Observation of Surface Displacement Associated with Rapid Urbanization and Land Creation in Lanzhou, Loess Plateau of China with Sentinel-1 SAR Imagery

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Title: Observation of Surface Displacement Associated with Rapid Urbanization and Land Creation in Lanzhou, Loess Plateau of China with Sentinel-1 SAR Imagery
Authors: Wei, Yuming | Liu, Xiaojie | Zhao, Chaoying | Tomás, Roberto | Jiang, Zhuo
Research Group/s: Ingeniería del Terreno y sus Estructuras (InTerEs)
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Ingeniería Civil
Keywords: Loess Plateau | Lanzhou | Mountain excavation and city construction | Surface displacement | InSAR | Sentinel-1 | DEM errors | Remote sensing images
Knowledge Area: Ingeniería del Terreno
Issue Date: 1-Sep-2021
Publisher: MDPI
Citation: Wei Y, Liu X, Zhao C, Tomás R, Jiang Z. Observation of Surface Displacement Associated with Rapid Urbanization and Land Creation in Lanzhou, Loess Plateau of China with Sentinel-1 SAR Imagery. Remote Sensing. 2021; 13(17):3472. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13173472
Abstract: Lanzhou is one of the cities with the higher number of civil engineering projects for mountain excavation and city construction (MECC) on the China’s Loess Plateau. As a result, the city is suffering from severe surface displacement, which is posing an increasing threat to the safety of the buildings. However, up to date, there is no comprehensive and high-precision displacement map to characterize the spatiotemporal surface displacement patterns in the city of Lanzhou. In this study, satellite-based observations, including optical remote sensing and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) sensing, were jointly used to characterize the landscape and topography changes in Lanzhou between 1997 and 2020 and investigate the spatiotemporal patterns of the surface displacement associated with the large-scale MECC projects from 2015 December to March 2021. First, we retrieved the landscape changes in Lanzhou during the last 23 years using multi-temporal optical remote sensing images. Results illustrate that the landscape in local areas of Lanzhou has been dramatically changed as a result of the large-scale MECC projects and rapid urbanization. Then, we optimized the ordinary time series InSAR processing procedure by a “dynamic estimation of digital elevation model (DEM) errors” step added before displacement inversion to avoid the false displacement signals caused by DEM errors. The DEM errors and the high-precision surface displacement maps between December 2015 and March 2021 were calculated with 124 ascending and 122 descending Sentinel-1 SAR images. By combining estimated DEM errors and optical images, we detected and mapped historical MECC areas in the study area since 2000, retrieved the excavated and filling areas of the MECC projects, and evaluated their areas and volumes as well as the thickness of the filling loess. Results demonstrated that the area and volume of the excavated regions were basically equal to that of the filling regions, and the maximum thickness of the filling loess was greater than 90 m. Significant non-uniform surface displacements were observed in the filling regions of the MECC projects, with the maximum cumulative displacement lower than 40 cm. 2D displacement results revealed that surface displacement associated with the MECC project was dominated by settlements. From the correlation analysis between the displacement and the filling thickness, we found that the displacement magnitude was positively correlated with the thickness of the filling loess. This finding indicated that the compaction and consolidation process of the filling loess largely dominated the surface displacement. Our findings are of paramount importance for the urban planning and construction on the Loess Plateau region in which large-scale MECC projects are being developed.
Sponsor: This research is funded by the Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41874005), the Natural Science Foundation in Gansu Province of China (Grant Nos. 1508RJZA094 and 20JR10RA180). This research was also supported by a Chinese Scholarship Council studentship awarded to Xiaojie Liu (Ref. 202006560031).
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10045/117472
ISSN: 2072-4292
DOI: 10.3390/rs13173472
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Peer Review: si
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13173472
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