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Gondoliers in Venice, Italy may have some new canals to row down in the coming decades. In a new study, researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the University of Miami, along with Italian geologists, found that the City is sinking into the Venice Lagoon.

The findings debunk recent claims that the "City of Bridges" had a solid footing once city officials stopped pumping groundwater from beneath the City.

“Venice appears to be continuing to subside, at a rate of about 2 millimeters a year. It’s a small effect, but it’s important," says Yehuda Bock, researcher and chief author of a research paper on Venice's slide into the lagoon.

Due to rising sea levels, Bock says the City is sinking at an expedited rate, and in 20 years an additional 3.2 inches of elevation could be lost.

Bock and his colleagues blamed the settling on plate tectonics, specifically movements in the Adriatic plate. The findings will be printed in the journal of the American Geophysical Union on March 28.

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*photo by Aimee Hargrove*

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