Advancing Coastal Climate Adaptation in Denmark by Land Subsidence Mapping using Sentinel-1 Satellite Imagery

Carlo Sass Sørensen, Niels H. Broge, Mads R. Mølgaard, Joanna F. Levinsen, Nik Okkels, Per Knudsen

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There are still large uncertainties in projections of climate change and sea level rise. Here, land subsidence is an additional factor that may adversely affect the vulnerability towards floods in low-lying coastal communities. The presented study performs an initial assessment of subsidence mapping using Sentinel-1 satellite imagery and leveling at two coastal locations in Denmark. Within both investigated areas current subsidence rates of 5-10 millimeters per year are found. This subsidence is related to the local geology, and challenges and potentials in bringing land subsidence mapping and geology into climate adaptation are discussed in relation to perspectives of a national subsidence monitoring system partly based on the findings from the two coastal locations. The current lack of subsidence data and a fragmentation of geotechnical information are considered as hindrances to optimal adaptation in Denmark. A simple decision support system is suggested to gradually implement subsidence monitoring and to include geotechnical information in coastal climate adaptation to the benefit of municipalities and other stakeholders.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGeoforum Perspektiv
Issue number28
Pages (from-to)46-59
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Land subsidence
  • Geotechnical archives
  • Geological models
  • Geological models
  • Sentinel-1
  • Coastal climate impacts
  • Decision support
  • Adaptation
  • Precision leveling


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