Detecting Ground Deformation in the Built Environment Using Sparse Satellite InSAR Data With a Convolutional Neural Network

N Anantrasirichai*, Juliet J Biggs, K Kelevitz, Z Sadeghi, Tim Wright, J Thompson, Alin M Achim, David R Bull

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Abstract

The large volumes of Sentinel-1 data produced over Europe are being used to develop pan-national ground motion services. However, simple analysis techniques like thresholding cannot detect and classify complex deformation signals reliably making providing usable information to a broad range of nonexpert stakeholders a challenge. Here, we explore the applicability of deep learning approaches by adapting a pretrained convolutional neural network (CNN) to detect deformation in a national-scale velocity field. For our proof-of-concept, we focus on the U.K. where previously identified deformation is associated with coal-mining, ground water withdrawal, landslides, and tunneling. The sparsity of measurement points and the presence of spike noise make this a challenging application for deep learning networks, which involve calculations of the spatial convolution between images. Moreover, insufficient ground truth data exist to construct a balanced training data set, and the deformation signals are slower and more localized than in previous applications. We propose three enhancement methods to tackle these problems: 1) spatial interpolation with modified matrix completion; 2) a synthetic training data set based on the characteristics of the real U.K. velocity map; and 3) enhanced overwrapping techniques. Using velocity maps spanning 2015-2019, our framework detects several areas of coal mining subsidence, uplift due to dewatering, slate quarries, landslides, and tunnel engineering works. The results demonstrate the potential applicability of the proposed framework to the development of automated ground motion analysis systems.The large volumes of Sentinel-1 data produced over Europe are being used to develop pan-national ground motion services. However, simple analysis techniques like thresholding cannot detect and classify complex deformation signals reliably making providing usable information to a broad range of nonexpert stakeholders a challenge. Here, we explore the applicability of deep learning approaches by adapting a pretrained convolutional neural network (CNN) to detect deformation in a national-scale velocity field. For our proof-of-concept, we focus on the U.K. where previously identified deformation is associated with coal-mining, ground water withdrawal, landslides, and tunneling. The sparsity of measurement points and the presence of spike noise make this a challenging application for deep learning networks, which involve calculations of the spatial convolution between images. Moreover, insufficient ground truth data exist to construct a balanced training data set, and the deformation signals are slower and more localized than in previous applications. We propose three enhancement methods to tackle these problems: 1) spatial interpolation with modified matrix completion; 2) a synthetic training data set based on the characteristics of the real U.K. velocity map; and 3) enhanced overwrapping techniques. Using velocity maps spanning 2015-2019, our framework detects several areas of coal mining subsidence, uplift due to dewatering, slate quarries, landslides, and tunnel engineering works. The results demonstrate the potential applicability of the proposed framework to the development of automated ground motion analysis systems.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

provisional acceptance date added, based on publication information.

Keywords

  • Convolutional neural network (CNN)
  • earth observation
  • ground deformation
  • interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR)
  • machine learning

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