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CUT Laboratory of Geodesy and Hydrographic Surveying

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Project
CyCLOPS (RPF/INFRASTRUCTURES/1216/0050) is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the Republic of Cyprus, and the Research Promotion Foundation in the framework of the RESTART 2016-2020 research programme. The objective of CyCLOPS is to establish and maintain a novel integrated strategic research infrastructure (SI) unit to monitor solid earth processes and natural hazards in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean region.

Featured research (11)

Over the past few decades, the global population and the built environment’s vulnerability to natural hazards have risen dramatically. As a result, decisive actions, such as the SENDAI framework, have emerged to foster a global culture of successful disaster risk reduction policies, including actions to mitigate the social and economic impact of geohazards. The effective study of natural disasters requires meticulous and precise monitoring of their triggering factors, with ground- and space-based techniques. The integration of GNSS and SAR observations through the establishment of permanent infrastructures, i.e., Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORS) networks and arrays of Corner Reflectors (CRs), may form a seamless ground displacement monitoring system. The current research literature provides fragmented guidelines, regarding the co-location of SAR and GNSS permanent infrastructures. Furthermore, there exist no guidelines for the determination of the most suitable locations using a holistic approach, in terms of criteria and required data. The purpose of this paper is to present a semi-automatic multicriteria site suitability analysis and evaluation of candidate sites for the installation of a permanent CORS and two CRs; one for each pass, taking into account various parameters and criteria. The first results demonstrate that the collocation of SAR and GNSS permanent infrastructures, utilizing a holistic criteria-based approach, is successful and complies with all the literature’s requirements.
In the last five years, the urban development of the city of Limassol has rapidly increased in the sectors of industry, trade, real estate, and many others. This exponentially increased urban development arises several concerns about the aggravation of potential land subsidence in the Limassol coastal front. Forty six Copernicus Sentinel-1 acquisitions from 2017 to 2021 have been processed and analyzed using the Sentinel Application Platform (SNAP) and the Stanford Method for Persistent Scatterers (StaMPS). A case study for the identification and analysis of the persistent scatterers (PS) in pixels in a series of interferograms and the quantity of the land displacements in the line of sight of the Limassol coastal front is presented in this research, with subsidence rates up to about (−5 to 4 mm/year). For the validation of the detected deformation, accurate ground-based geodetic measurements along the coastal area were used. Concordantly, considering that there is a significant number of skyscrapers planned or currently under construction, this study attempts a preliminary assessment of the impact these structures will pose on the coastal front of the area of Limassol.
The objective of this paper is to introduce CyCLOPS, a novel strategic research infrastructure unit, and present its current progress of implementation, and integration in the National geodetic, geophysical and geotechnical infrastructure of the government-controlled areas of the Republic of Cyprus. CyCLOPS is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Research and Innovation Foundation under the grant agreement RIF/INFRASTRUCTURES/1216/0050. CyCLOPS is developed via the collaboration of the Cyprus University of Technology (CUT) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and supported by the Cyprus Geological Survey Department and the Department of Lands and Surveys. The main objective of CyCLOPS is to establish an integrated infrastructure for space-based monitoring of geohazards using the most prominent earth observation technologies (EO), such as GNSS and InSAR. Furthermore, the infrastructure will densify and form the backbone for the definition of the next generation national datum of the Republic of Cyprus. Eleven Tier-1/2 state-of-the-art GNSS CORS, precise weather stations, tiltmeters and specifically designed InSAR triangular trihedral corner reflectors will be deployed, in a collocated fashion, at selected locations throughout the government-controlled areas of Cyprus. The collocated configuration will be established and installed to be compliant with the most stringent CORS monumentation specifications, support all current GNSS constellations and SAR missions. Finally, one of CyCLOPS’ fundamental aims is to actively contribute to the on-going efforts and growing demand for more precise positioning services and high-quality modern reference frames, in conformity with the recommendations of the UN-GGIM (and its Subcommittee of Geodesy) to establish and enhance national geodetic infrastructures to support the sustainable management of geospatial information on the changing Earth.
