Predicting Impacts

New Orleans Flood

The scientific challenge of this theme is to assess and predict impacts of subsidence and associated loss of ecosystem services in deltas.

Livability and resilience

These impacts not only affect livability in deltas but also potentially reduce a delta’s capability to adapt to and recover from external and internal forcing of change. If thresholds are crossed a delta system may collapse, thereby losing its valuable services.

Impacts of changing dynamics

Subsidence has a direct impact on dynamics of water, sediment, nutrients and vegetation, and hence on the boundary conditions of ecosystem functioning. We aim to assess and predict these changing dynamics and their impacts on water security including flood risk, food security, land use and land loss, and on socio-economic and livelihood conditions. 


Van Asselen, S., Karssenberg, D. & Stouthamer, E. (2011). Contribution of peat compaction to relative sea-level rise within Holocene deltas. Geophysical Research Letters 38, DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049835.

All publications