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Satellites keep an eye on Dutch dikes

23 October 2012

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In the Netherlands, local authorities are looking to satellite observations as a promising option for dike monitoring and to protect against dike failures.

Cut off from the Wadden Sea by a causeway, the shallow IJsselmeer lake is lined by dikes that protect the surrounding land from rising water levels.

In a recently completed Terrafirma study, the IJsselmeer dikes were checked using Envisat radar data for the period 2003-10.

Results show that a large stretch of the dike near the town of Medemblik is subsiding up to 5 mm per year.

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