Mexico City Is Sinking at an Alarming And Largely Unstoppable Rate, New Data FindsCARLY CASSELLA7 MAY 2021Mexico City, the most populous metropo...Mexico City Is Sinking at an Alarming And Largely Unstoppable Rate, New Data Finds
CARLY CASSELLA7 MAY 2021
Mexico City, the most populous metropolis in North America, has sunk too low for us to save it, according to new research.
After centuries of water drainage from underground aquifers, the lake bed on which this city sits has grown increasingly dry, causing the clay sheets to compress and crack at a largely unstoppable rate.
Not only does this put infrastructure at risk, it also threatens water security for millions of people.
Despite putting an end to groundwater drilling in the 1950s, 115 years of leveling data and 24 years of GPS data has found the city is continuing to drop at roughly the same rate.
In the northeast sector of the city - an area that is still not yet urbanized and where sinking rates have so far gone undetected - researchers have found the land is depressing at a rate of up to 50 centimeters a year.
"Even if water levels were to be raised, there is no hope for recovering the great majority of the lost elevation and the lost storage capacity of the aquitard," the authors write. An aquitard is a region that restricts groundwater flowing from one aquifer to another.