Comparative Study of Groundwater-Induced Subsidence for London and Delhi Using PSInSAR

Vivek Agarwal*, Amit Kumar, David Gee, Stephen Grebby, Rachel Louise Gomes, Stuart Marsh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


Groundwater variation can cause land-surface movement, which in turn can cause significant and recurrent harm to infrastructure and the water storage capacity of aquifers. The capital cities in the England (London) and India (Delhi) are witnessing an ever-increasing population that has resulted in excess pressure on groundwater resources. Thus, monitoring groundwater-induced land movement in both these cities is very important in terms of understanding the risk posed to assets. Here, Sentinel-1 C-band radar images and the persistent scatterer interferometric synthetic aperture radar (PSInSAR) methodology are used to study land movement for London and National Capital Territory (NCT)-Delhi from October 2016 to December 2020. The land movement velocities were found to vary between −24 and +24 mm/year for London and between −18 and +30 mm/year for NCT-Delhi. This land movement was compared with observed groundwater levels, and spatio-temporal variation of groundwater and land movement was studied in conjunction. It was broadly observed that the extraction of a large quantity of groundwater leads to land subsidence, whereas groundwater recharge leads to uplift. A mathematical model was used to quantify land subsidence/uplift which occurred due to groundwater depletion/rebound. This is the first study that compares C-band PSInSAR-derived land subsidence response to observed groundwater change for London and NCT-Delhi during this time-period. The results of this study could be helpful to examine the potential implications of ground-level movement on the resource management, safety, and economics of both these cities.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4741
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes


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