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Press Release 12-065

Scientists Find Slow Subsidence of Earth's Crust Beneath the Mississippi Delta

But Gulf Coast sea-level rise rate five times higher now than in pre-industrial times

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Image of the coastline of Louisiana.

Geoscientists report new findings on sea level rise and coastal subsidence in Louisiana.

Credit: NOAA


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Aerial view of Delacroix, Louisiana.

Aerial view of Delacroix, Louisiana, mostly abandoned due to sea-level rise and wetland loss.

Credit: Tor Törnqvist


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Image of Torbjörn Törnqvist determining the elevation of a GPS-antenna in the Mississippi Delta.

Torbjörn Törnqvist determines the elevation of a GPS-antenna in the Mississippi Delta.

Credit: Juan Gonzalez


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Image of scientists looking at a core section from the study area.

Scientists studying coastal subsidence look at a core section from the study area.

Credit: Juan Gonzalez


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Image of two hands holding a core showing dark gray wetland soil, left, and lighter soil, right.

Dark gray wetland soil that formed some 3,000 years ago; it offers a view of past sea level.

Credit: Tor Törnqvist


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Image of two people standing next to a flooded highway in Louisiana.

Storm surge on a Louisiana highway shows the effects of rising sea levels.

Credit: NOAA


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