Research Spotlight: Improving analysis of Earth's surface displacement


  • Mohi Kumar,

  • Ernie Tretkoff


Advanced processing of spaceborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data allows improved measurements of Earth's surface deformation over time. The common base of these advanced methods is the differential interferometric SAR (DInSAR) technique, which exploits temporally separated SAR image pairs of an area to provide measurements of ground deformation with centimeter to millimeter accuracy and large spatial coverage. DInSAR has been in use since the 1990s to study single Earth-deforming events such as earthquakes; in the past decade, advanced techniques have been developed to study Earth's surface displacements over time through the analysis of SAR image sequences.