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Ingeniería e Investigación

Print version ISSN 0120-5609


SILLERICO, E et al. Monitoring ground subsidence in urban environments: M-30 tunnels under Madrid City (Spain). Ing. Investig. [online]. 2015, vol.35, n.2, pp.30-35. ISSN 0120-5609.

Big cities improvement usually requires the construction of large underground infrastructures, in order to ensure proper communication and optimize urban use. Monitoring ground subsidences is therefore one of the main challenges in changing urban environments. "Madrid Rio" project (2003-2008) is an effort to reclaim the riverfront land and improve the busy M-30 beltway that involved the construction of 7.93 km of tunnels underneath the southern center of Madrid City. This paper presents a remote-sensing approach to monitor ground subsidences induced by tunneling excavation. Persistent Scatterers Interferometry technique (PSI) was used to estimate subsidence and displacement time series from Synthetic Aperture Radar images, acquired between August 2003 and April 2008 from ENVISAT. Remote sensed results were compared to traditional extensometric measures, fitting adequately for selected sectors. Spatial analysis of displacements allowed evaluating impacts of tunneling on surrounding buildings and facilities, highlighting critical areas. The availability of a spatial distribution of displacements in a time series allowed analyzing longitudinal, cross-sectional and temporal dynamics. The main limitations found were the heterogeneous spatial distribution of Persistent Scatterers, the absence of measurement points in work areas, the threshold for velocity detection and low temporal resolution of ENVISAT images. Nevertheless, these limitations of DInSAR for monitoring infrastructures are overcome by actual satellites, being a complementary technique with an exceptional added value and temporal analysis capability.

Keywords : Differential SAR Interferometry (DInSAR); subsidence; tunnels; urban areas.

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