The soil in the Netherlands is much more than expected. This is evident from a new soil subscription map presented by the Dutch Center for Geodesi and Geo-Information (NCG) on Tuesday.
"If soil fuels continue at the current rate, this can mean the end of the typical Dutch landscape with meadows, cattle and windmills, or huge damage to historic city centers," said research leader Ramon Hanssen of TU Delft.
With the map, researchers for the first time distinguish between deep subscription cases, such as gas extraction, and effects in the highest meters. The measurements show that subscription is baseline; in different locations in the Netherlands even more than what the deeper cases know.
They map soil fuel with satellite radar, GPS meters and inflation. According to Hanssen, this has given a good picture of the severity of the problem.
The problem is particularly present in peat and clay areas in the west. Climate change is an important factor here, the researchers say. That was also obvious last summer. Then, cracks and inflation caused by the drought.
Soil dries due to relatively warm summers. In the case of peat soils, for example, this process is irrecoverable. About 75 per cent of the southern area of South Holland includes soil that is exposed to soil cover. In some places, the drop may be up to 2 centimeters per year, Omroep West reports.
Extraction of gas
In addition to climate change, mineral extraction also plays a part in soil fuels, and for example, loading on asphalt buildings and roads. The map will be updated with new satellite measurements that are available daily. For example, it should be made clear if subsidence reduces if the removal of gas in Groningen is reduced.