The trendy tourism spot and home for millionaires in the Miami Beach region is in danger of collapse. Dr. Shimon Wdowinski’s research has focused on the development and use of space geodetic techniques that can very precisely detect small movements of the Earth’s surface. He told the Daily Mail in London, he knew immediately what building collapsed and killed many in Seaside, Florida.
Florida International University professor Dr. Shimon Wdowinski had studied the building report published last year that included Champlain Towers in Surfside Florida. He understands why buildings in Miami, Florida built on wetland are now sinking.
The threat of disappearing coastlines has alerted many to the dangers of climate change. Wetlands in particular—with their ability to buffer coastal cities from floods and storms, and filter out pollution—offer protections that could be lost in the future. According to the study, the Champlain Tower Condo building was sinking at a rate of about 2 millimeters a year in the 1990s because it sits on reclaimed wetlands.
The same report pointed out three other sites were sinking at a faster rate – another in Surfside, on Park View Island where there are homes and an elementary school nearby, and two in south Miami Beach in the Flamingo neighborhood.
This may only the beginning of much more to come for this trendy neighborhood, and the travel and tourism industry in Southern Florida.
The Champlain Tower Condo building in Surfside collapsed three days ago and may have killed hundred or more people that are currently reported missing in the rubble.
Dr. Shimon Wdowinski received a BSc in Earth Sciences (1983) and MSc in Geology (1985) from the Hebrew University (Jerusalem, Israel) and an MS in Engineering Sciences (1987), and a Ph.D. in Geophysics (1990) from Harvard University. He conducted postdoctorate studies at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (1990-1993); worked for a year at the Geological Survey of Israel (1993-1994); served for a decade as faculty at the Department of Geophysics and Planetary Sciences, Tel Aviv University, first as a lecturer (assistant professor, 1994-1998) and then as a tenured senior lecturer (associate professor, 1998-2004); and served for another decade at the Department of Marine Geosciences, University of Miami, first as an associate research professor (2005-2016) and then as research professor (2015-2016). He joined the Department of Earth and Environment, Florida International University, in 2016 as a tenured associate professor.
Dr. Shimon Wdowinski’s research has focused on the development and use of space geodetic techniques that can very precisely detect small movements of the Earth’s surface. He has successfully applied these techniques to study tectonic plate motion, earthquakes, land subsidence, sinkhole activities, wetland hydrology, climate change, and sea-level rise.
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