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SubCoast is a collaborative project under THEME FP7-SPACE-2009-1 of the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission. SubCoast aims at developing a GMES-downstream service for assessing and monitoring subsidence hazards in coastal lowland areas around Europe. SubCoast develops GMES-downstream services based on satellite data, in-situ measurements and geoscientific models. SubCoast builds upon ESA’s GMES Service Element Terrafirma which provides a ground motion hazard information service.

Coastal lowland areas are widely recognised as highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, particularly sea-level rise and changes in runoff, as well as being subject to stresses imposed by human modification of catchment and delta plain land use.


Coastal defence stability assessment based on satellite data (Persistent Scatterer Interferometry). Courtesy: Hansje Brinker

Rates of relative sea-level rise can greatly exceed the global average in many heavily populated coastal lowland areas due to subsidence. This increases the potential for inundation, coastal erosion, habitat disruption and salt water intrusion, especially for the most populated cities on these coastal lowland areas. Aside from regional environmental effects of subsidence there are direct costs related to subsidence and soft soil conditions experienced in coastal lowland areas. Failure of constructions, infrastructure and water defence structures bring high maintenance costs with them and add up to substantial financial damages in these areas.
SubCoast has been structured around the following topics:

  • Deriving indicators of environmental and economic impact made by subsidence by making use of state-of-the-art scenario and impact models.
  • Developing a coordinated data provision service for necessary terrestrial and satellite data, and input data streams from GMES Core Services and GMES Service Element Terrafirma and functioning as a portal for SubCoast-services.
  • Testing the SubCoast-concept through dedicated pilot services making our approach viable and supportive.
  • Demonstrate  via a user federation, which holds the most directly involved regional, national and European stakeholders, how the SubCoast-products will be integrated into current user practices and their working environment.




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