Articles | Volume 9, issue 3
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 9, 647–661, 2009
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 9, 647–661, 2009

  04 May 2009

04 May 2009

Advanced interpretation of subsidence in Murcia (SE Spain) using A-DInSAR data – modelling and validation

G. Herrera1, J. A. Fernández2, R. Tomás3, G. Cooksley4, and J. Mulas1 G. Herrera et al.
  • 1Área de Peligrosidad y Riesgos Geológicos, Departamento de Investigación y Prospectiva Geocientífica, Instituto Geológico y Minero de España (IGME), Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología, c/Ríos Rosas 23, 28003 Madrid, Spain
  • 2Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Dept. Arquitectura de Comp. y CC. de la Comp., Móstoles, Spain
  • 3Departamento de Ingeniería de la Construcción, Obras Públicas e Infraestructura Urbana, Escuela Politécnica Superior, Universidad de Alicante P.O. Box 99, 03080 Alicante, Spain
  • 4Altamira Information, c/Còrsega, 381-387, 2n 3a, 08037 Barcelona, Spain

Abstract. Subsidence is a natural hazard that affects wide areas in the world causing important economic costs annually. This phenomenon has occurred in the metropolitan area of Murcia City (SE Spain) as a result of groundwater overexploitation. In this work aquifer system subsidence is investigated using an advanced differential SAR interferometry remote sensing technique (A-DInSAR) called Stable Point Network (SPN). The SPN derived displacement results, mainly the velocity displacement maps and the time series of the displacement, reveal that in the period 2004–2008 the rate of subsidence in Murcia metropolitan area doubled with respect to the previous period from 1995 to 2005. The acceleration of the deformation phenomenon is explained by the drought period started in 2006. The comparison of the temporal evolution of the displacements measured with the extensometers and the SPN technique shows an average absolute error of 3.9±3.8 mm. Finally, results from a finite element model developed to simulate the recorded time history subsidence from known water table height changes compares well with the SPN displacement time series estimations. This result demonstrates the potential of A-DInSAR techniques to validate subsidence prediction models as an alternative to using instrumental ground based techniques for validation.