San Francisco
This satellite view of the San Francisco, California Bay area was released by NASA. (Representational Image)Reuters

One of the most renowned buldings in the San Francisco Bay Area is the Millennium Tower and now satellites in outer space have confirmed that it is sinking. But it's not just the Millennium Tower that is going down, there are also other sites in the Bay Area that are sinking.

The Millenium Tower is a luxurious 58-story, 419-residence building which was completed in 2009. "The Sentinel-1 satellites have shown that the Millennium Tower skyscraper in the center of San Francisco is sinking by a few centimetres a year. Studying the city is helping scientists to improve the monitoring of urban ground movements, particularly for subsidence hot spots in Europe," states a study by the European Space Agency (ESA).

Foxnow.com reports that scientist Petar Marinkovic analyzed the data for the ESA. On Monday, he said the report shows that the Millennium Tower sunk 40 to 45 millimeters — or 1.6 to 1.8 inches — over a one-year period. But in the last 17 months ending September, it has sunk 70 to 75 mm (2.6 to 2.9 inches). This is double than the previous year. So far it has sunk 16 inches and it is also now tilting at about two inches.

NBC also reported that, "ESA collaborated with Norut, PPO.labs and the Geological Survey of Norway to map other areas in the wider San Francisco that are moving: this includes buildings along the Hayward Fault as well gradual sinking of the newly reclaimed land in the San Rafael Bay."

The residents of the luxurious Millennium Tower have filed a $500 million class-action lawsuit against the developer, the transit authority, and other parties, reports Universe Today.

So what is causing these Bay Area sites to sink? Scientists believe that the building's supporting piles are not standing on solid bedrock.

Also read