Climatic Change

, Volume 115, Issue 3, pp 537–558

Evaluation of the combined risk of sea level rise, land subsidence, and storm surges on the coastal areas of Shanghai, China


DOI: 10.1007/s10584-012-0468-7

Cite this article as:
Wang, J., Gao, W., Xu, S. et al. Climatic Change (2012) 115: 537. doi:10.1007/s10584-012-0468-7


Shanghai is a low-lying city (3–4 m elevation) surrounded on three sides by the East China Sea, the Yangtze River Estuary, and Hangzhou Bay. With a history of rapid changes in sea level and land subsidence, Shanghai is often plagued by extreme typhoon storm surges. The interaction of sea level rise, land subsidence, and storm surges may lead to more complex, variable, and abrupt disasters. In this paper, we used MIKE 21 models to simulate the combined effect of this disaster chain in Shanghai. Projections indicate that the sea level will rise 86.6 mm, 185.6 mm, and 433.1 mm by 2030, 2050, and 2100, respectively. Anthropogenic subsidence is a serious problem. The maximum annual subsidence rate is 24.12 mm/year. By 2100, half of Shanghai is projected to be flooded, and 46 % of the seawalls and levees are projected to be overtopped. The risk of flooding is closely related to the impact of land subsidence on the height of existing seawalls and levees. Land subsidence increases the need for flood control measures in Shanghai.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Geographic Information Science of Ministry of EducationEast China Normal UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.USDA UV-B Monitoring and Research Program, Natural Resource Ecology LaboratoryColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA