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Multi-temporal InSAR evidence of ground subsidence induced by groundwater withdrawal: the Montellano aquifer (SW Spain)

Abstract

This study uses the InSAR technique to analyse ground subsidence due to intensive exploitation of an aquifer for agricultural and urban purposes in the Montellano town (SW Spain). The detailed deformation maps clearly show that the spatial and temporal extent of subsidence is controlled by piezometric level fluctuations and the thickness of compressible sediments. The total vertical displacement measured with multi-temporal InSAR, between 1992 and 2010, is 33 mm that corresponds with a decrease of 43 m in the groundwater level. This technique allows monitoring the evolution of settlement related to water level fall in an area where subsidence has not yet been reported by population or authorities through infrastructure damages and to discuss the effect of the aquifer recovery. This information is, therefore, valuable for implementing effective groundwater management schemes and land-use planning and to propose new building regulations in the most affected areas.

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Acknowledgments

SAR data are provided by the European Space Agency (ESA) in the scope of 9386 CAT-1 project. This research was supported by PRX 12/00297, ESP2006-28463-E, Consolider–Ingenio 2010 Programme (Topo-Iberia project) CSD2006–0041 (Consolider), AYA2010-15501 projects from Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (Spain). In addition, it was supported by the RNM-282 and RNM148 research groups and the P09-RNM-5388 project from the Junta de Andalucía (Spain). The first author has been also funded by a Juan de la Cierva grant (JCI-2011-09178) from Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación. Interferometric data were processed using the public domain SAR processor DORIS and StaMPS/MTI. The DEM is freely provided by © Instituto Geográfico Nacional de España. The satellite orbits used are from Delft University of Technology and ESA.

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Correspondence to Ana Ruiz-Constán.

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Ruiz-Constán, A., Ruiz-Armenteros, A.M., Lamas-Fernández, F. et al. Multi-temporal InSAR evidence of ground subsidence induced by groundwater withdrawal: the Montellano aquifer (SW Spain). Environ Earth Sci 75, 242 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-015-5051-x

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Keywords

  • InSAR
  • Radar interferometry
  • Subsidence
  • Deformation
  • SW Spain
  • Aquifer