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Remote Sens. 2018, 10(9), 1360; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10091360

Sentinel-1 SAR Interferometry for Surface Deformation Monitoring in Low-Land Permafrost Areas

1
Gamma Remote Sensing, 3073 Gümligen, Switzerland
2
3D Geospatial Data Processing Group, Institute of Geography, University of Heidelberg, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
3
Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, 27570 Potsdam, Germany
4
Asiaq, Greenland Survey, 3900 Nuuk, Greenland
5
Centre of Geographical Studies, IGOT, Universidade de Lisboa, 1600-276 Lisboa, Portugal
6
Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, 0315 Oslo, Norway
7
Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik, 1190 Wien, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 July 2018 / Revised: 21 August 2018 / Accepted: 22 August 2018 / Published: 27 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Dynamic Permafrost Regions)
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Abstract

Low-land permafrost areas are subject to intense freeze-thaw cycles and characterized by remarkable surface displacement. We used Sentinel-1 SAR interferometry (InSAR) in order to analyse the summer surface displacement over four spots in the Arctic and Antarctica since 2015. Choosing floodplain or outcrop areas as the reference for the InSAR relative deformation measurements, we found maximum subsidence of about 3 to 10 cm during the thawing season with generally high spatial variability. Sentinel-1 time-series of interferograms with 6–12 day time intervals highlight that subsidence is often occurring rather quickly within roughly one month in early summer. Intercomparison of summer subsidence from Sentinel-1 in 2017 with TerraSAR-X in 2013 over part of the Lena River Delta (Russia) shows a high spatial agreement between both SAR systems. A comparison with in-situ measurements for the summer of 2014 over the Lena River Delta indicates a pronounced downward movement of several centimetres in both cases but does not reveal a spatial correspondence between InSAR and local in-situ measurements. For the reconstruction of longer time-series of deformation, yearly Sentinel-1 interferograms from the end of the summer were considered. However, in order to infer an effective subsidence of the surface through melting of excess ice layers over multi-annual scales with Sentinel-1, a longer observation time period is necessary. View Full-Text
Keywords: permafrost; Arctic; Antarctica; subsidence; InSAR; Sentinel-1 permafrost; Arctic; Antarctica; subsidence; InSAR; Sentinel-1
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Strozzi, T.; Antonova, S.; Günther, F.; Mätzler, E.; Vieira, G.; Wegmüller, U.; Westermann, S.; Bartsch, A. Sentinel-1 SAR Interferometry for Surface Deformation Monitoring in Low-Land Permafrost Areas. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 1360.

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