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Climate – Remote sensing

Surface displacement detection in Qaanaaq using remote sensing

Research areas:

Permafrost, ground displacements


Northwest Greenland

Start year:


End year:



Government of Greenland


Remote Sensing, Asiaq

Inhabitants of the village of Qaanaaq in north Greenland have raised concern over the stability of the village infrastructure. Building foundations have been noticeably settling causing structural damage. In the summer 2017, a large scale study of the area including geotechnical boring will assess the permafrost situation in the region.

To aid this field based analysis, Asiaq and GAMMA remote Sensing will provide an estimate of surface movements in the area to help determine areas most affected and at risk. Asiaq’s analysis will be based on DEMs from aerial photographs and a long time series of benchmark reference points. GAMMA will undertake a pilot study to assess the feasibility of using satellite based radar data to measure the movement using a technique called Differential Interferometric Syntethetic Aperture Radar (DInSAR).