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Sea Level Rise

Sea level Rise

I’m McKensie Daugherty, your host for on the ocean. Scientists have recorded a global rise in average sea level due to an increased volume of water in our oceans. The exact rate at which sea level rises can vary at specific locations, and depends on several factors. Along the Texas coast, the trend of sea level rise has been enhanced by the sinking of the ground level due to the compaction of soft ocean sediment.  In Galveston Bay, measurements from the Pier 21 tidal gauge show that the sea level is rising at a rate that is 3 times the global average. This high rate has been considered the standard rate of sea level rise for the entire Galveston Bay region, and preparations for future flooding in the area have been made based off this high rate of sea level rise. Researchers at Texas A&M University have found that within Galveston Bay, the ground is actually sinking at drastically different rates across the bay and is sinking fastest in an area where ocean sediment is thickest. This area of thick ocean sediment sits directly below the Pier 21 tidal gauge and only covers a small portion of Galveston Bay, which leads researchers to the conclusion that sea level is not rising as quickly within all portions of the bay as previously thought. Researchers plan to continue their studies in Galveston Bay to better understand the sinking of ocean sediments and to help prepare for future sea level rise along the Texas. This has been On the Ocean, a program made possible by the Department of Oceanography and a production of KAMU-FM on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station. For more information and links, please go to and click “On the Ocean”.

Script Author: Andrew Pekowski

Contributing Professor: Dr. Tim Dellapenna

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