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Geosciences 2017, 7(3), 85; doi:10.3390/geosciences7030085

Ground Motion in Areas of Abandoned Mining: Application of the Intermittent SBAS (ISBAS) to the Northumberland and Durham Coalfield, UK

1
Nottingham Geospatial Institute, University of Nottingham, Triumph Road, Nottingham, NG7 2TU, UK
2
British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottinghamshire, NG12 5GG, UK
3
Geomatic Ventures Limited, Nottingham Geospatial Building, Triumph Road, Nottingham, NG7 2TU, UK
4
Coal Authority, 200 Lichfield Lane, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire NG18 4RG, UK
Present address: Italian Space Agency (ASI), Via del Politecnico snc, 00133 Rome, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 June 2017 / Revised: 15 August 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 13 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Observing Geohazards from Space)
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Abstract

In this paper, we investigate land motion and groundwater level change phenomena using differential interferometric synthetic aperture radar (DInSAR) over the Northumberland and Durham coalfield in the United Kingdom. The study re-visits earlier research that applied a persistent scatterers interferometry (PSI) technique to ERS (European Remote Sensing) and ENVISAT (Environmental Satellite) data. Here, the Intermittent Small Baseline Subset (ISBAS) DInSAR technique is applied to ERS, ENVISAT and Sentinel-1 SAR datasets covering the late 1990s, the 2000s and the mid-2010s, respectively, to increase spatial coverage, aid the geological interpretation and consider the latest Sentinel-1 data. The ERS data identify surface depressions in proximity to former collieries, while all three data sets ascertain broad areas are experiencing regional scale uplift, often occurring in previously mined areas. Uplift is attributed to increases in pore pressure in the overburden following the cessation of groundwater pumping after mine closure. Rising groundwater levels are found to correlate to ground motion measurements at selected monitoring sites, most notably in the surrounding area of Ashington. The area is divided by an impermeable EW fault; to the south, surface heave was identified as groundwater levels rose in the 1990s, whereas to the north, this phenomenon occurred two decades later in the 2010s. The data emphasize the complexity of the post-mining surface and subsurface environment and highlight the benefit that InSAR, utilizing the ISBAS technique, can provide in its characterization. View Full-Text
Keywords: ground motion; subsidence; coal mining; DInSAR; Intermittent SBAS ground motion; subsidence; coal mining; DInSAR; Intermittent SBAS
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Gee, D.; Bateson, L.; Sowter, A.; Grebby, S.; Novellino, A.; Cigna, F.; Marsh, S.; Banton, C.; Wyatt, L. Ground Motion in Areas of Abandoned Mining: Application of the Intermittent SBAS (ISBAS) to the Northumberland and Durham Coalfield, UK. Geosciences 2017, 7, 85.

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