New Orleans

By: Becca Anselme

Why is New Orleans sinking?

Satellite images and observations show that New Orleans is sinking at a rate of 1 inch every year. As the years continue to go by, around 2,000 square miles of the land has been covered by water. The land has been sinking increasingly over the past 80 years caused by tectonic plates that have been shifting around, oil draining, ground water pumping, and weaker sediments.

How has Hurricane Katrina affected the land?

Over many years, scientists have realized that levees have been sinking 4 to 5 times faster than before Hurricane Katrina which shows that certain cities have been sinking a quarter of an inch less before Katrina hit. If Katrina had not happened, then it is possible that the sinking of New Orleans could be going down at a much slower rate, and would be less likely to be completely under water many years from now.

What movements have caused New Orleans to sink?

A well was set up as an underground experiment to show scientists that there is movements underground and could be helping to cause hurricanes and the sinking of New Orleans."Studies show that tectonic activity was responsible for 73% and 50% of the subsidence in those two periods; the rest was likely due to sediments compressing and recently deposited soils draining" (Dokka).

How has Hurricane Katrina affected the sinking of the land, and where people live?

After Hurricane Katrina, many people have experienced the loss of their homes and land. Over 50,000 homes had been destroyed and it is estimated that by 2095, New Orleans will be entirely under water. The city planner states that over 50,000 more homes will have to be bulldozed, and others will mostly be uninhabitable. After everyone's homes was destroyed, no one wanted to risk rebuilding if it was going to get knocked down later in the future.

Work Cited:

Dokka, Roy. "Why Is New Orleans Sinking?" Why Is New Orleans Sinking?Science Magazine, 28 Mar. 2006. Web. 04 Apr. 2016.


Schorn, Daniel. "New Orleans Is Sinking." CBSNews. CBS Interactive, 18 Nov. 2005. Web. 28 Mar. 2016.


Visser, Nick. "As Louisiana Sinks And Sea Levels Rise, The State Is Drowning. Fast." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 28 Aug. 2014. Web. 25 Mar. 2016.


Zimmermann, By Kim Ann. "Hurricane Katrina: Facts, Damage & Aftermath."LiveScience. TechMedia Network, 27 Aug. 2015. Web. 04 Apr. 2016.