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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(9), 12265-12281;

Characteristics of Surface Deformation Detected by X-band SAR Interferometry over Sichuan-Tibet Grid Connection Project Area, China

State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information System, Institute of Geographic Sciences and National Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 11 A Datun Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Salvatore Stramondo and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 16 June 2015 / Revised: 7 September 2015 / Accepted: 14 September 2015 / Published: 21 September 2015
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The Sichuan-Tibet grid connection project is a national key project implemented in accordance with the developmental needs of Tibet and the living requirements of 700 thousand local residents. It is the first grid project with special high voltage that passes through eastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau. The ground deformation due to widely distributed landslides and debris flow in this area is the major concern to the safety of the project. The multi-temporal interferometry technique is applied to retrieve the surface deformation information using high resolution X-band SAR imagery. The time series of surface deformation is obtained through the sequential high spatial and temporal resolution TerraSAR images (20 scenes of X-band TerraSAR SLC images acquired from 5 January 2014 to 12 December 2014). The results have been correlated with the permafrost activities and intensive precipitation. They show that the study area is prone to slow to moderate ground motion with the range of −30 to +30 mm/year. Seasonal movement is observed due to the freeze-thaw cycle effect and intensive precipitation weather condition. Typical region analysis suggests that the deformation rate tends to increase dramatically during the late spring and late autumn while slightly during the winter time. The correlations of surface deformations with these two main trigger factors were further discussed. The deformation curves of persistent scatterers in the study area showing the distinct seasonal characteristics coincide well with the effect of freeze-thaw cycle and intensive precipitation. The movement occurring at late spring is dominated by the freeze-thaw cycle which is a common phenomenon in such a high-elevated area as the Tibetan Plateau. Intensive precipitation plays more important role in triggering landsides in the summer season. The combining effect of both factors results in fast slope movement in May. The results also suggest that the movement often occur at the middle to toe part of the slope where the combining effect of freeze-thaw cycle and precipitation plays an important role. Therefore the majority of transmission towers are not threatened significantly by geological hazards since they are located on the higher elevation which is beyond the boundary of slope movement. The comparison between field observations and the persistent scatterers interferometry (PSI) results reveals good agreement in obvious deformation accumulations. High uncertainty still exists due to issue of SAR imagery quality and the persistent scatterers interferometry technique. Nevertheless, this study provides an insight into understanding the characteristics of ground movement trend in the complicated eastern Tibet area. View Full-Text
Keywords: Sichuan-Tibet grid; surface deformation; PSI; freeze-thaw cycle effect; landslide Sichuan-Tibet grid; surface deformation; PSI; freeze-thaw cycle effect; landslide

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Meng, Y.; Lan, H.; Li, L.; Wu, Y.; Li, Q. Characteristics of Surface Deformation Detected by X-band SAR Interferometry over Sichuan-Tibet Grid Connection Project Area, China. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 12265-12281.

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