Terrafirma was one of a number of Service Element projects being run by the European Space Agency under the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative. Terrafirma harnessed the unique power of satellite radar (revolutionary remote sensing technique of Persistent Scatterer Interferometry or PSI) to detect and measure Earth-surface terrain motion. Terrafirma provided a Pan-European ground motion information service in each of the 27 member states of the EU, which provided identification, assessment, understanding and monitoring of ground motions.

This data, acquired 800 Km above the Earth’s surface, in combination with geophysical expertise by national geoscience organisations, was delivered to users with the objective to help identify hazards, improve safety and mitigate risk.

The results provided unique, wide-area maps of ground and building motion that can be difficult if not impossible to detect by conventional means. The service focused on urban subsidence and landslides as well as earthquake zones, coastlines and flood plains.

Altamira Information, as Project Manager, is responsible for coordinating a consortium of 20 European experts in Earth Observation, geological surveys, and specialists in tectonics, flooding, landslides and hydrogeology.