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Supporting energy regulation by monitoring land motion on a regional and national scale: a case study of Scotland

Sowter, Andrew; Athab, Ahmed; Novellino, Alessandro; Grebby, Stephen; Gee, David

Authors

Andrew Sowter

Ahmed Athab

Alessandro Novellino

Stephen Grebby

David Gee



Abstract

The advent of new satellite and data processing techniques have meant that routine, operational and reliable surveys of land motion on a regional and national scale are now possible. In this paper, we apply a novel satellite remote sensing technique, the Intermittent Small Baseline Subset method, to data from a new satellite mission, Sentinel-1, and demonstrate that a wide area map of ground deformation can be generated that supports the regulation of a range of energy related activities. The area for the demonstration is mainland Scotland (75,000 km2) and the land motion map required the processing of some 627 images acquired from March 2015 to April 2017. The results show that land motion is encountered almost everywhere across Scotland, dominated by subsidence over peatland areas. However, many other phenomena are also encountered including landslides and deformation associated with mining and civil engineering activities. Considering specifically Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence areas offered under the 14th Onshore Licensing Round in the UK, examples of the types of land motion are shown, including an example related to soil restoration by a wind farm. It is demonstrated that, in Scotland at least, almost all licence areas contain deformation of one form or another and, furthermore, the causes of that subsidence are dynamic and likely to be changing from year-to-year. Therefore, maps like this are likely to be of enormous use in a regulatory framework to scope out pre-existing problems in a licence area and to ensure that the correct monitoring framework is put in place once activities begin. They can also provide evidence of good practice and give assurance against litigation by third parties.

Journal Article Type Article
Journal Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part A: Journal of Power and Energy
Print ISSN 0957-6509
Electronic ISSN 0957-6509
Publisher SAGE Publications (UK and US)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
APA6 Citation Sowter, A., Athab, A., Novellino, A., Grebby, S., & Gee, D. (in press). Supporting energy regulation by monitoring land motion on a regional and national scale: a case study of Scotland. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part A: Journal of Power and Energy, doi:10.1177/0957650917737225
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/0957650917737225
Keywords Earth observation, energy policies, interferometric synthetic aperture radar, power: environmental aspects
Publisher URL https://doi.org/10.1177/0957650917737225
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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