• Long-term monitoring of geodynamic surface deformation using SAR interferometry

      Gong, Wenyu; 龚文瑜; Meyer, Franz; Atwood, Donald; Freymueller, Jeff; Lu, Zhong; Webley, Peter (2014-05)
      Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry (InSAR) is a powerful tool to measure surface deformation and is well suited for surveying active volcanoes using historical and existing satellites. However, the value and applicability of InSAR for geodynamic monitoring problems is limited by the influence of temporal decorrelation and electromagnetic path delay variations in the atmosphere, both of which reduce the sensitivity and accuracy of the technique. The aim of this PhD thesis research is: how to optimize the quantity and quality of deformation signals extracted from InSAR stacks that contain only a low number of images in order to facilitate volcano monitoring and the study of their geophysical signatures. In particular, the focus is on methods of mitigating atmospheric artifacts in interferograms by combining time-series InSAR techniques and external atmospheric delay maps derived by Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models. In the first chapter of the thesis, the potential of the NWP Weather Research & Forecasting (WRF) model for InSAR data correction has been studied extensively. Forecasted atmospheric delays derived from operational High Resolution Rapid Refresh for the Alaska region (HRRRAK) products have been compared to radiosonding measurements in the first chapter. The result suggests that the HRRR-AK operational products are a good data source for correcting atmospheric delays in spaceborne geodetic radar observations, if the geophysical signal to be observed is larger than 20 mm. In the second chapter, an advanced method for integrating NWP products into the time series InSAR workflow is developed. The efficiency of the algorithm is tested via simulated data experiments, which demonstrate the method outperforms other more conventional methods. In Chapter 3, a geophysical case study is performed by applying the developed algorithm to the active volcanoes of Unimak Island Alaska (Westdahl, Fisher and Shishaldin) for long term volcano deformation monitoring. The volcano source location at Westdahl is determined to be approx. 7 km below sea level and approx. 3.5 km north of the Westdahl peak. This study demonstrates that Fisher caldera has had continuous subsidence over more than 10 years and there is no evident deformation signal around Shishaldin peak.