Earth’s surface loading study using InSAR

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 8:15 AM
Falk Amelung, University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Miami, FL, United States, Wenliang Zhao, University of Miami, Miami, FL, United States and Marie-Pierre Doin, ISTerre Institute of Earth Sciences, Seismic cycle and transient deformations, Saint Martin d'Hères, France
Earth’s surface loading/unloading such as glacier retreat, lake water level change, ocean tide, cause measurable (centimeter to millimeter) surface deformation from Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry (InSAR). Such seasonal or decadal deformation signals are useful for the estimation of the amount of load and the parameterization of crust and upper mantle – typically under an elastic or a visco-elastic mechanism. Since 2010, we established a study of surface loading using small baseline InSAR time-series analysis. Four sites are included in this study, which are Vatnajokull ice cap, Lake Yamzho Yumco, Petermann glacier, and Barnes ice cap using different satellites such as ERS1/2, Envisat, Radarsat-2, TerraSAR-X.

We present results that mainly answer three questions: 1) Is InSAR time-series capable for the detection of millimeter level deformation due to surface loading; 2) When the Earth’s rheology is known, how much load change occured; 3) When the surface loading is known, what are the Earth’s parameters such as Young’s modulus, viscosity. For glacier retreat problem, we introduce a new model for the ice mass loss estimation considering the spatial distribution of ice loss. For lake unloading problem, modeled elastic parameters are useful for the comparison to other 1-D models, e.g. the model based on seismic data.