Saint Louis University

InSAR Monitoring of Geological Hazards

Faculty: Dr. Abuduwasiti Wulamu

Geological hazards, i.e., landslides and land subsidence, can cause a number of societal and environmental issues (e.g., building collapse, road damage, and groundwater contamination). In recent decades, and landslide and subsidence damage to structures has become increasingly common worldwide as new developments expanded over abandoned, long-forgotten mines. Conventional methods of monitoring geological hazards such as field surveying and GPS measurements are time consuming, expensive and prior knowledge is often necessary. In contrast, satellite based synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) interferometry offers the advantage of providing precise measurements of subsidence rates over a large geographic area at a very competitive cost.

This work involves developing low-cost, effective tools using InSAR and finite element modeling to monitor potential risk from long-term residual land subsidence and predicting impending collapse before it actually causes economic loss, helping property owners, insurance companies and policymakers charged with assessing risk related to abandoned coal mines.

The research was funded by Saint Louis University's Presidential Research Fund.


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