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Monitoring Subtle Ground Deformation of Geohazards from Space

A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292). This special issue belongs to the section "Remote Sensing in Geology, Geomorphology and Hydrology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2023) | Viewed by 12013

Special Issue Editors

State Key Laboratory of Earthquake Dynamics, Institute of Geology, China Earthquake Administration, Beijing 100029, China
Interests: InSAR; time series analysis; crustal deformation; geophysical modeling; natural hazards

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Guest Editor
Institute of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System, School of Earth and Space Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
Interests: Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) signal processing; interferometry (InSAR); remote sensing and their applications in geoscience and hazard response
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
School of Geomatics Science and Technology, Nanjing Tech University, Nanjing 211816, China
Interests: InSAR; PSInSAR; crustal deformation; natural hazards; cascading hazards; earthquake triggering
State Key Laboratory of Precision Measuring Technology and Instruments, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China
Interests: SAR; InSAR; PSInSAR; deformation monitoring; oil spill detection; change detection; geohazards
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Various geological disasters, including earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides and permafrost melting, often result in ground deformation of different magnitudes. In some cases, the deformation may foresee a forthcoming larger catastrophic geohazard event. In other cases, the ground deformation can be used to diagnose sub-surface processes. Hence, the study of subtle ground deformation provides important means to monitor and interpret the mechanisms, and even to support early warnings of these geohazards. The modern remote sensing and space geodetic technologies, especially Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), have been demonstrated to be powerful approaches to detect, monitor, and model geohazards. However, impacted by various artifacts, it is necessary to further advance data processing algorithms for accurate deformation measurements. Additionally, the recent development in operational monitoring systems along with big data analysis techniques allows for innovative knowledge-discovery on the basis of large amounts of subtle deformation events. This Special Issue is aimed at providing selected contributions on advances in InSAR/GNSS algorithm development and quantitative studies on subtle ground deformation linked to various geohazards. Themes in this Special Issue include, but are not limited to: InSAR/GNSS algorithm development and multi-source data integration; Earthquakes and tectonics; Volcanic processes; Landslides; Permafrost; Crustal loading effects;Applications with big data analysis techniques.

Dr. Wenyu Gong
Prof. Dr. Zhong Lu
Dr. Cunren Liang
Dr. Shanshan Li
Dr. Qingli Luo
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • InSAR/GNSS algorithm development
  • Multi-source data integration
  • Earthquakes and tectonics
  • Volcanic processes
  • Landslides
  • Permafrost
  • Crustal loading effects
  • Applications with big data analysis techniques

Published Papers (9 papers)

