Radar interferrometry

Interferometric synthetic aperture radar, also abbreviated InSAR or IfSAR, is a radar technique used in geodesy and remote sensing. This geodetic method uses two or more synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images to generate maps of surface deformation or digital elevation, using differences in the phase of the waves returning to the satellite or aircraft. The technique can potentially measure centimeter-scale changes in deformation over time spans of days to years. It has applications for geophysical monitoring of natural hazards, for example earthquakes, volcanoes and landslides, and also in structural engineering, in particular monitoring of subsidence and structural stability.

his movie shows 500 years of simulation results generated by GeoFEST, a 3D finite element software modeling solid stress and strain. The data were provided by Dr. Charles Norton of JPL. The simulation data were superimposed on top of LandSAT image of Southern California with Landers faults drawn as a yellow lines. The movie starts with a flying-around of the Landers faults, followed by the deformation resulted from the earthquake. After the initial deformation fades out, it animates the accumulated surface deformation in time for 500 years. Each color fringe in the movie represents 5.6cm vertical displacement, similar to the InSAR C Band fringe.


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