Defense Date


Graduation Date

Summer 8-13-2022


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Environmental Science and Management (ESM)


Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Committee Chair

David Kahler

Committee Member

Theodore Corcovilos

Committee Member

Philip Reeder


Subsidence, Remote Sensing, InSAR, Water Resources, Saltwater Intrusion, Limpopo River Basin, Mozambique


Land subsidence is a threat to coastal cities around the world. In the lower Limpopo River Basin, the presence of compaction-prone alluvial sediments, groundwater use, and reports of saltwater intrusion suggest that subsidence could be occurring. Using interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) from Sentinel-1, combined with in-situ sea level and river height measurements, this study aims to determine if land subsidence could contribute to increased saltwater intrusion. InSAR results indicate that subsidence in the lower Limpopo River valley has occurred at an average rate of -2.98 cm/yr based on data from the dry seasons (May to October) of 2017-2021. River height is decreasing at a rate of -1.93 cm/yr and sea level is rising at 0.114 cm/yr. Given the detected rate of land subsidence, this presents a novel risk for relative sea level rise and likely contributes to the increased salinization of the lower Limpopo River.


English (61254 kB)
SI 1: Google Earth KMZ files with interactive time series results of dry season subsidence in the lower Limpopo River Basin