Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Ground in South-Limburg rising faster than expected

04.09.2008
The ground in the Dutch province of South-Limburg is not as stable as had been thought. Satellite observations have shown greater localised rises than expected.

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.’

South-Limburg

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
Further information:
http://www.tudelft.nl
http://enterprise.lr.tudelft.nl/~radar/bodembeweging/bodembeweging.html

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Treating arthritis with algae

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Witnessing turbulent motion in the atmosphere of a distant star

23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>