Friday, 25 June 2021 15:13

Scientists and engineers will examine potential role that rising sea levels contributed to Florida condo collapse

Washington Post: Sea level rise will be investigated as one possible factor in Florida condo collapse

There is no direct evidence yet that increased subsidence on a Florida barrier island caused by rising sea levels and saltwater intrusion contributed to the devastating collapse of an ocean-front condo complex near Miami, but the possibility will be examined in coming weeks and months.

Rising sea levels threaten seaside properties on an increasing scale, undermining the unstable land on which they sit and further contributing to erosion of steel and concrete.

In the case of Champlain Towers South, developers used fill from denuded mangrove stands to support the 12-story building, which was built in 1981.

“Land subsidence is a gradual settling or sudden sinking of the surface when material that supports it is displaced or removed, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Erosion and the disappearance of groundwater are two of several factors that cause it,” the Washington Post reported.

A least one engineer has said the collapse could be related to a structural problem, not subsidence. The investigation continues, as does the search for bodies.