Monitoring the impact of groundwater pumping on infrastructure using geographic information system (GIS) and persistent scatterer interferometry (PSI)
© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures3040057
Transportation infrastructure is critical for the advancement of society. Bridges are vital for an efficient transportation network. Bridges across the world undergo variable deformation/displacement due to the Earth’s dynamic processes. This displacement is caused by ground motion, which occurs from many natural and anthropogenic events. Events causing deformation include temperature fluctuation, subsidence, landslides, earthquakes, water/sea level variation, subsurface resource extraction, etc. Continual deformation may cause bridge failure, putting civilians at risk, if not managed properly. Monitoring bridge displacement, large and small, provides evidence of the state and health of the bridge. Traditionally, bridge monitoring has been executed through on-site surveys. Although this method of bridge monitoring is systematic and successful, it is not the most efficient and cost-effective. Through technological advances, satellite-based Persistent Scatterer Interferometry (PSI) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have provided a system for analyzing ground deformation over time. This method is applied to distinguish bridges that are more at risk than others by generating models that display the displacement at various locations along each bridge. A bridge’s health and its potential risk can be estimated upon analysis of measured displacement rates. In return, this process of monitoring bridges can be done at much faster rates; saving time, money and resources. PSI data covering Oxnard, California, revealed both bridge displacement and regional ground displacement. Although each bridge maintained different patterns of displacement, many of the bridges within the Oxnard area displayed an overall downward movement matching regional subsidence trends observed in the area. Patterns in displacement-time series plots provide evidence for two types of deformation mechanisms. Long-term downward movements correlate with the relatively large regional subsidence observed using PSI in Oxnard. Thermal dilation from seasonal temperature changes may cause short-term variabilities unique to each bridge. Overall, it may be said that linking geologic, weather, and groundwater patterns with bridge displacement has shown promise for monitoring transportation infrastructure and more importantly differentiating between regional subsidence and site-specific displacements.