Persistent Scatterers Interferometry detects and measures ground subsidence in Lisbon(Article)

Remote Sensing of Environment

Journal Article

Results from the application of Persistent Scatterers Interferometry in Lisbon Metropolitan Area revealed two previously unknown subsiding urban areas: one (Laranjeiras) is located in the center of Lisbon; another (Vialonga) is to be found toward the North, in an industrial region crossed by Lisbon's main highway and railway lines. The two subsiding sectors are bordered by sharp velocity gradients, and the subsidence pattern appears partially delimited by mapped geologic faults. Surface geology and urbanization alone are unable to explain the phenomena. In the Vialonga area, the historical record of water pore pressure shows a clear decline of the levels (up to 65. m in 27. years), providing evidence of over-exploitation of groundwater resources. Limited information from wells drilled inside and outside the subsidence area points to a spatial correlation between the subsidence and the water pressure levels, and suggests that faults could be acting as hydraulic barriers in the aquifer system. The surface subsidence detected is probably caused by compaction of a clay-rich Oligocene-aged aquitard, led by over-exploitation of adjacent aquifers. The same Oligocene aquitard layer is present in the Laranjeiras area, immediately bellow a multi-layered sand-clay-limestone Miocene aquifer, but further work is needed to diagnose the possibility of over-exploitation of groundwater here. In this work we were able to independently confirm the PSI results, by comparing autonomous PSI results processed for the same geographical areas, and by comparing PSI with leveling and continuous GPS derived subsidence velocities, whose close match provided further ground validation of the space-borne PSI technique. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

L.G.S. Oliveira

M.J. Henriques

A.P. Falcão

J.N.P. Lima

G. Cooksley

A. Ferretti

A.M. Fonseca

J.P. Lobo-Ferreira


Year of publication: 2011


ISSN: 00344257


DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2011.04.021

Alternative Titles