Dataset Open Access

Subsidence of Beijing (China) mapped by Copernicus Sentinel-1 time series interferometry

Petar Marinkovic; Yngvar Larsen


Recent reports from scientific and mainstream media have indicated that the city of Beijing, together with its surroundings, is subsiding at fast and alarming rate as result of the overexploitation of groundwater. The depletion of groundwater causes underlying soil to compact, creating a phenomenon called subsidence. The Beijing region has been experiencing this phenomenon since 1935, but in last years the rate of sinking has significantly increased.

A team of researchers, within ESA sponsored, SEOM InSARap project performed an interferometric analysis of Copernicus Sentinel-1 data which confirms the reported findings also with current data. While the results speak for themselves, we can just once more reiterate on the usefulness of the Copernicus Programme, in this case for deformation monitoring applications.


  • Data overview:
    • Sentinel-1 IW
    • Track 47 descending
    • Observation window December 2014 - June 2016
    • Data download via Scientific Data Hub
  • Processing overview:
    • Time series analysis performed with Small Baseline Subset (SBAS) methodology
    • Interferometric combinations of up to 96 days used

More information and context available at

Terms and Conditions: All Sentinel-1 results that are available for download are Derived Works of Copernicus data (2014-2016), subject to the "TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR THE USE AND DISTRIBUTION OF SENTINEL DATA AND SERVICE INFORMATION".

Acknowledgments:  ESA SEOM InSARap project - Sentinel-1 InSAR Performance Study with TOPS Data, contract number 4000110680/14/I-BG-InSARap

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