Shaking Things Up: Monitoring Ground Deformation and Seismic Motion in Greece and China

When we think of the underpinnings of our planet, we tend to assume that they are changeless. We use terms like “bedrock,” “firm foundation,” and “solid ground” to convey messages of stability and unchanging permanence. But the reality is that the substratum of our world changes at a rapid pace.

Even the tiniest of changes represent the potential for drastic problems. From rising water levels to even minor seismic shifts, these transformations can impact urban planning and development in significant ways.

The INDES-MUSA project was created to monitor and help understand these changes. It is based on the deployment of an innovative multi-sensor system for monitoring ground deformations and seismic motions in subsidence-prone urban areas in both Greece and China.

By implementing a combination of Airborne LIDAR missions, mobile GNSS stations, a tide gauge, water level sensors, as well as permanent accelerographic and stationary GNSS stations for monitoring seismic motion, this multi-sensor effort is serving as the ideal case study for effective change detection.

This project is currently running in both countries, which is scheduled to be completed in September 2015. During the last six months of the implementation, all of the key data will be disseminated and shared between both nations.

In Greece, the site under investigation is located in the region of Kalochori, close to Thessaloniki in North Greece.  In addition to remote monitoring and data processing, soil subsidence and seismic motion will also be investigated.

China is using a similar implementation by using the same workflows and tools in an area of interest in Shanghai.

Through a new web platform, both recorded data and analysis predictions will be used to develop a research tool that will be made readily available to the scientific community and governmental authorities.

With the support the GEOSYSTEMS HELLAS Consortium, this effort will involve the integration of multiple solutions from Leica Geosystems, as well as Hexagon Geospatial.

These include Leica’s Flight & Sensor Control Management System, which will provide the precise flight guidance.  This system offers an intuitive interface for sensor operation and data quality control during laser and imagery data acquisition.

In addition, a web portal from Hexagon Geospatial will provide both the ideal data repository, as well as a visualization tool. This browser-based, multilingual web application can be used for indexing, viewing, querying, analyzing and consuming geospatial data and web services published by Hexagon Geospatial or other third party products.

These efforts in Greece and China represent the new frontier in monitoring and change detection, which can be effectively replicated by any country across the globe.

By taking the right strategic approaches and implementing solutions that range from sensors to data management software, it is possible to seamlessly monitor any changes that occur anywhere on our planet.

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