Monitoring of subrosion induced mass changes by time-lapse gravity surveys

Two case studies from Germany

authored by
Gerald Gabriel, Martin Kobe, Adelheid Weise, Ludger Timmen

Subrosion is a geological process, which occurs worldwide. In extreme cases, it leads to the development of collapse sinkholes, which can pose a severe hazard, especially in urban areas. Hence, concepts are required to monitor the processes, which are related to subrosion. In two case studies we show the feasibility and the success of an approach that combines repeated levelling and time-lapse gravity surveys in the subrosion-prone urban areas of Bad Frankenhausen and Hamburg-Flottbek in Germany. Over several years of observation, in which quarterly measurement campaigns were carried out, we found both evidence of ongoing subsidence and mass redistribution in the subsurface. Especially for the known sinkhole areas, a decrease of gravity in the order of up to 2 μGal·a-1 suggests ongoing underground leaching and mass loss at both locations. In the context of data processing, we successfully applied a correction of the effects of varying soil water content on the adjusted gravity differences using the global model GLDAS Noah.

Institute of Geodesy
External Organisation(s)
Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics (LIAG)
Conference contribution
No. of pages
Publication date
Publication status
Peer reviewed
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Environmental Engineering, Geophysics, Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
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