Results of geodetic and geotechnical monitoring of subsidence for Taiwan High Speed Rail operation

Chein-way Hwang*, Wei Chia Hung, Chih Hsi Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR), which began operations in January 2007, passes through an area in Yunlin County where the largest cumulative subsidence measured during 1992-2006 exceeds 100 cm. Leveling benchmarks, GPS pillars and multi-level monitoring wells were deployed in this area to collect detailed subsidence data from October 2003 to 2006. Leveling is carried out on both ground benchmarks and survey bolts attached to THSR columns. Minimum constraint solutions of leveling networks produce estimated heights accurate to a few mm. Special attention is paid to code smoothing, ionospheric, tropospheric and ocean tidal loading (OTL) effects, so that height estimates from GPS are optimal. Leveling and GPS-derived height changes are consistent to 1 cm, and show that from Stations 210 to 240K of TSHR, the subsidence is bowl shaped. Measurements of sediment compaction in specific depth intervals at three monitoring wells indicate that most of the subsidence is caused by sediment compaction at depths from 50 to 300 m. The major compaction occurs in the interval 220-300 m and is attributed to ground water withdrawal. Large angular deflections as determined from subsidence measurements are detected at some columns, but are below the upper bound (1/1,000) of tolerance specified in the safety code. With the current subsidence and sediment compaction, no significantly reduced loading capacity of the columns is expected to occur. For a safe THSR operation, subsidence and sediment-compaction monitoring should be continued, and current ground water withdrawal in Yunlin must be reduced or stopped.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalNatural Hazards
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2008


  • GPS
  • Leveling
  • Monitoring well
  • Subsidence
  • THSR


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