Modelling groundwater rebound in recently abandoned coalfields using DInSAR

Gee, David; Bateson, Luke; Grebby, Stephen; Novellino, Alessandro; Sowter, Andrew; Wyatt, Lee; Marsh, Stuart; Morgenstern, Roy; Athab, Ahmed. 2020 Modelling groundwater rebound in recently abandoned coalfields using DInSAR. Remote Sensing of Environment, 249, 112021.

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Advances in differential interferometric synthetic aperture radar (DInSAR) processing algorithms, such as the Intermittent Small Baseline Subset (ISBAS), and increased data availability from SAR systems, such as Sentinel-1, provide the opportunity to increase the spatial and temporal density of ground deformation measurements. Such measurements, when combined with modelling, have the potential to make a significant cost-effective contribution to the progressive abandonment strategy of recently closed coalfields. Applications of DInSAR over coalfields have observed heave in coal measures rocks and temporal correlations between the rise of mine water and deformation time-series. The cessation of systematic dewatering can have a variety of detrimental impacts and knowledge of the time-scales (i.e. the rate of rebound) and structure of the mine system are crucial to the remediation strategy. Although mine plans and borehole measurements provide vital information in this regard, mine plans are often incomplete or inaccurate, whereas monitoring boreholes are spatially sparse. Consequently, groundwater can flow in unanticipated directions via goaf, mine shafts and roadways, making it difficult to determine where the impacts of rebound are likely to occur. In this study, ground deformation data obtained using ISBAS DInSAR on ENVISAT (2002–2009) and Sentinel-1 (2015–2019) data are used to develop a simple method to model groundwater rebound in abandoned coalfields. A forward analytical model based upon the principle of effective stress and mine water ponds is first implemented to estimate surface heave in response to changes in groundwater levels measured in monitoring boreholes. The forward model is then calibrated and validated using the ground deformation data. The DInSAR data were subsequently inverted to map the change in groundwater levels in greater detail across the coalfield and forecast surface discharges in order to support mitigation strategies.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 00344257
Date made live: 18 Sep 2020 13:48 +0 (UTC)

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