Science Service System

Summary of Proposal GEO2630

TitleMonitoring ground deformation using TerraSAR-X Staring Spotlight data with dInSAR and sub-Pixel Offset Tracking (sPOT) for case studies in the Three Gorges Region of China
Investigator Muller, Jan-Peter - University College London, Space and Climate Physics
Team Members
Prof. Zhang, Jingfa - China Earthquake Administration, Institute of Crustal Dynamics
Prof. Li, Zhenhong - Newcastle University, School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences
Prof. Zeng, Qiming - Peking University, Institute of Remote Sensing and GIS
SummaryObjectives: This project will use a systematic time series of TerraSAR-X Staring Spotlight data over the Three Gorges (3G) Region of China to monitor ground deformation. The use of sub-Pixel Offset Tracking (sPOT) method and the potential and limitations of combining this method with dInSAR techniques for deformation mapping will be assessed. Current sPOT measurements of deformation in the 3G site require Corner Reflectors (CRs) to achieve the highest possible accuracy. We attempt to assess whether the much higher spatial resolution available with the Staring Spotlight mode will be able to achieve better accuracy and coverage for bare earth retrievals than either spotlight and strip modes. Methods: For a 2-year time series of TSX Staring Spotlight acquisitions, data collection every 11 days should start as soon as possible and certainly no later than August 2014. SPOT methods will be applied to measure ground deformation. Data will be carefully co-registered to ensure the error stays within the minimum potential deformation magnitude of the corresponding study site. Previously installed CRs in the 3G Shuping landslide site will be utilized to assist robust measurements of deformation magnitudes. Statistics of measurements from other natural scatterers will be analysed to evaluate the impact of dense vegetation cover. In May 2014, a field campaign led by Prof. Zhang and attended by Prof. Muller, obtained a dense 3D point cloud dataset over the hill-sides of the Shuping landslip area. These data have been processed and will be employed to help interpret the Staring Spotlight mode data with regard to their ability to penetrate through the dense vegetative cover to monitor the bare earth and avoid issues with tree cover motion. Taking advantage of the 20cm resolution of Staring Spotlight data, bare ground between adjacent trees should be detectable. This should allow the development of an approach for deformation mapping in densely vegetated areas without CRs installed. After applying sPOT, the backscatterers from vegetation cover can be masked out using a high resolution Digital Terrain Model (DTM). Only the deformation magnitudes measured from the rest of the scatterers will be counted into the final deformation time series. This should provide more reliable results. The potential and limitations of combining time series dInSAR techniques with sPOT to monitor landslides in the above sites using the Staring Spotlight data will be assessed. Results will be validated by comparison amongst the measurements from different software and available ground truth data. Data requirements: We wish to obtain new acquisitions of TerraSAR-X Staring Spotlight data covering the Shuping landslide area in the Three Gorges Region of China from August 2014 July 2016 (or 2 years after the acceptance of the proposal whichever is sooner).Deliverables:(1)A 2-year time series of landslide rate of Shuping area in the Three Gorges Region of China; (2)An assessment of the impact of vegetation on the reliability of measurements of ground deformation; (3)An assessment of using high coherence /SNR natural scatters as a future reliable source for deformation measurements in the landslide areas without CRs; (4)An assessment of the potential and limitations of combining time series differential InSAR techniques with sub-Pixel Offset Tracking (sPOT) to monitor ground deformation in the above site using the Staring Spotlight data. Funding: This research is included as a component within the ESA-MOST DRAGON-3 Project #10665: Monitoring ground surface displacements in China from EO through case studies of landslides in the Three Gorges area, crustal tectonic movement in Tibet and subsidence in South China. This work will be partly supported by the China Scholarship Council and the Dean of MAPS fund at UCL. Additional support comes from internal Chinese funding sources and from the University of Newcastle professorial dowry for Prof. Li.

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