Survey gives Gulf states that sinking feeling

Two decades' worth of measurements by the National Geodetic Survey show coastal states steadily sinking into the Gulf of Mexico.

NGS and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials, speaking earlier this month at the National Hurricane Conference in New Orleans, said land there could subside as much as a foot or more over the next decade.

NGS scientists and Louisiana State University's Spatial Reference Center estimated that 15,000 square miles of Louisiana will be at or below sea level within 70 years. Subsidence has already caused parts of some cities such as New Orleans to sink several feet below sea level, they said.

NGS director Charlie Challstrom said the agency will combine its Global Positioning System real-time kinematic analysis 'with the National Weather Service's storm track and surge projections' to estimate the impact of storms and flooding on coastal communities.

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