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SuLaMoSA - Subsidence and Landslide Monitoring Service in Austria

Homogeneous and continuous Detection of ground motion phenomena in Austria using differential SAR interferometry techniques and Copernicus satellite data

Motivation and goals

Landslides are one of the most widespread geohazards in Europe, which are further responsible for significant social and economic impacts. Land subsidence may occur gradually over many years in form of ground surface depressions and seriously harms the sustainable development of the society and the economy. This is documented through the engagement of most relevant Austrian actors dealing with geohazard management, infrastructure monitoring and aspects on cadastral land register.

The core ambition of the project is therefore to establish an Austrian subsidence and landslide monitoring service with a strong focus on potential users.


Until now, not only in Austria no standard method to monitor landslides and subsidence continuously is implemented, but a diversity of approaches based on inhomogeneous data has been rather used in isolated applications.

Meanwhile, advanced differential SAR interferometry (D-InSAR) techniques are increasingly accepted to be a well suited method to provide continuous, homogenous and large-area monitoring service with respect to subsidence and landslide.

From a technical point of view a service, which to a great extend is based on Sentinel-1 data immediately runs into to the problems of big data handling, i.e. around 6 TB per year, which the SuLaMoSA workflow has to handle only as input data. Another scientific challenge stems from the alpine topography of wide areas in Austria. It is well known that SAR specific characteristics like foreshortening and layover or shadow (occlusion) limit the applicability of any D-InSAR analysis. Furthermore, about 48% of the total area of Austria is covered by forest which has also a strong negative impact on the signal coherence at C-band.


SuLaMoSA will introduce for the first time in Austria a national monitoring service regarding subsidence and landslide mapping based on D-InSAR-technologies. It will deliver unprecedented homogeneity of deformation products with an update rate of few weeks down to couple of days. Based on systematic utilization of Sentinel-1 data the service will guarantee consistent products for a very long period of time.

Observation of Surface Changes
PS / DS Identification Methods
Acknowledg-ment of funding
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