Van Halen more seriously than we do." The Diamond One



  5. #5
    Hang 'Em High janthraxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KleeHee
    When Ray Nagin got reelected, the city itself must have just given up.
    I still don't know how he managed to swing that one.
    Last edited by janthraxx; 05.31.06 at 12:04 PM.
    "Suck a fat one, faggot."
    -MikeL, showing off that sharp wit of his.

    "You may recognize some of these chemicals. Let's start with cyanide...The one the Aum Shinrikyo cult attempted to use to commit mass murder in a Tokyo subway in May 1995...The same cyanide produced routinely--1.4 million tons per year--for use in the production of plastics, adhesives, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and so on. It seems that those who put small amounts of cyanide in subways are terrorists. But those who produce it in mass quantities and contaminate broad reaches of soil, water, and air, killing countless living beings, are not terrorists, but rather capitalists, and are counted among the finest and most powerful people on the planet."

    -Derrick Jensen, "What We Leave Behind"

    "You know what's weird to me is Christians who are against the death penalty. After all, if it weren't for the death penalty, we wouldn't celebrate Easter!"

    -the late, great, Bill Hicks

  6. #6
    Atomic Punk smithjc's Avatar
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    I think the quote says it all. They gave up.
    RIP - Classic Van Halen

    "A lot of people take Van Halen more seriously than we do." The Diamond One



  7. #7
    Eruption KleeHee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smithjc
    I think the quote says it all. They gave up.
    Well, what I meant was that the streets and buildings gave up and quit fighting their march to hell.
    The only adventures I regret
    are the ones I missed,
    and the thought of all the pretty girls
    I never tried to kiss.
    -DLR

  8. #8
    Atomic Punk smithjc's Avatar
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    I think maybe the people gave up as well tho. Some of them anyways. I know the people that have lived there for generations will never leave.
    RIP - Classic Van Halen

    "A lot of people take Van Halen more seriously than we do." The Diamond One



  9. #9
    Hang 'Em High janthraxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smithjc
    I think maybe the people gave up as well tho. Some of them anyways. I know the people that have lived there for generations will never leave.
    Hearing some of these people talk, their spirits are just astounding. One guy told me that, before returning, he felt he'd die if he stayed away any longer.
    "Suck a fat one, faggot."
    -MikeL, showing off that sharp wit of his.

    "You may recognize some of these chemicals. Let's start with cyanide...The one the Aum Shinrikyo cult attempted to use to commit mass murder in a Tokyo subway in May 1995...The same cyanide produced routinely--1.4 million tons per year--for use in the production of plastics, adhesives, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and so on. It seems that those who put small amounts of cyanide in subways are terrorists. But those who produce it in mass quantities and contaminate broad reaches of soil, water, and air, killing countless living beings, are not terrorists, but rather capitalists, and are counted among the finest and most powerful people on the planet."

    -Derrick Jensen, "What We Leave Behind"

    "You know what's weird to me is Christians who are against the death penalty. After all, if it weren't for the death penalty, we wouldn't celebrate Easter!"

    -the late, great, Bill Hicks

  10. #10
    Baluchitherium mistere's Avatar
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    It's because it's made of chocolate.

  11. #11
    Atomic Punk smithjc's Avatar
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    RIP - Classic Van Halen

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  12. #12
    Hang 'Em High janthraxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mistere
    It's because it's made of chocolate.
    This particular fellow was rather heavyset...
    "Suck a fat one, faggot."
    -MikeL, showing off that sharp wit of his.

    "You may recognize some of these chemicals. Let's start with cyanide...The one the Aum Shinrikyo cult attempted to use to commit mass murder in a Tokyo subway in May 1995...The same cyanide produced routinely--1.4 million tons per year--for use in the production of plastics, adhesives, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and so on. It seems that those who put small amounts of cyanide in subways are terrorists. But those who produce it in mass quantities and contaminate broad reaches of soil, water, and air, killing countless living beings, are not terrorists, but rather capitalists, and are counted among the finest and most powerful people on the planet."

    -Derrick Jensen, "What We Leave Behind"

    "You know what's weird to me is Christians who are against the death penalty. After all, if it weren't for the death penalty, we wouldn't celebrate Easter!"

    -the late, great, Bill Hicks

  13. #13
    Atomic Punk
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    See, if I were President, I'd rebuild New Orleans to be a modern Venice and then flood the whole city.
    "Nothing is ever what it seems but everything is exactly what it is." - B. Banzai


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  14. #14
    Atomic Punk Raldo's Avatar
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    Stuff like this is happening yet they want to make sure the Saints are playing at home this year.

    Sorry to be cynical but that city needs an overhaul before more lives are lost or destroyed.
    Remember the Heroes - 9/11/01

    In 2012, the phoenix has risen!!

    "High speed, low drag."

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  15. #15
    Atomic Punk ZeoBandit's Avatar
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    Sooner or later, New Orleans will just come out in China, and all will be right with the world again.
    "What we are dealing with here, is a complete lack of respect for the law" - Jackie Gleason, Smokey and the Bandit

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