Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

National geohazards mapping in Europe: interferometric analysis of the Netherlands

Gee, David; Sowter, Andrew; Grebby, Stephen; de Lange, Ger; Athab, Ahmed; Marsh, S.

National geohazards mapping in Europe: interferometric analysis of the Netherlands Thumbnail


David Gee

Andrew Sowter

Ger de Lange

Ahmed Athab

Professor of Geospatial Engineering


The launch of Copernicus, the largest Earth Observation program to date, is significant due to the regular, reliable and freely accessible data to support space-based geodetic monitoring of physical phenomena that can result in natural hazards. In this study, wide area interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) capability is demonstrated by processing 436 Copernicus Sentinel-1 C-Band SAR images (May 2015–May 2017) using the Intermittent Small Baseline Subset (ISBAS) method to produce a wide-area-map (WAM) covering the Netherlands and extending into neighbouring areas of Belgium and Germany. Ground deformation velocities from six interferometric stacks, containing over 19 million measurements, were mosaicked together to produce a seamless ISBAS-WAM over some 53,000 km2 achieving a ground coverage of 94%. The retrieval of low-resolution measurements over soft surfaces (i.e. agricultural fields, forests, semi-natural areas and wetlands) afforded by the ISBAS technique was crucial due the dominance of non-urban land cover. Across the WAM, the spatial distribution of deformations concurs with independent sources of data, such as previous persistent scatterer interferometry (PSI) deformation maps, models of subsidence and settlement susceptibility, and quantitatively with GPS measurements over the Groningen gas field. A statistical analysis of the velocities reveals that intermittently coherent measurements in rural areas can provide reliable, additional deformation information with a very high degree of confidence (5σ), much of which is spatially correlated to known deformation features associated with compressible soils, infrastructure, peat oxidation, oil and gas production, salt mining and underground and opencast mining.

Remotely derived deformation products, with near complete spatial coverage, provide a powerful tool for mitigation and remediation against adverse geological conditions to help in the protection of assets, property and life. The ISBAS-WAM demonstrates that routine generation of such products on a continental scale is now theoretically achievable, given the recent establishment of the Copernicus programme and the development of state-of-the-art InSAR methods such as ISBAS.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 19, 2019
Online Publication Date Feb 20, 2019
Publication Date Jun 5, 2019
Deposit Date Mar 21, 2019
Publicly Available Date Mar 21, 2019
Journal Engineering Geology
Print ISSN 0013-7952
Electronic ISSN 1872-6917
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 256
Pages 1-22
Keywords National geohazard mapping; Surface deformation; Interferometric SAR; Intermittent SBAS; Sentinel-1; Copernicus programme
Public URL
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations