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Ground deformation occurring in the city of Auckland, New Zealand, and observed by Envisat interferometric synthetic aperture radar during 2003–2007

AuthorsSamsonov, Sergey; Tiampo, Kristy F.; González Méndez, Pablo José ; Manville, Vernon; Jolly, Gill
KeywordsAuckland Volcanic Field
Ground deformation
Persistent scatterers
Small baseline subset
Volcanic hazards
Remote sensing of volcanoes
Volcano monitoring
Issue Date25-Aug-2010
PublisherAmerican Geophysical Union
CitationJournal of Geophysical Research, 115, B08410 (2010)
AbstractIn this study we present modeling results derived from ground deformation observed in the Auckland Volcanic Field (AVF) by the C-band Envisat Synthetic Aperture Radar. Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand with a current population of over one million, coincides with the AVF, which comprises about 50 individual, largely monogenetic, basaltic volcanoes distributed across a total area of 360 km2. The most recent and largest eruption there occurred 600 years ago. While it is anticipated that the chance of any existing volcano reawakening is very low, a new volcano could be created at any time in a new location within the field. The aim of this work is to evaluate the feasibility of interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) for mapping ground deformation associated with magma ascent, which would be a likely precursor to the onset of volcanic activity. For this study we acquired and processed 23 single look complex (SLC) images from the Envisat satellite (Track 151, Frame 6442, IS2, VV) spanning from July 2003 until November 2007. All possible combinations of differential interferograms were created. Stacking, Small Baseline Subset (SBAS) and Permanent Scatterers (PS) processing algorithms were used to determine spatial and temporal patterns of surface deformation as well as their average rates. A number of localized deformation regions were consistently observed by all three techniques. Due to a lack of evidence pointing toward a relationship with volcanic or tectonic sources it was assumed that they are produced by groundwater withdrawal and recharge. Three largest regions of subsidence (S1–S3) and also three largest regions of uplift (U1–U3) were modeled with the derivative-free simplex algorithms for location, depth and source volume change using a Mogi point source approximation. The results show that InSAR is a viable technique capable of detecting the scale, rate and spatial distribution of precursory deformation that would likely be associated with resumption of volcanic activity in the Auckland urban area.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2009JB006806
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