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

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Arctic melt ponds form when meltwater clogs ice pores
24.01.2017 | University of Utah

nachricht New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland
19.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Arctic melt ponds form when meltwater clogs ice pores

24.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Synthetic nanoparticles achieve the complexity of protein molecules

24.01.2017 | Life Sciences

PPPL physicist uncovers clues to mechanism behind magnetic reconnection

24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>