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Special Issue "Remote Sensing of Land Subsidence"

A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292). This special issue belongs to the section "Remote Sensing in Geology, Geomorphology and Hydrology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Gerardo Herrera

1) Earth Observation and Geohazards Expert Group (EOEG), EuroGeoSurveys, the Geological Surveys of Europe, Brussels, Belgium
2) Geohazards InSAR Laboratory and Modeling Group, Geological Survey of Spain (IGME), Alenza 1 28003, Madrid, Spain
Website 1 | Website 2 | E-Mail
Interests: landslides; subsidence; urban geohazards; mapping; monitoring; InSAR; modelling and forecasting
Guest Editor
Dr. Marta Béjar Pizarro

Geohazards InSAR laboratory and modeling group Geological Survey of Spain (IGME) Calle Alenza 1 28003 Madrid, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Interests: tectonics; volcanos; subsidence; InSAR; modeling
Guest Editor
Prof. Roberto Tomás

Department of Civil Engineering, University of Alicante, Campus de San Vicente del Raspeig s/n, 03080 Alicante, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Interests: landslides; land subsidence; geohazards; infrastructures; remote sensing; EO techniques

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Land subsidence resulting from multiple natural and human-induced processes is a global phenomenon, adversely affecting many regions worldwide. Population growth, increasing groundwater demand, and future climatic conditions are expected to intensify the problem. The mitigation of subsidence adverse consequences requires identifying and monitoring subsiding areas, understanding the factors that control the phenomenon, modelling its evolution and predicting its impact in densely populated urban areas.

Over the past two decades, Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) techniques have revolutionized the study of land subsidence induced by a wide variety of subsurface processes, including natural phenomena, such as faulting, folding, volcanism and dissolution in karst environments; or anthropogenic processes such as fluid extraction, mining activities and other processes involving the removal of a supporting volume from beneath an area.

We would like to invite you to participate in this Special Issue, which will focus on the application of Remote Sensing and Radar Interferometry (InSAR) techniques for the detection, characterization and modelling of land subsidence. Papers addressing vulnerability and impact assessment of subsidence in urban structures and infrastructures are also welcome. Submissions are encouraged to cover a broad range of topics, which may include, but are not limited to, the following land subsidence types: (i) tectonic subsidence; (ii) volcanic subsidence; (iii) subsidence due groundwater abstraction; (iv) mining subsidence; (v) subsidence due to groundwater dissolution; (vi) other subsidence phenomena.

Gerardo Herrera
Marta Béjar Pizarro
Roberto Tomás
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Remote Sensing is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • subsidence
  • InSAR
  • aquifer
  • mining activities
  • karst

