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Subsidence and eustatism

Subsidence and eustatism also contribute to the phenomenon of high water.


The subsidence

The subsidence, i.e. the sinking of the land due to natural and anthropogenic causes, is primarily induced by the drawing of groundwater that in the past has been intense, especially in the industrial area of Marghera. From 1950 to 1970 the lowering of the soil in the areas surrounding Venice was approximately 12 cm.

The eustatism

The eustatism, i.e. the sea-level rising, is linked to climatic variations of the globe: from the beginning of the last century to the ’70s, the eustatic rise in Venice was 9 cm. Since 1970 the increase observed in Trieste, and thus independent of local subsidence, was approximately 5 cm.


These two processes have contributed to the change in mean sea level, which currently is about 26 cm (average of a recent period of ten years) higher than it was in 1897. The graph below represents the change of the sea level in Venice and Trieste from 1890 to 2015. In 2010 was reached a value of 40.1 cm, the highest ever recorded.

Changes of the mean sea level in Venice and Trieste
Trieste data: ISMAR-CNR Institute of Marine Science of Trieste. Venice data: from 1890 to 1922 come from various sources, from 1923 to 1982 ISPRA archive and from 1983 to 2015 ICPSM archive
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