Measurement of Subsidence Across the Sacramento Delta: Applying InSAR to a Coherence-challenged Area

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 10:20 AM
Cathleen E Jones and Priyanka Sharma, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, United States
InSAR-based measurement of ground subsidence rates are notoriously challenging in agricultural areas because of rapid temporal decorrelation introduced by physical disturbance of the ground and water content changes. This can be mitigated by the use of longer wavelength instruments and time series techniques, but measurement remains a challenge particularly in areas where the deformation rates are low. Here we discuss techniques developed to work with low coherence data in a project to measure sub-island scale subsidence rates across the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta using SBAS processing of L-band UAVSAR data collected between July 2009 and February 2014. Determination of rates in this area is particularly valuable because of the Delta’s critical importance as a water resource for the State of California and as an enormously productive estuarine ecosystem. Subsidence across the region has left most of the man-made islands below mean sea level and the levees maintaining their integrity are subject to a wide range of threats, including failure during earthquakes on the nearby Hayward and San Andreas fault.

This research was conducted at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.