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle SAR Interferometry for Sinkhole Early Warning and Susceptibility Assessment along the Dead Sea, Israel
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(1), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11010089
Received: 28 November 2018 / Revised: 19 December 2018 / Accepted: 2 January 2019 / Published: 7 January 2019
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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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Land Subsidence)
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Open AccessArticle Investigating Subsidence in the Bursa Plain, Turkey, Using Ascending and Descending Sentinel-1 Satellite Data
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(1), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11010085
Received: 29 November 2018 / Revised: 23 December 2018 / Accepted: 28 December 2018 / Published: 5 January 2019
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Abstract
We characterize and monitor subsidence of the Bursa Plain (southern Marmara region of Turkey), which has been interpreted as resulting from tectonic motions in the region. We quantify the subsidence using Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) time-series analysis. The Stanford Method for Persistent [...] Read more.
We characterize and monitor subsidence of the Bursa Plain (southern Marmara region of Turkey), which has been interpreted as resulting from tectonic motions in the region. We quantify the subsidence using Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) time-series analysis. The Stanford Method for Persistent Scatterers InSAR package (StaMPS) is employed to process series of Sentinel 1 A-B radar images acquired between 2014 and 2017 along both ascending and descending orbits. The vertical velocity field obtained after decomposition of line-of-sight velocity fields on the two tracks reveals that the Bursa plain is subsiding at rates up to 25 mm/yr. The most prominent subsidence signal in the basin forms an east-west elongated ellipse of deformation in the east, and is bounded by a Quaternary alluvial plain undergoing average vertical subsidence at ~10 mm/yr. Another localized subsidence signal is located 5 km north of the city, following the Bursa alluvial fan, and is subsiding at velocities up to 25 mm/yr. The comparison between temporal variations of the subsiding surface displacements and variations of the water pressure head in the aquifer allows estimation of the compressibility of the aquifer, α . It falls in the range of 0.5 × 10 6 2 × 10 6 Pa−1, which corresponds to typical values for clay and sand sediments. We find a clear correlation between subsidence patterns and the lithology, suggesting a strong lithological control over subsidence. In addition, the maximum rate of ground subsidence occurs where agricultural activity relies on groundwater exploitation. The InSAR time series within the observation period is well correlated with changes in the depth of the ground water. These observations indicate that the recent acceleration of subsidence is mainly due to anthropogenic activities rather than tectonic motion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Land Subsidence)
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Open AccessArticle Monitoring and Analysis of Surface Deformation in Mining Area Based on InSAR and GRACE
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(9), 1392; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10091392
Received: 14 July 2018 / Revised: 21 August 2018 / Accepted: 28 August 2018 / Published: 1 September 2018
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Abstract
To determine the relationship between underground mining, groundwater storage change, and surface deformation, we first used two sets of ENVISAT data and one set of Sentinel-1A data to obtain surface deformation in eastern Xuzhou coalfield based on the temporarily coherent point interferometric synthetic [...] Read more.
To determine the relationship between underground mining, groundwater storage change, and surface deformation, we first used two sets of ENVISAT data and one set of Sentinel-1A data to obtain surface deformation in eastern Xuzhou coalfield based on the temporarily coherent point interferometric synthetic aperture radar (TCPInSAR) technique. By comparison with underground mining activities, it indicated that the surface subsidence is mainly related to mine exploitation and residual subsidence in the goaf, while the surface uplift is mainly related to restoration of the groundwater level. The average groundwater storage change in the eastern Xuzhou coalfield from January 2005 to June 2017 was obtained through the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) data, and the results indicated that the groundwater storage changed nonlinearly with time. The reliability of the groundwater monitoring results was qualitatively validated by using measured well data from April 2009 to April 2010. Combining with time of mining and mine closing analysis, groundwater storage change within the research area had a strong correlation with drainage activity of underground mining. An analysis was finally conducted on the surface deformation and the groundwater storage change within the corresponding time. The results indicated that the groundwater storage variation in the research area has a great influence on the surface deformation after the mine closed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Land Subsidence)
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Open AccessArticle Decision Fusion of D-InSAR and Pixel Offset Tracking for Coal Mining Deformation Monitoring
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(7), 1055; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10071055
Received: 5 June 2018 / Revised: 21 June 2018 / Accepted: 25 June 2018 / Published: 4 July 2018
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Abstract
Ground surface subsidence is a universal phenomenon in coal mining areas which can cause serious damage to the surrounding environment. In this paper, we consider the use of differential interferometric synthetic aperture radar (D-InSAR), multi-temporal InSAR (MT-InSAR), and the pixel offset tracking technique [...] Read more.
