Aquifer and Land Subsidence Interaction Assessment Using Sentinel-1 Data and DInSAR Technique

In ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information
Volume (Issue): 11 (9)
Peer-reviewed Article
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Climate change and overpopulation have led to an increase in water demands worldwide. As a result, land subsidence due to groundwater extraction and water level decline is causing damage to communities in arid and semiarid regions. The agricultural plain of Samalghan in Iran has recently experienced wide areas of land subsidence, which is hypothesized to be caused by groundwater overexploitation. This hypothesis was assessed by estimating the amount of subsidence that occurred in the Samalghan plain using DInSAR based on an analysis of 25 Sentinel-1 descending SAR images over 6 years. To assess the influence of water level changes on this phenomenon, groundwater level maps were produced, and their relationship with land subsidence was evaluated. Results showed that one major cause of the subsidence in the Samalghan plain was groundwater overexploitation, with the highest average land subsidence occurring in 2019 (34 cm) and the lowest in 2015 and 2018 (18 cm). Twelve Sentinel-1 ascending images were used for relative validation of the DInSAR processing. The correlation value varied from 0.69 to 0.89 (an acceptable range). Finally, the aquifer behavior was studied, and changes in cultivation patterns and optimal utilization of groundwater resources were suggested as practical strategies to control the current situation.