|Is the weight of buildings in Venice the reason
the city gets floods every year? Is the city
|Question Date: 2019-05-17|
It's actually pretty complicated, based on what I
see from a quick internet search. Venice is
built on top of an underground aquifer (a cave
system filled with water). When industry began
draining the water out of the aquifer, the aquifer
took up less space and began to subside, causing
the land on top of it which Venice is built on to
sink. Now that we know this, Venetians are no
longer draining the aquifer, so the rate of
sinking is slowing down and will eventually stop.
This is a known problem in geological engineering:
draining water out of the ground will generally
cause the ground to sink and pumping water
into the ground will cause it to rise.
Earthquakes have happened as a result of this.
This is a very interesting article:
Venice still sinking .
The article says they had thought Venice had
stopped sinking, but now they see that Venice is
still sinking - plus the problem of sea level
"Venice is slowly tilting slightly to the east,
something scientists had never noticed before.
Venice's subsidence was recognized as a major
issue decades ago, when scientists realized that
pumping groundwater from beneath the city,
combined with the ground's compaction from
centuries of building, was causing the city to
settle. But officials put a stop to the
So the buildings are pushing the ground down,
along with other problems. It's an interesting
article - You'll probably like reading it. I'm
glad I saw Venice already in 1962 when I was a
Great question. The flooding in Venice is due
to a large number of reasons. Yes, the scientists
have found that the city is sinking roughly 2
millimeters per year, but it’s not because of
the weight of the buildings; it has to do with
plate tectonics and the fact that the Adriatic
plate (that Venice sits on top of) is
subducting below the Apennines Mountains
causing the city to sink and tilt east!
On top of that, a phenomenon called “aqua
alta” or “high water” causes super high water
rises in the Adriatic Sea, flooding the Venetian
Lagoon and the rest of the region. These flooding
peaks are due to phases of the moon, wind
strengths, rain levels, and rising sea-levels due
to climate change.
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