Satellite Images Used to Create Ground Motion Map
April 30, 2018
New technology, developed by researchers at the University of Nottingham, has been used to create a UK-wide ground motion map.
Using thousands of satellite radar images, the technology was applied under license by Geomatic Ventures Limited (GVL), an University spin-out company, to create a complete land motion map of the UK as a natural progression from the first country-wide map of ground motion in Scotland.
The new UK-wide map covers a two-year period from 2015 to 2017 and was created using a novel satellite remote sensing data processing algorithm. It offers the most detailed look ever at the UK’s shifting topography and highlights areas of hazards due to coal mining, soil compaction, landslides, coastal erosion, landfill subsidence and tunnelling for the London Underground.
One of the key advantages of this ground motion surveying system is that it can obtain measurements over all urban and rural areas and therefore provide a full picture of the moving UK land surface. This will be of particular interest to policymakers and a wide range of industries, such as onshore oil and gas, civil engineering, insurance, mining and carbon trading.
“This unique image has revealed a dynamic, shifting, collapsing landscape dominated by unnatural, man-made activities such as our heritage in coal mining, agricultural practices and peatland management,” explained Dr Andy Sowter, Chief Technical Officer of GVL. “It has implications for a whole range of industrial and governmental bodies including those in energy, infrastructure, environmental management and climate change but also demonstrates that a low-cost, operational solution to the monitoring of land surface dynamics at this scale is possible.”
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