Novel Multitemporal Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry Algorithms and Models Applied on Managed Aquifer Recharge and Fault Creep

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Virginia Tech


The launch of Sentinel-1A/B satellites in 2014 and 2016 marked a pivotal moment in Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) technology, ushering in a golden era for SAR. With a revisit time of 6–12 days, these satellites facilitated the acquisition of extensive stacks of high-resolution SAR images, enabling advanced time series analysis. However, processing these stacks posed challenges like interferometric phase degradation and tropospheric phase delay. This study introduces an advanced Small Baseline Subset (SBAS) algorithm that optimizes interferometric pairs, addressing systematic errors through dyadic downsampling and Delaunay Triangulation. A novel statistical framework is developed for elite pixel selection, considering distributed and permanent scatterers, and a tropospheric error correction method using smooth 2D splines effectively identifies and removes error components with fractal-like structures. Beyond geodetic technique advancements, the research explores geological phenomena, detecting five significant slow slip events (SSEs) along the Southern San Andreas Fault using multitemporal SAR interferometric time series from 2015-2021. These SSEs govern aseismic slip dynamics, manifesting as avalanche-like creep rate variations. The study further investigates Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) as a nature-engineering-based solution in the Santa Ana Basin. Analyzing surface deformation from 2004 to 2022 demonstrates MAR's effectiveness in curbing land subsidence within Orange County, CA. Additionally, MAR has the potential to stabilize nearby faults by inducing a negative Coulomb stress change. Projecting into the future, a suggested 2% annual increase in recharge volume through 2050 could mitigate land subsidence and reduce seismic hazards in coastal cities vulnerable to relative sea level rise. This integrated approach offers a comprehensive understanding of geological processes and proposes solutions to associated risks.



Sentinel-1, InSAR Time Series, Atmospheric Delay, Pair Selection, San Andreas Fault, Poroelastic Modeling