By Kenneth Richard on 9. February 2023
Scientists have combined remote sensing data with machine learning to determine the Venice coast “is stable, or mainly subjected to accretion in the period 2015-2019.”
Venice has been sinking into the sea (subsidence) at a rate of ~24 cm per century since the 19th century.
Fortunately, in recent decades the regional sea level rise has rapidly decelerated. The sea level rise rate was +2.5 mm/yr from 1872-1969 along the Venice coast, but then from 1970-2000 the sea level rise rate slowed to just +0.7 mm/yr (Munaretto et al., 2012).
Image Source: Munaretto et al., 2012
In the last few years (2015-2019) 83 km of Venice’s considered shoreline has been stable (36%) or growing (52%) in size (Fogarin et al., 2023). Just 5% of the Venice coast has been subjected to erosion.
Image Source: Fogarin et al., 2023
Coastal expansion trends have also been observed in the Aegean Sea along the border between Greece and Turkey. From 1975 to 2021, accretion processes have dominated, allowing the shoreline to expand seaward by about 3 m per year since 2000. There has been a total of 66 m of coastal expansion over this 46-year period (Kilar et al., 2023).
Image Source: Kilar et al., 2023
Another new study (Foti et al., 2022) from this region (Calabria, southern Italy) indicates coastal expansion has only begun in the last few decades. Prior to the 21st century the coast had been retreating into the sea. The trend reversal to shoreline advancement has been abrupt.
Image Source: Foti et al., 2022
Net coastal expansion has been ongoing across the globe, not just in the Mediterranean region. The global rate of shoreline growth has been 0.26 m/yr for the 3.5 decades from 1984 to 2019 (Mao et al., 2021).
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