May 25, 2022

EOC technologies for the new European Ground Motion Service

The first products of the new European Ground Motion Service (EGMS), an EU-financed Copernicus Land Monitoring Service, have been published. The IWAP interferometry processor developed at EOC computes highly precise ground motion maps from radar satellite data. After assessing years of time series and correcting for atmospheric effects, Earth’s ground displacement can be determined down to the millimetre. The DLR processor has been used since 2017, also for the ground movement service of the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR).

EGMS provides a heretofore unavailable opportunity to detect anthropogenic and natural ground deformation based on comprehensive data coverage. Causes for such deformation include groundwater extraction, surface and subsurface mining, underground storage caverns, volcanic and tectonic activity, and slope collapse. The data will be available free of charge to scientists, public authorities and the public at large.

Radar data from the Copernicus satellites programmes Sentinel-1 A and B are used for EGMS. The GAF AG company operates the IWAP processor under licence to process the enormous amount of data. GAF AG and EOC are part of the ORIGINAL (OpeRatIonal Ground motion INsar ALliance) consortium, along with the partners TRE Altamira, NORCE and the consortium head e-Geos. DLR serves the entire project as a science advisor and licences the interferometry technology to GAF AG. This consortium member is responsible for deriving ground motion maps for several European states from the Copernicus radar data.

The complete basic product portfolio will be published by the end of June 2022 covering the 2015 – 2020 period. Updating three times a year is intended.