The high levels of geo-hydrological, seismic, and volcanic hazards in the Campania region prompted full data collection from C-band satellites ERS-1/2, ENVISAT, and RADARSAT within regional (TELLUS) and national (PST-A) projects. The quantitative analysis, interpretation, and classification of natural and human-induced slow-rate ground deformations across a span of two decades (1992–2010) was performed at regional scale (Campania, Italy) by using interferometric archive datasets, based on the Persistent Scatterer Interferometry approach. As radar satellite sensors have a side-looking view, the post-processing of the interferometric datasets allows for the evaluation of two spatial components (vertical and E-W horizontal ones) of ground deformation, while the N-S horizontal component cannot be detected. The ground deformation components have been analyzed across 89.5% of the Campania territory within a variety of environmental, topographical, and geological conditions. The main part (57%) of the regional territory was characterized during 1992–2010 by stable areas, where SAR signals do not have recorded significant horizontal and vertical components of ground deformation with an average annual rate greater than +1 mm/yr or lower than −1 mm/yr. Within the deforming areas, the coastal plains are characterized by widespread and continuous strong subsidence signals due to sediment compaction locally enhanced by human activity, while the inner plain sectors show mainly scattered spots with locally high subsidence in correspondence of urban areas, sinkholes, and groundwater withdrawals. The volcanic sectors show interplaying horizontal and vertical trends due to volcano-tectonic processes, while in the hilly and mountain inner sectors the ground deformation is mainly controlled by large-scale tectonic activity and by local landslide activity. The groundwater-related deformation is the dominant cause of human-caused ground deformation. The results confirm the importance of using Persistent Scatterer Interferometry data for a comprehensive understanding of rates and patterns of recent ground deformation at regional scale also within tectonically active areas as in Campania region.
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