Large-scale urbanization has brought about severe ground subsidence in Kunming (China), threatening the stability of urban infrastructure. Mapping of the spatiotemporal variations of ground deformation is urgently needed, along with summarization of the causes of the subsidence over Kunming with the purpose of disaster prevention and mitigation. In this study, for the first time, a multi-temporal interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) technique with L-band Advanced Land Observation Satellite (ALOS-1) and X-band Constellation of Small Satellites for Mediterranean basin Observation (COSMO-SkyMed) data was applied to Kunming to derive the time series deformation from 2007 to 2016. The annual deformation velocity revealed two severe subsiding regions in Kunming, with a maximum subsidence of 35 mm/y. The comparison of the deformation between InSAR and leveling showed root-mean-square error (RMSE) values of about 4.5 mm for the L-band and 3.7 mm for the X-band, indicating that our results were reliable. We also found that the L-band illustrated a larger amount of subsidence than the X-band in the tested regions. This difference was mainly caused by the different synthetic aperture radar (SAR)-acquired times and imaging geometries between the L- and X-band SAR images. The vertical time series deformation over two severe subsiding regions presented an approximate linear variation with time, where the cumulative subsidence reached 209 mm during the period of 2007–2016. In view of relevant analyses, we found that the subsidence in Kunming was the result of soft soil consolidation, building load, and groundwater extraction. Our results may provide scientific evidence regarding the sound management of urban construction to mitigate potential damage to infrastructure and the environment.
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