Science Service System
You are here : Home : Proposals_Summary

Summary of Proposal GEO0468

TitleAssessment of residual coal mine subsidence and riverbank stability in an urban setting using X-band and C-band PSI.
Investigator Dehls, John - Geological Survey of Norway, Geohazards
Team Member
Mr Froese, Corey - Energy Resources Conservation Board, Alberta Geological Survey
Dr Larsen, Yngvar - Norut Northern Research Institute, Earth Observation
Mr Lauknes, Tom - Norut Northern Research Institute, Earth Observation
Mr Lewycky, Don - City of Edmonton, Engineering
Mr Dehls, John - Energy Resources Conservation Board, Alberta Geological Survey


The city of Edmonton is cut by the deeply incised valley of the North Saskatchewan River, and its tributary ravines. The soft rock and glacial soils that make up its riverbanks result in many geotechnical challenges. In addition, numerous seems of coal exposed along the river valley were mined up until the 1940's. These now abandoned mines extend under both downtown and residential areas. The objective of this project is to use both TerraSAR-X and Radarsat-2 data to detect and quantify residual subsidence related to the coal mines as well as instabilities along the riverbanks.


Differential SAR interferometry using both the short baselines subset (SBAS) method and the persistent scatterer interferometry (PSI) method will be performed. The effects of wavelength and spatial resolution will be investigated by using data from multiple sensors and acquisition modes.

Data requirements

In order to fully assess ground deformation over the year, we will require one full year of acquisitions, over the same area with the same beam mode. For Terrasar-X, this is approximately 33 scenes. We request StripMap mode, which has a similar resolution to the Fine Beam Radarsat-2 data we plan to compare with. The data should be Single Look Slant Range, with dual polarization.

The minimum requirements for this project are one year of data in one look direction. However, the project would be significantly enhanced with data from both ascending and descending orbits, with a relatively high incidence angle. This would double the number of scenes we are requesting, but would allow us to differentiate between vertical and horizontal components of movement.

The project would be further enhanced by SpotLite mode imagery over a sub-area. Since atmospheric corrections will be already calculated using the StripMap images, a smaller number of Spotlight mode images would be necessary. Fifteen to twenty images would be sufficient.


We will produce a ground motion map for each sensor and image type. We will also produce an interpreted map including geology and ground measurements. The final report will compare the results of using different frequencies and spatial resolutions. All results will be published in scientific journals.

Source of funding

The activities of this project will be part of existing projects, so no additional funding will be required. Software development is currently funded by the Norwegian Space Centre, Norut, the Geological Survey of Norway and the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute. The time devoted to the project by the project participants is funded by their institutions.

Back to list of proposals

DLR 2004-2016