Seismic surface deformation risks in industrial hubs: A case study from Ulsan, Korea, using DInSAR time series analysis

Hye Won Yun, Jung Rack Kim, Ha Su Yoon, Yun Soo Choi, Jung Hum Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The unprecedentedly strong 2016 Gyeongju and 2017 Pohang earthquakes on the Korean Peninsula aroused public concern regarding seismic hazards previously considered improbable. In this study, we investigated the eects of recent seismic activity close to the epicenters of both earthquakes in the heavy industrial complex of Ulsan. This was performed using Sentinel-1 InSAR time series data combined with on-site GPS observations and background GIS data. The interpretations revealed ongoing topographic deformation of a fault line and surrounding geological units of up to 15mm/year. Postseismic migrations through the fault line, coupled with the two earthquakes, were not significant enough to pose an immediate threat to the industrial facilities or the residential area. However, according to InSAR time series analyses and geophysical modelling, strain from the independent migration trend of a fault line and eventual/temporal topographic changes caused by potential seismic friction could threaten precisely aligned industrial facilities, especially chemical pipelines. Therefore, we conducted probabilistic seismic hazard and stress change analyses over surrounding areas of industrial facilities employing modelled fault parameters based on InSAR observations. These demonstrate the potential of precise geodetic survey techniques for constant monitoring and risk assessment of heavy industrial complexes against seismic hazards by ongoing fault activities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1199
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 May 2019


  • Differential interferometric SAR
  • Earthquake
  • GPS
  • Surface deformation
  • Time series analysis


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