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Remote Sens. 2019, 11(1), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11010089

SAR Interferometry for Sinkhole Early Warning and Susceptibility Assessment along the Dead Sea, Israel

1
Geological Survey of Israel, Jerusalem 95501, Israel
2
Dead-Sea & Arava Science Center, Massada 86910, Israel
3
School of Environmental and Earth Sciences, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv 6997801, Israel
4
Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, 00143 Rome, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 November 2018 / Revised: 19 December 2018 / Accepted: 2 January 2019 / Published: 7 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Land Subsidence)
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Abstract

During the past three decades, the Dead Sea (DS) water level has dropped at an average rate of ~1 m/year, resulting in the formation of thousands of sinkholes along its coastline that severely affect the economy and infrastructure of the region. The sinkholes are associated with gradual land subsidence, preceding their collapse by periods ranging from a few days to about five years. We present the results of over six years of systematic high temporal and spatial resolution interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) observations, incorporated with and refined by detailed Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) measurements. The combined data enable the utilization of interferometric pairs with a wide range of spatial baselines to detect minute precursory subsidence before the catastrophic collapse of the sinkholes and to map zones susceptible to future sinkhole formation. We present here four case studies that illustrate the timelines and effectiveness of our methodology as well as its limitations and complementary methodologies used for sinkhole monitoring and hazard assessment. Today, InSAR-derived subsidence maps have become fundamental for sinkhole early warning and mitigation along the DS coast in Israel and are incorporated in all sinkhole potential maps which are mandatory for the planning and licensing of new infrastructure. View Full-Text
Keywords: Dead Sea; sinkholes; COSMO-SKYMED; InSAR; subsidence; monitoring Dead Sea; sinkholes; COSMO-SKYMED; InSAR; subsidence; monitoring
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Nof, R.N.; Abelson, M.; Raz, E.; Magen, Y.; Atzori, S.; Salvi, S.; Baer, G. SAR Interferometry for Sinkhole Early Warning and Susceptibility Assessment along the Dead Sea, Israel. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 89.

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