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Measurement of land subsidence in the Kashmar Valley, northeast Iran, using satellite radar interferometry.

Jan Anderssohn(1), Hans-Ulrich Wetzel(1), Thomas Walter(1) and Mahdi Motagh(1)

(1) GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam, Telegrafenberg A17, 14473 Potsdam, Germany


We use Satellite radar interferometry (InSAR) to monitor rapid land subsidence in Kashmar Valley, northeast Iran. We have utilized 22 ENVISAT SAR images between 2003 and 2006 and created 19 interferograms to map out the location, extent, magnitude and time evolution of groundwater-related deformation. InSAR results define a bounded, but non-uniform, pattern of surface deformation aligned NE-SW along the axis of the valley with a maximum amplitude of ~20 cm/year. We show that the pattern of surface deformation follows closely the trace of the old Cretaceous-to-Tertiary faults that evolved during the early alpine tectonic deformation. This observation is epitomising the significant structural control of the geometry of the aquifer basin and deformation behaviour during reservoir drainage. This study suggests that pattern of subsidence may allow depicting and even mapping faults buried beneath fluid reservoirs.


Keywords: ESA European Space Agency - Agence spatiale europeenne, observation de la terre, earth observation, satellite remote sensing, teledetection, geophysique, altimetrie, radar, chimique atmospherique, geophysics, altimetry, radar, atmospheric chemistry