Focusing on The Netherlands and Denmark, scientists have been using radar images from the European Space Agency Sentinel-1A satellite to determine where ground is stable or how much it may be rising or sinking.
Images from November 2014-April 2016 and 2.5 million measurement points were used to compile the accompanying map, which shows subsidence and uplift in the northeast of The Netherlands. Most measurements were made around buildings and construction sites such as dikes.
Some areas, particularly along the western shore of the Ijsselmeer, along the lower causeway that crosses this manmade lake, and some areas close to Groningen in the east, are sinking by as much as 20 millimeters per year.
“For a nation largely sitting below sea level, surface deformation is of existential importance for The Netherlands,” said Ramon Hanssen from Delft University of Technology. “Satellite data from the Sentinel-1 mission helps us to monitor and maintain the high safety standards the Dutch population expects.”