Tracking and measuring of clay shrinking and swelling using spaceborne remote sensing

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André Burnol, Michael Foumelis, Sébastien Gourdier, Jacques Deparis, Daniel Raucoules


New capabilities for measuring and monitoring are needed to improve the shrink/swell hazard. A new French experimental site at Chaingy (Centre-Val de Loire) has been instrumented using extensometers at the surface and soil moisture sensors in the clay layer. Here we show by direct comparison between remote and in situ data for a period longer than three years that the vertical ground displacements are well-captured by the Multi-Temporal Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry (MT-InSAR) technique. In addition to the one-year period, two sub-annual periods that reflect both average ground shrinking and swelling timeframes are unraveled by a wavelet-based analysis. Moreover, we propose here to combine data from two satellite sensors, namely the surface soil moisture from the SMOS satellite with the vertical displacement from Sentinel-1A/1B. The relative phase difference between both time series for the shrinking and swelling periods is calculated for assessing the variations in terms of depth and thickness of the clay layer. An Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) survey is carried out in the studied zone to validate this new method relying fully on remote sensing observations. With regard to future works, the same method coupling different satellites acquisitions may be scaled up to track the expansive clays in a larger area.



Earth Sciences, Geophysics and Seismology, Hydrology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics


Clay swelling, Electrical Resistivity Tomography, InSAR, Natural hazard assessment, Sentinel-1, shrink/swell hazard, SMOS, Surface Soil Moisture, Swelling, Wavelet


Published: 2020-07-12 19:31


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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