Subsidence and Landslide Monitoring Service for Austria

Short Description

Starting point / motivation

Landslides are one of the most widespread geohazards in Europe, which are further responsible for significant social and economic impacts. Land subsidence may occur gradually over many years in form of ground surface depressions and seriously harms the sustainable development of the society and the economy.

Contents and goals

The core ambition of the proposed project is therefore to establish an Austrian subsidence and landslide monitoring service with a strong focus on potential users. This is documented through the engagement of most relevant Austrian actors dealing with geohazard management (Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, Styrian and Salzburg Provincial Government), infrastructure monitoring (Austrian Federal Railways) and aspects on cadastral land register (Austrian Federal Office for Calibration and Surveying).

These organizations have expressed their interest in the establishment of such service via related letters of support. Until now, not only in Austria no standard method to monitor landslides and subsidence continuously is implemented, but a diversity of approaches based on inhomogeneous data has been rather used in isolated applications.

Meanwhile, advanced differential SAR interferometry (D-InSAR) techniques are increasingly accepted to be a well suited method to provide continuous, homogenous and large-area monitoring service with respect to subsidence and landslide. This is not only confirmed by many scientific publications but also by many present as well as future national and supra-national initiatives to set-up ground motion services based on these techniques.


In a first project phase the user requirements will be assessed in a systematic approach, including questionnaires, interviews and a dedicated workshop. The results of this phase will constitute a concise user requirements catalogue and design document of the service but also should raise the user awareness of the potential and limitations of the service.

In a second phase a prototype service will be developed and installed in the EODC collaborative IT infrastructure. The service will benefit from the fact that EODC hosts the most complete and up to date Sentinel-1 archive and is connected to several high performance computing environments. On the other hand, JR has expertise in the field of SAR based Earth observation and its application and has long term experience with respect to methodological developments as well as to the design and implementation of professional software.

To demonstrate and ensure a maximum quality of the delivered products and results the prototype service will be tested and validated in specific test areas. GBA as an international expert on the application side will provide excellent guidance here.

In the final project phase the service products and results will be presented to the user forum and the user requirements which are met as well as open issues or new research issues will be assessed in a workshop.

Expected results

SuLaMoSA will introduce for the first time in Austria a national monitoring service regarding subsidence and landslide mapping based on D-InSAR-technologies. It will deliver unprecedented homogeneity of deformation products with an update rate of few weeks down to couple of days. Based on systematic utilization of Sentinel-1 data the service will guarantee consistent products for a very long period of time.

Project Partners


JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH

Project partner

  • EODC
  • GBA

Contact Address

JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH
Dr. Karlheinz Gutjahr
Steyrergasse 17
A-8010 Graz