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Open AccessArticle

Permafrost Deformation Monitoring Along the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Engineering Corridor Using InSAR Observations with Multi-Sensor SAR Datasets from 1997–2018

School of Geography and Information Engineering, China University of Geosciences, 388 Lumo Road, Wuhan 430074, China
Artificial Intelligence School, Wuchang University of Technology, No. 16 Jiangxia Avenue, Wuhan 430223, China
College of Resources Engineering, Longyan University, Longyan 264012, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2019, 19(23), 5306;
Received: 18 October 2019 / Revised: 27 November 2019 / Accepted: 28 November 2019 / Published: 2 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue InSAR Signal and Data Processing)
As the highest elevation permafrost region in the world, the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP) permafrost is quickly degrading due to global warming, climate change and human activities. The Qinghai-Tibet Engineering Corridor (QTEC), located in the QTP tundra, is of growing interest due to the increased infrastructure development in the remote QTP area. The ground, including the embankment of permafrost engineering, is prone to instability, primarily due to the seasonal freezing and thawing cycles and increase in human activities. In this study, we used ERS-1 (1997–1999), ENVISAT (2004–2010) and Sentinel-1A (2015–2018) images to assess the ground deformation along QTEC using time-series InSAR. We present a piecewise deformation model including periodic deformation related to seasonal components and interannual linear subsidence trends was presented. Analysis of the ERS-1 result show ground deformation along QTEC ranged from −5 to +5 mm/year during the 1997–1999 observation period. For the ENVISAT and Sentinel-1A results, the estimated deformation rate ranged from −20 to +10 mm/year. Throughout the whole observation period, most of the QTEC appeared to be stable. Significant ground deformation was detected in three sections of the corridor in the Sentinel-1A results. An analysis of the distribution of the thaw slumping region in the Tuotuohe area reveals that ground deformation was associated with the development of thaw slumps in one of the three sections. This research indicates that the InSAR technique could be crucial for monitoring the ground deformation along QTEC. View Full-Text
Keywords: InSAR; Qinghai-Tibet Engineering Corridor; deformation; permafrost InSAR; Qinghai-Tibet Engineering Corridor; deformation; permafrost
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Zhang, Z.; Wang, M.; Wu, Z.; Liu, X. Permafrost Deformation Monitoring Along the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Engineering Corridor Using InSAR Observations with Multi-Sensor SAR Datasets from 1997–2018. Sensors 2019, 19, 5306.

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