Recent reports stress the vulnerability of forest ecosystems in the European Union (EU), especially in the south. Cyprus is an island in the south of EU and the eastern of the Mediterranean Sea. While Cyprus’ vulnerability is stressed, Cyprus was included in the worst-performing countries regarding EU carbon emission’s targets of 2020. For mitigating climate change, Cyprus could benefit for tailored education and improved policy making. This study analyses the perceptions of the Cypriot residents about climate change and forest degradation aiming (1) to gain a better understanding of whether Cypriot residents understand its importance, (2) to understand if the general public is able to observe the changes noted in the literature, (3) to understand how perceptions are differentiated across different demographic categories, and (4) to derive correlations between demographic data and perceptions. This is a quantitative study; a questionnaire was used as a tool and the responses received were 416. It was highlighted that 65.62% of the participants stated that they noticed moderate to very much degradation of Cypriot coniferous forests. A potential degradation reason was written down by 150 people, of whom 31.33% referred to tree die-back, while many stated decreased soil moisture and difficulty in regeneration. All these reasons of degradation were either stated or suspected in the literature. Additionally, the demographic analysis showed that there may be an association between employability and beliefs/observations about climate change. The results of the research could be used for tailored education, further research, and promoting environmentally friendly policies. This will support Cyprus and other countries in reaching their Green Deal targets and, consequently, mitigate the severe effects of climate change.
The notable urban and infrastructure growth of the last five years in Limassol, Cyprus, has determined the necessity to provide a detailed deformation monitoring analysis of land subsidence of the coastal zone. Following the crisis events of 2013, Cyprus government promoted incentives for land development as a measure to restart the Cyprus economy. Consequently, Limassol arose to be the fastest growing city in Cyprus in the field of construction, with skyscrapers built one after the other along the coastal front, in almost 20km. This massive development generated increasing concern that a combination of factors, such as overexploitation of groundwater, the structures’ load, the sea level rise driven by the global climate change, and the intense earthquake activity, may holistically trigger land subsidence phenomena. The later poses an imminent threat for the socio-economic equilibrium of the country, as well as an incremental factor for the risk of possible floods in the specific area. The combination of using space and ground-based data for detecting and monitoring changes in the coastal zone of Limassol after the rapid growth, can be characterized as innovative since no case of detecting changes in urban areas in Cyprus has been studied in the past. The integrated use of multiple space-borne InSAR (interferometric synthetic aperture radar) techniques are, undoubtedly, among the most effective methods to monitor land subsidence and, therefore, assess the impact of urban infrastructures on the coastal zones. Techniques such as the Persistent Scatterer Interferometry (PSI) with Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) became indispensable parts in ground deformation monitoring analysis of urban areas as it may provide cm- to mm-level accuracy products. The PSI technique detects and measures specific points (buildings, stable rocks, roads etc) on the surface of the Earth that are phase-coherent and stable over a period of time. The number of the persistent scatters was computed in three main stages: identifying as many scatterers as it possible in the study area, extracting the possible scatterers with minimum value of coherence equals to 0.80 and isolating the final scatterers that correspond to tall buildings or skyscrapers in every pixel. Processing and analysing Copernicus Sentinel-1 data, from 2016-2021 using the Sentinel Application Platform (SNAP) and the Stanford Method for Persistent Scatters (StaMPS). A case study for the identification and analysis of the elements (PS) in pixels in a series of interferograms, and then, the quantity of the land displacements in the Line of Sight, in the Limassol coastal front, is presented in this research. As the ‘master’ image in the pre-processing procedure, the image that minimizes the sum decorrelation, of all interferograms was chosen. Sentinel-1 data products that are used, are Single Look Complex (SLC) images with similar characteristics (polarization, sensor and acquisition mode), creating a time-series sequence over the passing five years. For the validation of the detected deformation, accurate ground-based geodetic measurements along the coastal area were used. As a secondary objective, this research investigates the possibility to automatically monitor land subsidence in urban coastal areas, which consist of skyscrapers and tall buildings by means of space-based techniques. Concordantly, taking into account that there is a significant number of skyscrapers that is planned to be built, this study attempts a preliminary assessment of the impact these structures will pose on the coastal front of the area of Limassol through the Cyprus Continuously Operating Natural Hazards Monitoring and Prevention System (CyCLOPS) strategic research infrastructure unit.

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Marios Nikolaidis
  • Cyprus University of Technology
Dimitris Kakoullis
  • Cyprus University of Technology
Kyriaki Fotiou
  • Cyprus University of Technology
Marina Pekri
Marina Pekri
  • Not confirmed yet