This is one of the findings announced by Prof. Ramon Hanssen in his inaugural address at TU Delft in the Netherlands on Wednesday 3 September. Newly-developed technology has also enabled improved charting of ground subsidence in the provinces of Groningen and North-Holland. The satellites measure ground shifts down to the last millimetre.
In his inaugural address, Ramon Hanssen of the Aerospace Engineering faculty argues in favour of observation of the earth from space. He believes that manned space travel has fewer obvious applications. ‘Reconnoitring other planets appeals to our imagination, but it can also be achieved using unmanned missions; these can conduct most tasks better, more cheaply, more safely and more efficiently. Europe would do well to focus on this and not imitate the work other countries are already doing and will continue to do.’
‘There is another argument. Our knowledge of how our own planet behaves is paltry, and space travel could play a role here. It would be sensible for Europe to stop manned space travel and to concentrate on those areas in which it leads the way, such as observation of the earth.’
The extraction of coal led to the ground in the southern province of South-Limburg subsiding considerably until the 1970s. ‘Satellite technology has, however, demonstrated that the ground is rising again fast, up to about 10 centimetres in the last 15 years, probably due to rising ground water in the mines. It is worth noting that this rise is not taking place simultaneously across the entire area; it appears to be spreading from the eastern mining area towards the west.’ Hanssen believes that hazardous situations may arise close to fractures, especially if, as is the case near the city of Geleen, there are industrial activities in the area. In other cities, such as Heerlen, Brunssum and Kerkrade, too, large gradients have been observed in the ground shifts which could affect infrastructure and buildings.
Ground subsidence in Groningen
Hanssen’s research group is investigating shifts in the earth’s surface using radar techniques. Today’s technology allows precision down to the last millimetre. For instance, the ground subsidence in the northern province of Groningen and Waddenzee (due to gas extraction) can be charted very precisely. ‘This method enables us to verify objectively traditional, but occasionally controversial, measurements using levelling instruments.’
Hondsbossche sea defences
The TU Delft researchers have also recently discovered that the ground around the city of Alkmaar in the province of North-Holland is subsiding (also due to gas extraction) and that this is causing the Hondsbossche sea defences to subside obliquely very slowly, one centimetre every five years. ‘The Hondsbossche sea defences are one of ten ‘weak links’ in the Dutch coastal defences. These satellite observations allow those who maintain this type of sea defences to monitor the status constantly. The satellites pass over the same area almost every week,’ Hanssen explains.
Maarten van der Sanden | alfa
More than 100 years of flooding and erosion in 1 event
28.03.2017 | Geological Society of America
Satellites reveal bird habitat loss in California
28.03.2017 | Duke University
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
28.03.2017 | Life Sciences
28.03.2017 | Information Technology
28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy