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Publication . Article . 2020

Monitoring ground deformation of cultural heritage sites using SAR and geodetic techniques: the case study of Choirokoitia, Cyprus

Kyriacos Themistocleous; Chris Danezis; Vassilis Gikas;
Open Access
Published: 21 Oct 2020 Journal: Applied Geomatics, volume 13, pages 37-49 (issn: 1866-9298, eissn: 1866-928X, Copyright policy )
Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Country: Cyprus

Nowadays, assessing geo-hazards in cultural heritage sites in most cases takes place after the hazard has occurred. Monitoring structural and ground deformation resulting from geo-hazards facilitates the early recognition of potential risks and encourages effective conservation planning. This paper presents an integrated ground deformation monitoring approach based on the combined use of satellite SAR data, campaign-based GPS/GNSS observations, and aerial images from UAVs within the Choirokoitia UNESCO World Heritage Site in Cyprus. The Neolithic settlement of Choirokoitia is one of the most important prehistoric sites in the Eastern Mediterranean. The site is located on a steep hill, which makes it vulnerable to rock falls and landslides. As part of the PROTHEGO project, a series of field measurements were collected at the Choirokoitia site and compared against satellite SAR data to verify kinematic behavior of the broader area and to assist in monitoring potential geo-hazards over time. The results obtained indicate displacement rates of the order of 0.03 m/year. These results indicate that ground deformation should be monitored in the area surrounding the Choirokoitia using long-term, low-impact monitoring systems such as SAR images and UAV-based and geodetic techniques. The combination of such monitoring technologies can be compared to monitor and assess potential geo-hazards on archeological sites with increased accuracy. This paper was developed under the auspices of the activities of the “ERATOSTHENES: Excellence Research Centre for Earth Surveillance and Space-Based Monitoring of the Environment”- “EXCELSIOR” project that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 857510 and from the Government of the Republic of Cyprus through the Directorate General for the European Programmes, Coordination and Development. From 1 October 2019, the ERC group (Department of Civil Engineering and Geomatics) at the Cyprus University of Technology is on the way to be upgraded to ERATOSTHENES Centre of Excellence (ECoE) through “EXCELSIOR” H 2020 Widespread Teaming project ( ). The project “Cyprus Continuously Operating Natural Hazards Monitoring and Prevention System” (CyCLOPS) RPF/INFRASTRUCTURES/1216 /0050 is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Research Promotion Foundation in the framework of the RESTART 2016-2020 Research Programme. The “PROTection of European Cultural HEritage from GeO-hazards (PROTHEGO)” project HERITAGE PLUS/0314/36 is funded in the framework of the Joint Programming Initiative on Cultural Heritage and Global Change (JPICH) – HERITAGE PLUS under ERA-NET Plus and the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) of the European Commission and the Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation, contract KOINA/ΠΚΠ-HERITAGE PLUS/0314/36.

Subjects by Vocabulary

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: Satellite GNSS applications Rockfall geography.geographical_feature_category geography Landslide Geodetic datum Global Positioning System business.industry business Deformation monitoring Remote sensing Geology Cultural heritage


Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous), Engineering (miscellaneous), Environmental Science (miscellaneous), Geography, Planning and Development, SAR, UAV, Natural hazards, Cultural heritage, Remote sensing, Geodetic techniques, Civil Engineering, Engineering and Technology

Related Organizations
Funded by
ERATOSTHENES: Excellence Research Centre for Earth Surveillance and Space-Based Monitoring of the Environment
  • Funder: European Commission (EC)
  • Project Code: 857510
  • Funding stream: H2020 | CSA
Validated by funder
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