Ground surface subsidence is a universal phenomenon in coal mining areas which can cause serious damage to the surrounding environment. In this paper, we consider the use of differential interferometric synthetic aperture radar (D-InSAR), multi-temporal InSAR (MT-InSAR), and the pixel offset tracking technique to monitor the surface deformation of a coal mining area. In this study, we use the two-pass D-InSAR method to generate 19 interferometric image pairs from 20 TerraSAR-X SpotLight images. The results show that D-InSAR can be used to obtain high accuracy surface deformation in the mining areas where there is no high gradient deformation, and the pixel offset tracking method offers advantages in those areas where high gradient deformation is found, but its performance is not stable. This means that the unilateral use of these technologies cannot obtain reliable subsidence information in mining areas. Therefore, it is essential to find a new way to integrate the respective advantages of these different methods. In this paper, a new fusion method combining the D-InSAR result with the offset tracking result based on a spatial decorrelation distribution map is proposed to obtain the subsidence results in a mining area. To ensure the reliability of the results, a decision rule is proposed for the spatial decorrelation distribution map, which is generated manually by union analysis in ArcGIS. In the experiments, the mean absolute error of the fusion result is 0.0748 m, while that of D-InSAR is 0.1890 m, and that of offset tracking is 0.1358 m. It is therefore clear that the proposed fusion method is more reliable and more accurate than the use of individual methods, and it may be able to serve as a reference in mining subsidence monitoring. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Land Subsidence)
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Open AccessArticle Long-Term Subsidence in Lava Fields at Piton de la Fournaise Volcano Measured by InSAR: New Insights for Interpretation of the Eastern Flank Motion
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(4), 597; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10040597
Received: 23 February 2018 / Revised: 10 April 2018 / Accepted: 10 April 2018 / Published: 12 April 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (48435 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction
Abstract
Long-term deformation often occurs in lava fields at volcanoes after flow emplacements. The investigation and interpretation of deformation in lava fields is one of the key factors for the assessment of volcanic hazards. As a typical Hawaiian volcano, Piton de la Fournaise volcano’s [...] Read more.
Long-term deformation often occurs in lava fields at volcanoes after flow emplacements. The investigation and interpretation of deformation in lava fields is one of the key factors for the assessment of volcanic hazards. As a typical Hawaiian volcano, Piton de la Fournaise volcano’s (La Réunion Island, France) main eruptive production is lava. Characteristics of the lava flows at Piton de la Fournaise, including the geometric parameters, location, and elevation, have been investigated by previous studies. However, no analysis focusing on the long-term post-emplacement deformation in its lava fields at a large spatial extent has yet been performed. One of the previous studies revealed that the post-emplacement lava subsidence played a role in the observed Eastern Flank motion by conducting a preliminary investigation. In this paper, an InSAR time series analysis is performed to characterize the long-term deformation in lava fields emplaced between 1998 and 2007 at Piton de la Fournaise, and to conduct an in-depth investigation over the influence of post-emplacement lava subsidence processes on the instability of the Eastern Flank. Results reveal an important regional difference in the subsidence behavior between the lava fields inside and outside of the Eastern Flank Area (EFA), which confirms that, in addition to the post-lava emplacement processes, other processes must have played a role in the observed subsidence in the EFA. The contribution of other processes is estimated to be up to ~78%. The spatial variation of the observed displacement in the EFA suggests that a set of active structures (like normal faults) could control a slip along a pre-existing structural discontinuity beneath the volcano flank. This study provides essential insights for the interpretation of the Eastern Flank motion of Piton de la Fournaise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Land Subsidence)
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Open AccessArticle 4D Monitoring of Active Sinkholes with a Terrestrial Laser Scanner (TLS): A Case Study in the Evaporite Karst of the Ebro Valley, NE Spain
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(4), 571; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10040571
Received: 7 March 2018 / Revised: 26 March 2018 / Accepted: 4 April 2018 / Published: 7 April 2018
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Abstract
This work explores, for the first time, the application of a Terrestrial Laser Scanner (TLS) and a comparison of point clouds in the 4D monitoring of active sinkholes. The approach is tested in three highly-active sinkholes related to the dissolution of salt-bearing evaporites [...] Read more.
This work explores, for the first time, the application of a Terrestrial Laser Scanner (TLS) and a comparison of point clouds in the 4D monitoring of active sinkholes. The approach is tested in three highly-active sinkholes related to the dissolution of salt-bearing evaporites overlain by unconsolidated alluvium. The sinkholes are located in urbanized areas and have caused severe damage to critical infrastructure (flood-control dike, a major highway). The 3D displacement models derived from the comparison of point clouds with exceptionally high spatial resolution allow complex spatial and temporal subsidence patterns within one of the sinkholes to be resolved. Detected changes in the subsidence activity (e.g., sinkhole expansion, translation of the maximum subsidence zone, development of incipient secondary collapses) are related to potential controlling factors such as floods, water table changes or remedial measures. In contrast, with detailed mapping and high-precision leveling, the displacement models, covering a relatively short time span of around 6 months, do not capture the subtle subsidence (<0.6–1 cm) that affects the marginal zones of the sinkholes, precluding precise mapping of the edges of the subsidence areas. However, the performance of TLS can be adversely affected by some methodological limitations and local conditions: (1) limited accuracy in large investigation areas that require the acquisition of a high number of scans, increasing the registration error; (2) surface changes unrelated to sinkhole activity (e.g., vegetation, loose material); (3) traffic-related vibrations and wind blast that affect the stability of the scanner. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Land Subsidence)
