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Toward mapping surface deformation in three dimensions using InSAR

January 1, 2004

One of the limitations of deformation measurements made with interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) is that an interferogram only measures one component of the surface deformation — in the satellite's line of sight. We investigate strategies for mapping surface deformation in three dimensions by using multiple interferograms, with different imaging geometries. Geometries for both current and future missions are evaluated, and their abilities to resolve the displacement vector are compared. The north component is always the most difficult to determine using data from near-polar orbiting satellites. However, a satellite with an inclination of about 60°/120° would enable all three components to be well resolved. We attempt to resolve the 3D displacements for the 23 October 2002 Nenana Mountain (Alaska) Earthquake. The north component's error is much larger than the signal, but proxies for eastward and vertical motion can be determined if the north component is assumed negligible. Inversions of hypothetical coseismic interferograms demonstrate that earthquake model parameters can be well recovered from two interferograms, acquired on ascending and descending tracks.

Publication Year 2004
Title Toward mapping surface deformation in three dimensions using InSAR
DOI 10.1029/2003GL018827
Authors Tim J. Wright, Barry E. Parsons, Zhong Lu
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Geophysical Research Letters
Index ID 70027168
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center