The International Panel on Land Subsidence (IPLS)

Uniting the global subsidence research community to combat relative sea-level rise at a global scale

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The IPLS welcomes experts from all disciplines related to coastal land subsidence, elevation dynamics and relative sea-level rise.

The IPLS aims to address critical knowledge gaps on coastal subsidence and relative sea-level rise: 

Sea-level rise (SLR) projections, such as those provided by the IPCC, are crucial for governments worldwide to assess SLR risks and develop effective coastal management plans. Although significant progress has been made in reducing uncertainties in global and regional SLR projections over the past few decades, considerable uncertainties still exist regarding coastal vertical land motion (VLM), relative SLR and elevation changes in densely populated deltas and coastal plains.

As a result, accurate estimates of future SLR and its potential impacts on vulnerable coastal communities require an improved understanding of VLM processes and the interactions between SLR and elevation changes. Addressing these challenges will require a coordinated effort involving researchers, policymakers, and coastal communities to develop innovative adaptation strategies that can reduce risks and enhance resilience in the face of uncertain and rapidly changing environmental conditions.


The primary objectives of the IPLS are to:

1. Foster collaboration among various research communities focused on coastal subsidence and relative SLR

2. Systematically consolidate existing knowledge and identify gaps in our understanding of these phenomena 

3. Produce the first assessment report that reviews the current state of research and contributions across different spatial scales

4. Develop a unified framework for combining vertical land motion and sedimentation dynamics across various scales and disciplines

5. Effectively integrate contemporary and projected subsidence and coastal elevation change into the IPCC's AR7 SLR report

The IPLS has ambitious goals in the coming years, with a vision similar to that of the IPCC. Our aim is to connect the diverse research communities focused on coastal VLM and become the leading global resource on contemporary coastal land subsidence and improved relative SLR projections for governments around the world. We are committed to raise awareness of subsidence on the international agenda, in close collaboration with existing initiatives like UNESCO LASII, integrate improved quantifications and projections with IPCC's SLR projections and communicate effective strategies for mitigation and adaptation to governments worldwide.

Want to know more? Read the IPLS White Paper

The following roadmap shows the proposed future steps towards the first Global Assessment Report on Land subsidence. 

Join the IPLS community and sign up to the mailing list here to stay up-to-date! 

The IPLS invites scientists from all disciplines who are working on coastal subsidence and relative sea-level rise to join the IPLS community. 

We value diversity and inclusivity and strive to foster a strong, forward-looking global scientific panel that can help shape the world's future in the coming decades. Early-career scientists and scientists from underrepresented countries are particularly encouraged to participate. 

To stay up-to-date with the latest IPLS initiatives and selected research advances in land subsidence, sign up to our mailing list. Subscribers will receive regular IPLS newsletters, invitations to (online) seminars and gatherings, and opportunities to contribute to the IPLS core activities. 

We highly value your thoughts and feedback, so please don't hesitate to get in touch with us. Together, we can make a significant difference in understanding and addressing coastal land subsidence. 

Contact: / @IPLSubsidence