Venice has begun sinking again and is even tilting slightly eastward, new satellite measurements have revealed.
Despite previous studies suggesting the subsidence had levelled off, new research indicates that the lagoon city continues to sink an average of one to two millimeters (0.04 to 0.08 inches) a year. That's more than researchers previously thought.
"It's a small effect, but it's important," Yehuda Bock, a research geodesist with Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, in La Jolla, Calif., said.
With the Adriatic rising in the Venetian lagoon at the same rate, the combined effect is a 4mm (0.16 inches) a year increase in sea level. This means that Venice could sink up to 80 mm (3.2 inches) by 2032.
The study, which will be published March 28 in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, also found that the City of Water in northeast Italy is listing one millimeter or two (0.04 to 0.08 inches) eastward per year, meaning that the western part is higher than the rest.