Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry (InSAR) is a space geodetic technique used for mapping deformations of the Earth’s surface. It has been developed and used increasingly during the last thirty years to measure displacements produced by earthquakes, volcanic activity and other crustal deformations. A limiting factor to this technique is the effect of the troposphere, as spatial and temporal variations in temperature, pressure, and relative humidity introduce significant phase delays in the microwave imagery, thus “masking” surface displacements due to tectonic or other geophysical processes. The use of Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models as a tropospheric correction method in InSAR can tackle several of the problems faced with other correction techniques (such as timing, spatial coverage and data availability issues). High-resolution tropospheric modelling is particularly useful in the case of single interferograms, where the removal of the atmospheric phase screen (and especially the highly variable turbulent component) can reveal large-amplitude deformation signals (as in the case of an earthquake). In the western Gulf of Corinth, prominent topography makes the removal of both the stratified and turbulent atmospheric phase screens a challenging task. Here, we investigate the extent to which a high-resolution WRF 1-km re-analysis can produce detailed tropospheric delay maps of the required accuracy by coupling its output (in terms of Zenith Total Delay or ZTD) with the vertical delay component in GNSS measurements. The model is operated with varying physical parameterization in order to identify the best configuration, and validated with GNSS zenithal tropospheric delays, providing a benchmark of real atmospheric conditions. We correct sixteen Sentinel-1A interferograms with differential delay maps at the line-of-sight (LOS) produced by WRF re-analysis. In most cases, corrections lead to a decrease in the phase gradient, with average root-mean-square (RMS) and standard deviation (SD) reductions in the wrapped phase of 6.0% and 19.3%, respectively. Results suggest a high potential of the model to reproduce both the long-wavelength stratified atmospheric signal and the short-wave turbulent atmospheric component which are evident in the interferograms.
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