Space geodesy for land subsidence hazards

Space geodesy for land subsidence hazards

Land subsidence is a major worldwide hazard that can result from natural processes such as landslides, earthquakes, and volcanoes, or from anthropogenic processes including extraction of groundwater, oil and coal. 

Our approach

Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) uses phase changes between two complex (magnitude and phase) radar images over a given area taken at different times to make an interferogram that measures the component of the surface displacement in the radar line of sight with millimeter precision over a wide area (e.g. 100km x 100km). We are developing advanced InSAR techniques (e.g. atmospheric correction models and time series algorithms) to improve the accuracy and reliability of InSAR for deformation mapping.

Why is this research important?

Space geodesy provides accurate data in support of basic research in the monitoring of land subsidence hazards, and leads to a better understanding of them. In the long term, this research not only benefits to the safety of the general public but also to sustainable economic development.


  • Dr Zhenhong Li

Research theme