Copernicus Sentinel-1 helps Denmark to monitor ground motion and infrastructure

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Published on 17 May 2021

In Denmark, land areas and infrastructure are undergoing subsidence depending on soil type and stability, and changing ground water levels and foundation. As of 2014, data from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites have been freely available—becoming a game changer for the growing needs for such measurements in Denmark, thus helping to develop a national monitoring program.

Although most land areas in Denmark are still rising as a result of the post-glacial rebound following the last glacial period, this is not always the case. More than 850 km² land areas are reclaimed low-lying land, most of which is protected by dikes and maintained by pumping and adjusting water levels.

This Copernicus Sentinel-1 InSAR dataset, acquired during 2014-2020 shows ground motion and movements in infrastructure throughout Denmark. Red dots are reference points. The dataset contain several million measurement points and are displayed in an online web interface with tools for data analysis and download.

Along the 8,750 km Danish coastline, over 1000 km of dikes play a vital role in relation to coastal dynamics and future climate mitigation. Cities, infrastructure and agriculture located on reclaimed or subsiding ground, often experience a variety of costly challenges.

Free and open Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data from the Sentinel-1 satellites of the European Union’s Copernicus Programme allow for an independent, uniform and systematic processing of ground deformation measurement.

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