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InSAR detects possible thaw settlement in the Alaskan Arctic Coastal Plain

January 1, 2008

Satellite interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) has proven to be an effective tool for monitoring surface deformation from volcanoes, earthquakes, landslides, and groundwater withdrawal. This paper seeks to expand the list of applications of InSAR data to include monitoring subsidence possibly associated with thaw settlement over the Alaskan Arctic Coastal Plain. To test our hypothesis that InSAR data are sufficiently sensitive to detect subsidence associated with thaw settlement, we acquired all Japanese Earth Resources Satellite-1 (JERS-1) L-band data available for the summers of 1996, 1997, and 1998 over two sites on the Alaska North Slope. The least amount of subsidence for both study sites was detected in the interferograms covering the summer of 1996 (2-3 cm), interferograms from 1997 and 1998 revealed that about 3 cm of subsidence occurred at the northern Cache One Lake site, and about 5 cm of subsidence was detected at the southern Kaparuk River site. These preliminary results illustrate the capacity of the L-band (24 cm) wavelength JERS-1 radar data to penetrate the short Arctic vegetation to monitor subsidence possibly associated with thaw settlement of the active layer and (or) other hydrologic changes over relatively large areas.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2008
Title InSAR detects possible thaw settlement in the Alaskan Arctic Coastal Plain
DOI 10.5589/m08-018
Authors Russell P. Rykhus, Zhong Lu
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing
Index ID 70010025
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center

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