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Open AccessArticle Regional Land Subsidence Analysis in Eastern Beijing Plain by InSAR Time Series and Wavelet Transforms
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(3), 365; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10030365
Received: 25 December 2017 / Revised: 26 January 2018 / Accepted: 18 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
Land subsidence is the disaster phenomenon of environmental geology with regionally surface altitude lowering caused by the natural or man-made factors. Beijing, the capital city of China, has suffered from land subsidence since the 1950s, and extreme groundwater extraction has led to subsidence [...] Read more.
Land subsidence is the disaster phenomenon of environmental geology with regionally surface altitude lowering caused by the natural or man-made factors. Beijing, the capital city of China, has suffered from land subsidence since the 1950s, and extreme groundwater extraction has led to subsidence rates of more than 100 mm/year. In this study, we employ two SAR datasets acquired by Envisat and TerraSAR-X satellites to investigate the surface deformation in Beijing Plain from 2003 to 2013 based on the multi-temporal InSAR technique. Furthermore, we also use observation wells to provide in situ hydraulic head levels to perform the evolution of land subsidence and spatial-temporal changes of groundwater level. Then, we analyze the accumulated displacement and hydraulic head level time series using continuous wavelet transform to separate periodic signal components. Finally, cross wavelet transform (XWT) and wavelet transform coherence (WTC) are implemented to analyze the relationship between the accumulated displacement and hydraulic head level time series. The results show that the subsidence centers in the northern Beijing Plain is spatially consistent with the groundwater drop funnels. According to the analysis of well based results located in different areas, the long-term groundwater exploitation in the northern subsidence area has led to the continuous decline of the water level, resulting in the inelastic and permanent compaction, while for the monitoring wells located outside the subsidence area, the subsidence time series show obvious elastic deformation characteristics (seasonal characteristics) as the groundwater level changes. Moreover, according to the wavelet transformation, the land subsidence time series at monitoring well site lags several months behind the groundwater level change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Land Subsidence)
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Open AccessArticle Detection of Land Subsidence Associated with Land Creation and Rapid Urbanization in the Chinese Loess Plateau Using Time Series InSAR: A Case Study of Lanzhou New District
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(2), 270; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10020270
Received: 14 January 2018 / Revised: 29 January 2018 / Accepted: 7 February 2018 / Published: 9 February 2018
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Abstract
Lanzhou New District is the first and largest national-level new district in the Loess Plateau region of China. Large-scale land creation and rapid utilization of the land surface for construction has induced various magnitudes of land subsidence in the region, which is posing [...] Read more.
Lanzhou New District is the first and largest national-level new district in the Loess Plateau region of China. Large-scale land creation and rapid utilization of the land surface for construction has induced various magnitudes of land subsidence in the region, which is posing an increasing threat to the built environment and quality of life. In this study, the spatial and temporal evolution of surface subsidence in Lanzhou New District was assessed using Persistent Scatterer Interferometric Synthetic Aperture radar (PSInSAR) to process the ENVISAT SAR images from 2003–2010, and the Small Baseline Subset (SBAS) InSAR to process the Sentinel-1A images from 2015–2016. We found that the land subsidence exhibits distinct spatiotemporal patterns in the study region. The spatial pattern of land subsidence has evidently extended from the major urban zone to the land creation region. Significant subsidence of 0–55 mm/year was detected between 2015 and 2016 in the land creation and urbanization area where either zero or minor subsidence of 0–17.2 mm/year was recorded between 2003 and 2010. The change in the spatiotemporal pattern appears to be dominated mainly by the spatial heterogeneity of land creation and urban expansion. The spatial associations of subsidence suggest a clear geological control, in terms of the presence of compressible sedimentary deposits; however, subsidence and groundwater fluctuations are weakly correlated. We infer that the processes of land creation and rapid urban construction are responsible for determining subsidence over the region, and the local geological conditions, including lithology and the thickness of the compressible layer, control the magnitude of the subsidence process. However, anthropogenic activities, especially related to land creation, have more significant impacts on the detected subsidence than other factors. In addition, the higher collapsibility and compressibility of the loess deposits in the land creation region may be the underlying mechanism of macro-subsidence in Lanzhou New District. Our results provide a useful reference for land creation, urban planning and subsidence mitigation in the Loess Plateau region, where the large-scale process of bulldozing mountains and valley infilling to create level areas for city construction is either underway or forthcoming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Land Subsidence)
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Review

