Identifying natural and anthropogenically-induced geohazards from satellite ground motion and geospatial data: Stoke-on-Trent, UK

Jordan, Hannah; Cigna, Francesca; Bateson, Luke. 2017 Identifying natural and anthropogenically-induced geohazards from satellite ground motion and geospatial data: Stoke-on-Trent, UK. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 63. 90-103.

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Determining the location and nature of hazardous ground motion resulting from natural and anthropogenic processes such as landslides, tectonic movement and mining is essential for hazard mitigation and sustainable resource use. Ground motion estimates from satellite ERS-1/2 persistent scatterer interferometry (PSI) were combined with geospatial data to identify areas of observed geohazards in Stoke-on-Trent, UK. This investigation was performed within the framework of the EC FP7-SPACE PanGeo project which aimed to provide free and open access to geohazard information for 52 urban areas across Europe. Geohazards identified within the city of Stoke-on-Trent and neighbouring rural areas are presented here alongside an examination of the PanGeo methodology. A total of 14 areas experiencing ground instability caused by natural and anthropogenic processes have been defined, covering 122.35 km2. These are attributed to a range of geohazards, including landslides, ground dissolution, made ground and mining activities. The dominant geohazard (by area) is ground movement caused by post-mining groundwater recharge and mining-related subsidence (93.19% of total geohazard area), followed by landsliding (5.81%). Observed ground motions along the satellite line-of-sight reach maxima of +35.23 mm/yr and −22.57 mm/yr. A combination of uplift, subsidence and downslope movement is displayed. ‘Construction sites’ and ‘continuous urban fabric’ (European Urban Atlas land use types) form the land uses most affected (by area) by ground motion and ‘discontinuous very low density urban fabric’ the least. Areas of ‘continuous urban fabric’ also show the highest average velocity towards the satellite (5.08 mm/yr) and the highest PS densities (1262.92 points/km2) along with one of the lowest standard deviations. Rural land uses tend to result in lower PS densities and higher standard deviations, a consequence of fewer suitable reflectors in these regions. PSI is also limited in its ability to identify especially rapid ground motion. As a consequence the supporting geospatial data proved especially useful for the identification of landslides and some areas of ground dissolution. The mapped areas of instability are also compared with modelled potential geohazards (the BGS GeoSure dataset).

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 03032434
Date made live: 05 Jan 2018 15:40 +0 (UTC)

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