Science Service System

Summary of Proposal GEO2462

TitleCharacterizing sinkhole formation and development in Texas and Louisiana (USA) using starring spotlight mode TerraSAR-X InSAR imagery
Investigator Lu, Zhong - Southern Methodist University, Earth Sciences
Team Members
Prof. Lu, Zhong - Southern Methodist University, Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences
Dr. Kim, Jin-Woo - Southern Methodist University, Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences
SummaryWe propose to explore starringspotlight mode TerraSAR-X scenes to detect and measure the surface deformationin sinkholes in Texas and Louisiana. Geological formations in these statesproduce karst terrain and contain salt beds which have contributed to thedevelopment of sinkholes. However, their characteristics or even existence werebarely revealed by in situ measurements or past spaceborne SAR sensors. The ultra-highresolution of the TerraSAR-X starring spotlight mode provides uniqueopportunities to measure the formation, progression, and collapse ofsize-variant sinkholes and possibly alert civilians of catastrophic landdisplacements. First, we will focus on the Texas sinkholes and analyze the starringspotlight-mode TerraSAR-X InSAR results in the slowly (Wink, Texas), intermediate(Azle, Texas), and fast (Daisetta, Texas) developing sinkholes. Their temporalevolvement will indicate the stability of land surface and the underlyingsubsurface. Second, we will evaluate the deformation patterns of sinkholes inLouisiana which are less known and smaller in size but deeper. For all sinkholesites we will utilize multiple-interferograms and time-series analysis, such asPSInSAR and SBAS, to better understand how sinkholes progress. Third, wewill process InSAR products from archived ENVISAT and ALOS PALSAR as well asfuture Sentinel-1/A and ALOS-2 satellites over the study areas. We will useresults from starring spotlight TerraSAR-X InSAR images as “ground-truth” toidentify and infer sink holes over large regions that are not imaged by starringspotlight TerraSAR-X but covered by Envisat, ALOS-1, Sentinel-1/A and ALOS-2 interferograms.Fourth, time-series deformation maps from starring spotlight TerraSAR-X andother SAR imagery will allow us to conduct statistical correlation analysis tounderstand geological, climate, and anthropogenic factors that control sinkholeformation and development. Our findings will be key in mitigating hazardsassociated with future sinkhole collapse.

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