, Volume 71, Issue 1, pp 163-181
Date: 31 Mar 2013

Radar interferometry techniques for the study of ground subsidence phenomena: a review of practical issues through cases in Spain

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Subsidence related to multiple natural and human-induced processes affects an increasing number of areas worldwide. Although this phenomenon may involve surface deformation with 3D displacement components, negative vertical movement, either progressive or episodic, tends to dominate. Over the last decades, differential SAR interferometry (DInSAR) has become a very useful remote sensing tool for accurately measuring the spatial and temporal evolution of surface displacements over broad areas. This work discusses the main advantages and limitations of addressing active subsidence phenomena by means of DInSAR techniques from an end-user point of view. Special attention is paid to the spatial and temporal resolution, the precision of the measurements, and the usefulness of the data. The presented analysis is focused on DInSAR results exploitation of various ground subsidence phenomena (groundwater withdrawal, soil compaction, mining subsidence, evaporite dissolution subsidence, and volcanic deformation) with different displacement patterns in a selection of subsidence areas in Spain. Finally, a cost comparative study is performed for the different techniques applied.