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Proceedings Paper

25 years of satellite InSAR monitoring of ground instability and coastal geohazards in the archaeological site of Capo Colonna, Italy
Author(s): F. Cigna; P. Confuorto; A. Novellino; D. Tapete; D. Di Martire; M. Ramondini; D. Calcaterra; S. Plank; F. Ietto; A. Brigante; A. Sowter
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Paper Abstract

For centuries the promontory of Capo Colonna in Calabria region, southern Italy, experienced land subsidence and coastline retreat to an extent that the archaeological ruins of the ancient Greek sanctuary are currently under threat of cliff failure, toppling and irreversible loss. Gas extraction in nearby wells is a further anthropogenic element to account for at the regional scale. Exploiting an unprecedented satellite Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) time series including ERS-1/2, ENVISAT, TerraSAR-X, COSMO-SkyMed and Sentinel-1A data stacks acquired between 1992 and 2016, this paper presents the first and most complete Interferometric SAR (InSAR) baseline assessment of land subsidence and coastal processes affecting Capo Colonna. We analyse the regional displacement trends, the correlation between vertical displacements with gas extraction volumes, the impact on stability of the archaeological heritage, and the coastal geohazard susceptibility. In the last 25 years, the land has subsided uninterruptedly, with highest annual line-of-sight deformation rates ranging between -15 and -20 mm/year in 2011-2014. The installation of 40 pairs of corner reflectors along the northern coastline and within the archaeological park resulted in an improved imaging capability and higher density of measurement points. This proved to be beneficial for the ground stability assessment of recent archaeological excavations, in an area where field surveying in November 2015 highlighted new events of cliff failure. The conceptual model developed suggests that combining InSAR results, geomorphological assessments and inventorying of wave-storms will contribute to unveil the complexity of coastal geohazards in Capo Colonna.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 October 2016
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 10003, SAR Image Analysis, Modeling, and Techniques XVI, 100030Q (18 October 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2242095
Show Author Affiliations
F. Cigna, British Geological Survey (United Kingdom)
P. Confuorto, Univ. degli Studi di Napoli Federico II (Italy)
A. Novellino, Geomatic Ventures Ltd. (United Kingdom)
D. Tapete, British Geological Survey (United Kingdom)
D. Di Martire, Univ. degli Studi di Napoli Federico II (Italy)
M. Ramondini, Univ. degli Studi di Napoli Federico II (Italy)
D. Calcaterra, Univ. degli Studi di Napoli Federico II (Italy)
S. Plank, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (Germany)
F. Ietto, Univ. della Calabria (Italy)
A. Brigante, Brigante Engineering s.r.l. (Italy)
A. Sowter, The Univ. of Nottingham (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10003:
SAR Image Analysis, Modeling, and Techniques XVI
Claudia Notarnicola; Simonetta Paloscia; Nazzareno Pierdicca; Edward Mitchard, Editor(s)

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