Monitoring subsidence due to groundwater pumping in central Arabia

Monitoring subsidence due to groundwater pumping in central Arabia

Internship Description

Excessive pumping and use of groundwater aquifers in the Middle East is a serious problem, leading to aquifer depletion, permanent compaction and shortage of usable water. One effective way of monitoring the aquifer usage is satellite radar mapping of cm-level subsidence due to groundwater pressure decrease in the aquifer systems. In this project, we plan to use such satellite radar observations of areas in central Arabia to map out the extent and magnitude of ongoing subsidence. The results will provide an overview of the problem of groundwater overuse and may help the authorities to take the necessary actions.​​​​


The student(s) will learn how to process satellite radar data using Linux/shell based program routines. They will also need to learn how to work with the outcome (e.g. in Matlab), display the results, and to provide quantitative assessment of the level of subsidence and extent of the groundwater over use problem. The results should be summarized in a short report at the end of the internship.

Faculty Name

Sigurjon Jonsson

Field of Study

Earth Science, Environmental science and engineering