Water Vapor Products from Differential-InSAR with Auxiliary Calibration Data: Accuracy and Statistics

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Wenyu Gong1, Franz J Meyer1 and Peter Webley2, (1)University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK, United States, (2)University of Alaska Fairbanks, Geophysical Institute, Fairbanks, AK, United States
Although water vapor disturbance has been long term recognized as the major error source in differential Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (d-InSAR) techniques for the ground deformation monitoring and topography reconstruction, it provides opportunities to extract the atmospheric water-vapor information from satellite SAR imageries that can be further used to support studies on earth energy budget, climate, the hydrological cycle, and meteorological forecasting, etc. The water vapor contribution in interferometric phases is normally referred as the atmospheric delay dominated by water vapor rather than condensed water (e.g. cloud). D-InSAR can produce maps of the column water vapor amounts (equivalent to integrated water vapor (IWV) or Precipitable Water Vapor (PWV) in other literatures) that are important parameters quantitatively describe the total amount of water vapor overlying a point on the earth surface. Similar products have been operationally produced in multi-spectrum remote sensing, e.g. Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) with a spatial resolution in 500 m to 1km; Whereas, the PWV products derived by d-InSAR have remarkably high spatial resolution that can capture fine scale of water vapor variations in space as small as tens of meters or even less.

In recent years, some efforts have been made to derive the water vapor products from interferogram and analyze the corresponding products quality, such as studies comparing integrated water vapor derived from interferometric phases to other measurements (e.g. MERIS, MODIS, GNSS), studies on deriving absolute water vapor products from d-InSAR, and studies on integrating d-InSAR water vapor products in meteorological numerical forecast.

In this study, considering these limitation factors and based on previous studies, we discuss the accuracy and statistics of the water vapor products from satellite SAR, including (1) Accuracy of the differential water vapor products; (2) Sources of calibration data set and their corresponding accuracy; and (3) Accuracy of the derived absolute water vapor products. Overall, we work on the strategy definition that bring the d-InSAR-derived water vapor products to be practically generated association with their accuracy information and available to wide research communities.