Abstract Ground subsidence is one of the key factors damaging transportation facilities, e.g., road networks consisting of highways and railways. In this paper, we propose to apply the persistent scatterer synthetic aperture radar interferometry (PS-InSAR) approach that uses highresolution TerraSAR-X (TSX) imagery to extract the regional scale subsidence rates (i.e., average annual subsidence in mm/year) along road networks. The primary procedures involve interferometric pair selection, interferogram generation, persistent scatterer (PS) detection, PS networking, phase parameterization, and subsidence rate estimation. The Xiqing District in southwest Tianjin (China) is selected as the study area. This district contains one railway line and several highway lines. A total of 15 TSX images covering this area between April 2009 and June 2010 are utilized to obtain the subsidence rates by using the PS-InSAR (PSI) approach. The subsidence rates derived from PSI range from -68.7 to -1.3 mm/year. These findings show a significantly uneven subsidence pattern along the road network. Comparison between the PSI-derived subsidence rates and the leveling data obtained along the highways shows that the mean and standard deviation (SD) of the discrepancies between the two types of subsidence rates are 0.1 and ±3.2 mm/year, respectively. The results indicate that the high-resolution TSX PSI is capable of providing comprehensive and detailed subsidence information regarding road networks with millimeter-level accuracy. Further inspections under geological conditions and land-use categories in the study area indicate that the observed subsidence is highly related to aquifer compression due to groundwater pumping. Therefore, measures should be taken to mitigate groundwater extraction for the study area.
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