Beijing – Slowly Sinking

In a recent study, it has been found out that Beijing, along with 45 other cities in China, are slowly sinking. The city is sinking by 11-centimeters, according to a new scientific research that was published just in the month of June of this year in the Remote Sensing publishing.

Beijing – Slowly Sinking

Beijing, and 45 Other Chinese Cities, is Slowly Sinking

As per the Chinese government, 46 cities around the nation, which includes Beijing, are now sinking into the ground. This instance was in the last decade alone as the city sank by 14-inches. Furthermore, the city continues to sink at a rate of 11-centimeters per year. The study was conducted by an international team of seven engineers and scientists which are based on InSAR radar technology, of which monitors the changes brought upon in land elevation

With regards to this sinking phenomenon, which is called subsidence, it does have a number of causes. For instance, there’s the rapid construction of large establishments, roads, and other infrastructure projects that did put a lot of weight onto the ground. Another reason is the excessive pumping of groundwater which is also a major dilemma that plagues locations that are thirsty for urban development but are struggling to keep up with the rising demand for water and the increase in population. With regards to these factors, it has been seen that Shanghai and Beijing are on the top list of overtaxed aquifers.

Because of the sinking soil, it did make an impact on other critical aspects with regards to city infrastructure. In an email that was written by the study’s authors and sent to the Guardian, it said the following: “We are currently carrying out a detailed analysis of the impacts of subsidence on critical infrastructure (e.g. high-speed railways) in the Beijing plain. Hopefully a paper summarising our findings will come out later this year.”

The city is currently concerned about the impact of subsidence that could have an effect on its trains, of which is a mode of transport that is being taken by a large number of the locale’s 20-million residents every day.

However, there could be hope for Beijing and other Chinese cities. Much of the “sinking feeling” is caused by poor enforcement of groundwater pumping regulations, in which it is seen to be an obvious area for improvement. The Chinese city is not the only location wherein potential solutions are being explored as Mexico City is looking for answers as well.


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Beijing – Slowly Sinking
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