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Open AccessReview The Role of Earth Observation, with a Focus on SAR Interferometry, for Sinkhole Hazard Assessment
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(10), 1506; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10101506
Received: 1 August 2018 / Revised: 12 September 2018 / Accepted: 15 September 2018 / Published: 20 September 2018
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Abstract
Sinkholes are global phenomena with significant consequences on the natural- and built environment. Significant efforts have been devoted to the assessment of sinkhole hazards to predict the spatial and temporal occurrence of future sinkholes as well as to detect small-scale deformation prior to [...] Read more.
Sinkholes are global phenomena with significant consequences on the natural- and built environment. Significant efforts have been devoted to the assessment of sinkhole hazards to predict the spatial and temporal occurrence of future sinkholes as well as to detect small-scale deformation prior to collapse. Sinkhole hazard maps are created by considering the distribution of past sinkholes in conjunction with their geomorphic features, controlling conditions and triggering mechanisms. Quantitative risk assessment then involves the statistical analysis of sinkhole events in relation to these conditions with the aim of identifying high risk areas. Remote sensing techniques contribute to the field of sinkhole hazard assessment by providing tools for the population of sinkhole inventories and lend themselves to the monitoring of precursory deformation prior to sinkhole development. In this paper, we outline the background to sinkhole formation and sinkhole hazard assessment. We provide a review of earth observation techniques, both for the compilation of sinkhole inventories as well as the monitoring of precursors to sinkhole development. We discuss the advantages and limitations of these approaches and conclude by highlighting the potential role of radar interferometry in the early detection of sinkhole-induced instability resulting in a potential decrease in the risk to human lives and infrastructure by enabling proactive remediation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Land Subsidence)
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Other

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Open AccessCorrection Correction: Chen, Y., et al. Long-Term Subsidence in Lava Fields at the Piton de la Fournaise Volcano Measured by InSAR: New Insights for Interpretation of the Eastern Flank Motion. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 597
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11010030
Received: 18 December 2018 / Accepted: 21 December 2018 / Published: 25 December 2018
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Abstract
The authors wish to make the following corrections to this paper [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Land Subsidence)
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