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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  02 Apr 2020

02 Apr 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Evolution of surface deformation related to salt extraction-caused sinkholes in Solotvyno (Ukraine) revealed by Sentinel-1 radar interferometry

Eszter Szűcs1, Sándor Gönczy2, István Bozsó1, László Bányai1, Alexandru Szakacs3, Csilla Szárnya1, and Viktor Wesztergom1 Eszter Szűcs et al.
  • 1CSFK Geodetic and Geophysical Institute, Sopron, 9400, Hungary
  • 2Department of Geography and Tourism, Ferenc Rakóczi II Transcarpathian Hungarian College of Higher Education, Berehove, Transcarpathia, Ukraine
  • 3Institute of Geodynamics, Romanian Academy, Bucharest, Romania; Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania

Abstract. Rocksalt has remarkable mechanical properties and a high economic importance, however, this strength of salt compared to other rocks makes it a rather vulnerable material. Human activities could lead to acceleration of the dissolution of soluble rocksalt and collapse of subsurface caverns. Although sinkhole development can be considered local geological disaster regarding the characteristic size of surface depressions the deformations can result in catastrophic events. In this study we report the spatiotemporal evolution of surface deformation in Solotvyno salt mine area in Ukraine based on Sentinel-1 interferometric synthetic aperture radar measurements. Although the mining operations were finished in 2010 several sinkholes have been opened up since then. Our results show that even though the enormous risk managing efforts the sinkholes continue to expand with a maximum line-of-sight deformation rate of 5 cm/yr. The deformation time series show a rather linear feature and unfortunately no slowdown of the processes can be recognized based on the investigated 4.5 year-long data set. We utilized both ascending and descending satellite passes to discriminate the horizontal and vertical deformations and our results revealed that vertical deformation is much more dominant in the area. With the 6-day repetition time of Sentinel-1 observations the evolution of surface changes can be detected in quasi real-time which can facilitate disaster response and recovery.

Eszter Szűcs et al.

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Eszter Szűcs et al.

Eszter Szűcs et al.


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Latest update: 27 Nov 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Sinkhole formation and post-collapse deformation in Solotvyno salt mining area was studied where the salt dissolution due to water intrusion poses a significant risk. Based on Sentinel-1 data set remarkable surface deformation with a maximum rate of 5 cm/yr was revealed and it was demonstrated that the deformation process has a linear characteristic although the mining activity was ended more than 10 years ago.
Sinkhole formation and post-collapse deformation in Solotvyno salt mining area was studied where...