Current Land Subsidence in Tianjin, China Recorded by Three Continuous GPS stations (2010-2014)
Monday, 15 December 2014
In the past two decades, Global Positioning System (GPS) technologies have been frequently applied to urban subsidence studies, both as a complement, and an alternative to conventional surveying methods. These studies have demonstrated that high-accuracy GPS techniques are an efficient tool in tracking long-term land subsidence. A great number of Continuously Operating Reference GPS Stations (CORS) have been installed in China during the past five years. Considerable land subsidence has been observed from CORS stations installed in several large cities. This study investigated GPS time series observed at three CORS in Tianjin: TJBD (2010-2014), TJBH (2010-2014), and TJWQ (2010-2014). Tianjin is one of the largest cities that is experiencing severe land subsidence problems in China. The observations at the three GPS sites indicate different subsidence rates. The average subsidence rate over four years are 0.2 cm/year at TJBD, 2 cm/year at TJBH, and 4.4 cm/year at TJWQ. The GPS station TJBD is located at Baodi, Tianjin. This area is the least economically developed and have the smallest population compared to the other two areas. Over 80% of water usage in Baodi is for agriculture and only less than 15% is from groundwater. The rapid subsidence at TJBH and TJWQ were caused by huge groundwater withdrawals associate with rapid urban and industrial developments in Binhai and Wuqing. Wuqing district, with a unique location advantage called “Corridor of Beijing and Tianjin”, has been experiencing major urbanization. The population has reached 1,053,300 and the water usage has reached 350 million cubic meters in 2012. Over 25% of water usage is from groundwater. Significant annual and half-annual seasonal ground surface fluctuation has been observed from all three GPS stations. The peak-to-peak amplitude of the annual signal is 1.5 cm.