"Imagine Earth’s surface is like a stack of pancakes. The pancakes, or layers of soil and rocks, may appear fairly evenly stacked and fluffy. Over time though, the stack can become compressed, thinner and shorter.
Scientists observe this downward motion of land, called land subsidence, across the planet. While some regions of land experience uplift, many parts of Earth’s surface are sinking — fast. Scientists are especially concerned for sinking locations near the coast, which are at a higher risk for flooding as sea levels rise in a warming world. Hurricanes and extreme rainfall events can also bring more damage to such low-lying areas.
But understanding this slumping land motion is not simple, scientists say. Even within the same city, some regions may be sinking at faster rates than other areas."