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Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 115; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040115

A Study of Ground Movements in Brussels (Belgium) Monitored by Persistent Scatterer Interferometry over a 25-Year Period

1
Royal Belgium Institute of Natural Sciences, Geological Survey of Belgium, Jennerstraat 13, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
2
BATir Département, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), CP194/02, Avenue F.D. Roosevelt 50, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium
3
Département ARGENCO/Gemme—GEO3, Université de Liège (ULg), Allée de la Découverte, 9-Bat. B 52/, 4000 Liège, Belgium
4
Lyles School of Civil Engineering, Purdue University,West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 July 2017 / Revised: 4 October 2017 / Accepted: 22 October 2017 / Published: 8 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Observing Geohazards from Space)
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Abstract

The time series of Synthetic Aperture Radar data acquired by four satellite missions (including ERS, Envisat, TerraSAR-X and Sentinel 1) were processed using Persistent Scatterer interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) techniques. The processed datasets provide a nearly continuous coverage from 1992 to 2017 over the Brussels Region (Belgium) and give evidence of ongoing, slow ground deformations. The results highlight an area of uplift located in the heart of the city, with a cumulative ground displacement of ±4 cm over a 25-year period. The rates of uplift appear to have decreased from 2 to 4 mm/year during the ERS acquisition period (1992–2006) down to 0.5–1 mm/year for the Sentinel 1 data (2014–2017). Uplift of the city centre is attributed to a reduction of groundwater extraction from the deeper (Cenozoic-Paleozoic) aquifers, related to the deindustrialization of the city centre since the 1970s. The groundwater levels attested by piezometers in these aquifers show a clear recharge trend which induced the uplift. Some areas of subsidence in the river valleys such as the Maelbeek can be related to the natural settlement of soft, young alluvial deposits, possibly increased by the load of buildings. View Full-Text
Keywords: Persistent Scatterer Interferometry; Radar Interferometry; InSAR; uplift; subsidence; groundwater recharge; Brussels Persistent Scatterer Interferometry; Radar Interferometry; InSAR; uplift; subsidence; groundwater recharge; Brussels
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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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MDPI and ACS Style

Declercq, P.-Y.; Walstra, J.; Gérard, P.; Pirard, E.; Perissin, D.; Meyvis, B.; Devleeschouwer, X. A Study of Ground Movements in Brussels (Belgium) Monitored by Persistent Scatterer Interferometry over a 25-Year Period. Geosciences 2017, 7, 115.

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