Persistent Scatterer Interferometry of Sentinel-1 time series to detect ground subsidence in the city of Recife, Brazil

Enton Bedini


Persistent Scatterer Interferometry (PSI) analysis of Sentinel-1 time series was carried out to detect ground subsidence in the city of Recife, Brazil. The dataset consisted of sixty-eight Sentinel-1A Interferometric Wide (IW) Single Look Complex (SLC) images of the time period April 2017 – September 2019. The images were acquired in descending orbit in VV (vertical transmitting, vertical receiving) polarization. The results of the PSI analysis show that in the city of Recife occur several ground subsidence areas. The largest ground subsidence area occurs between the neighborhoods of Afogados, Torrŏes and Cordeiro. The subsidence rates in this area range from few mm/year up to -15 mm/year. This ground subsidence could be a result of groundwater extraction or of subsidence processes in urbanized reclaimed lands. Similar but smaller ground subsidence areas occur in several localities in Recife. In some cases, subsidence with rates of up to -25 mm/year is noted in small zones where new buildings have been constructed in the last decade. This should be due to ground settlement processes, taking a long time due to the particular soils and geology of the locality. This study can serve as a first contribution for further research on the ground subsidence hazard in the city of Recife and the surrounding areas by means of satellite radar imagery.


Sentinel-1; land subsidence; Persistent Scatterer Interferometry; estuarine area; Recife

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Journal of Hyperspectral Remote Sensing - eISSN: 2237-2202