Monitoring of land subsidence and ground fissures in Xian, China 2005-2006: Mapped by sar Interferometry

C. Y. Zhao, Q. Zhang, Xiaoli Ding, Z. Lu, C. S. Yang, X. M. Qi

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


The City of Xian, China, has been experiencing significant land subsidence and ground fissure activities since 1960s, which have brought various severe geohazards including damages to buildings, bridges and other facilities. Monitoring of land subsidence and ground fissure activities can provide useful information for assessing the extent of, and mitigating such geohazards. In order to achieve robust Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry (InSAR) results, six interferometric pairs of Envisat ASAR data covering 2005-2006 are collected to analyze the InSAR processing errors firstly, such as temporal and spatial decorrelation error, external DEM error, atmospheric error and unwrapping error. Then the annual subsidence rate during 2005-2006 is calculated by weighted averaging two pairs of D-InSAR results with similar time spanning. Lastly, GPS measurements are applied to calibrate the InSAR results and centimeter precision is achieved. As for the ground fissure monitoring, five InSAR cross-sections are designed to demonstrate the relative subsidence difference across ground fissures. In conclusion, the final InSAR subsidence map during 2005-2006 shows four large subsidence zones in Xian hi-tech zones in western, eastern and southern suburbs of Xian City, among which two subsidence cones are newly detected and two ground fissures are deduced to be extended westward in Yuhuazhai subsidence cone. This study shows that the land subsidence and ground fissures are highly correlated spatially and temporally and both are correlated with hi-tech zone construction in Xian during the year of 2005-2006.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1533-1540
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Geology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2009


  • Ground fissure
  • Land subsidence
  • Monitoring
  • SAR interferometry (InSAR)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science


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