Open Access

Subsidence monitoring within the Athens Basin (Greece) using space radar interferometric techniques

  • Is. Parcharidis13Email author,
  • E. Lagios23,
  • V. Sakkas23,
  • D. Raucoules33,
  • D. Feurer33,
  • S. Le Mouelic33,
  • C. King33,
  • C. Carnec33,
  • F. Novali43,
  • A. Ferretti43,
  • R. Capes53 and
  • G. Cooksley53
Earth, Planets and Space200658:BF03351947

Received: 2 September 2005

Accepted: 26 December 2005

Published: 12 May 2006


The application of conventional SAR Interferometry (InSAR) together with the two techniques of subcentimeter accuracy, the Stacking and the Permanent Scatterers (PS) Interferometry, were used to study the ground deformation in the broader area of Athens for the period 1992 to 2002. Using the Stacking interferometric method, 55 ERS-1&2 SAR scenes, between 1992 and 2002, were acquired producing 264 differential interferograms. Among these only 60 were finally selected as fulfilling certain criteria. The co-seismic deformation associated with the Athens Earthquake (Mw = 5.9, September 7, 1999) was excluded from the analytical procedure in an attempt to present results of only aseismic character. In total ground subsidence results of about 12 mm in the southern suburbs of Athens, but higher value of about 40 mm in the northern ones for the period 1992–2002. Based on the PS technique, a precise average annual deformation rate-map was generated for the period 1992–1999, ending just before the Athens earthquake event. Both circular and elongated-shape areas of subsidence are recognizable especially in the northern part of the Athens Basin (3–4 mm/yr), as well as at its southern part (1–3 mm/yr). In addition, a rate of 2–3 mm/yr is also yielded for some part of the Athens city center. Subsidence rates of 1–2 mm/yr are measured at the western part of the basin over an area of old mining activities, and around the newly built Syntagma Metro Station. The correlation of the observed deformation patterns with respect to the spatial distribution of water pumping, older mining activities, metro line tunneling and other local geological parameters is examined and discussed.

Key words

Athens Basin subsidence deformation monitoring differential interferometry stacking interferometry Permanent Scatterers Interferometry