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24 pages, 86152 KiB  
Article
Mine Subsidence Monitoring Integrating DS-InSAR with UAV Photogrammetry Products: Case Studies on Hebei and Inner Mongolia
by Jinqi Zhao, Xuhai Yang, Zhaojiang Zhang, Yufen Niu and Zheng Zhao
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(20), 4998; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15204998 - 17 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1059
Abstract
Frequent mining activities create a series of geological and environmental problems resulting in an immeasurable loss of life and property. Adopting effective technologies that monitor the surface subsidence of mining areas reliably and accurately is necessary. Targeting problems associated with conventional distributed scatterers [...] Read more.
Frequent mining activities create a series of geological and environmental problems resulting in an immeasurable loss of life and property. Adopting effective technologies that monitor the surface subsidence of mining areas reliably and accurately is necessary. Targeting problems associated with conventional distributed scatterers interferometric synthetic aperture radar (DS-InSAR) technology, we propose a DS-InSAR technology integrating unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) photogrammetry products divided into two key technical contents: generating an external reference digital elevation model (DEM) fused with UAV DEM and refining distributed scatterers candidates (DSCs) fused with an UAV digital orthophoto map (DOM). We selected two mining areas, one in Wu’an, Hebei, and the other in Inner Mongolia, with different surface cover types, mining depths, and topographies as the research area. We used Sentinel-1A SAR images covering a mine in Wu’an from 4 November 2018 to 4 March 2019 and a mining area in Inner Mongolia from 11 June 2018 to 21 October 2018 to compare and analyze the subsidence results. We also combined these results with data from their respective field observation stations to assess accuracy. We could apply DS-InSAR technology integrated with UAV photogrammetry products to the subsidence monitoring of two mining areas with different landforms and mining characteristics. Comparing with the leveling and total station, the experimental results show that the RMSE was reduced by about 2 mm in both mining areas, and accuracy for the Wu’an region improved to a higher degree than Inner Mongolia did. Furthermore, the refinement method of DS eliminated 965 and 2948 lower-quality DSCs in the two mining areas. These demonstrate that our proposed method can effectively improve the accuracy and reliability of subsidence results from two mining areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring Subtle Ground Deformation of Geohazards from Space)
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18 pages, 4427 KiB  
Article
Characteristics of Regional GPS Crustal Deformation before the 2021 Yunnan Yangbi Ms 6.4 Earthquake and Its Implications for Determining Potential Areas of Future Strong Earthquakes
by Chenglong Dai, Weijun Gan, Zhangjun Li, Shiming Liang, Genru Xiao, Keliang Zhang and Ling Zhang
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(12), 3195; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15123195 - 20 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1085
Abstract
The 2021 Yangbi Ms 6.4 earthquake in Yunnan, China, occurred in an area where the Global Positioning System (GPS) geodetic observations are particularly intensive. Based on a detailed retrospective analysis of the GPS observations of about 133 stations distributed in the proximately 400 [...] Read more.
The 2021 Yangbi Ms 6.4 earthquake in Yunnan, China, occurred in an area where the Global Positioning System (GPS) geodetic observations are particularly intensive. Based on a detailed retrospective analysis of the GPS observations of about 133 stations distributed in the proximately 400 km × 400 km region that contains the area affected by the earthquake., we obtain a high-resolution GPS velocity field and strain rate field and then derive the present-day slip rates of major faults in the region with the commonly used half-space elastic dislocation model and constraints from the GPS velocity field. Furthermore, by calculating the seismic moment accumulation and release and deficit rates in the main fault segments and combining with the distribution characteristics of small earthquakes, we evaluate the regional seismic risk. The results show that (1) there was a localized prominent strain accumulation rate around the seismogenic area of the impending Yangbi Ms 6.4 earthquake, although this was not the only area with a prominent strain rate in the whole region. (2) The seismogenic area of the earthquake was just located where the strain direction was deflected, which, together with the localized outstanding maximum shear strain and dilatation rates, provides us with important hints to determine the potential areas of future strong earthquakes. (3) Of all the seismogenic fault segments with relatively high potentials, judged using the elapsed time of historical earthquakes and effective strain accumulation rate, the middle section of the Weixi–Qiaohou fault has a higher earthquake risk than the southern section, the Midu–Binchuan section of the Chenghai fault has a higher risk than the Yongsheng section and the Jianchuan section of the Jianchuan–Qiaohou–Lijiang–Xiaojinhe fault has a higher risk than the Lijiang section. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring Subtle Ground Deformation of Geohazards from Space)
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18 pages, 11112 KiB  
Article
A Crustal Deformation Pattern on the Northeastern Margin of the Tibetan Plateau Derived from GPS Observations
by Sihan Yu and Xiaoning Su
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(11), 2905; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15112905 - 02 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1000
Abstract
The northeastern margin is a natural experimental field for studying crustal extrusion and expansion mechanisms. The accurate crustal deformation pattern is a key point in the analysis of regional deformation mechanisms and seismic hazard research and judgment. In this paper, the present-day GPS [...] Read more.
The northeastern margin is a natural experimental field for studying crustal extrusion and expansion mechanisms. The accurate crustal deformation pattern is a key point in the analysis of regional deformation mechanisms and seismic hazard research and judgment. In this paper, the present-day GPS velocity field on the northeastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau was obtained from encrypted GPS observations around the Haiyuan–Liupanshan fault zone, combined with GPS observations on the northeastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau from 2010 to 2020. Firstly, we divided the study area into three relatively independent blocks: the ORDOS block, Alxa block, and Lanzhou block; secondly, the accurate fault distribution of the Haiyuan–Liupanshan fault zone was taken into account to obtain the optimal inversion model; finally, using the block and fault back-slip dislocation model, the inversion obtained the slip rate distribution, locking depth, and slip deficit rate of each fault. The results indicate that the Laohushan Fault and Haiyuan Fault are dominated by the left-lateral strike-slip, while the Liupanshan Fault is dominated by the thrust dip-slip, and the Guguan–Baoji Fault has both left-lateral strike-slip and thrust dip-slip components. The maximum locking depths of the Laohushan Fault, Haiyuan Fault, Liupanshan Fault, and Guguan–Baoji Fault are 5 km, 13 km, 15 km, and 10 km, respectively, and the locking of the Haiyuan Fault is strong in the middle section and weak in the eastern and western section. The Haiyuan Fault is still in the post-earthquake stress adjustment stage. The slip deficit rate decays from 3.6 mm/yr to 1.8 mm/yr from west to east along the fault zone. Combined with geological and historical seismic data, the results suggest that the mid-long-term seismic risk in the Liupanshan Fault is high. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring Subtle Ground Deformation of Geohazards from Space)
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13 pages, 30433 KiB  
Communication
Spatiotemporal Distribution of Afterslip following the 2014 Yutian Mw 6.9 Earthquake Using COSMO-SkyMed and Sentinel-1 InSAR Data
by Zhanhong Huang, Lei Xie, Lei Zhao and Wenbin Xu
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(9), 2258; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15092258 - 25 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1157
Abstract
Spatiotemporal distribution of early afterslip is essential for seismic hazard evaluation and determination of fault friction properties. In this study, we used early post-seismic COSMO-SkyMed (19 February 2014–08 April 2014) and long-term Sentinel-1 (16 October 2014–17 June 2020) observations from multiple platforms over [...] Read more.
Spatiotemporal distribution of early afterslip is essential for seismic hazard evaluation and determination of fault friction properties. In this study, we used early post-seismic COSMO-SkyMed (19 February 2014–08 April 2014) and long-term Sentinel-1 (16 October 2014–17 June 2020) observations from multiple platforms over different periods to create a rate decay model driven by post-seismic afterslip. The combined observations provide full coverage of the post-seismic deformation following the 2014 Yutian Mw 6.9 earthquake that occurred at the southwestern end of the Altyn Tagh Fault. The observation and modeling results showed that post-seismic deformation was characterized by left-lateral strike-slip movement with minor normal slip, which was consistent with that of co-seismic rupture. The maximum early afterslip (7–55 days) was as large as approximately 0.09 m with a depth of 7 km in the west of co-seismic rupture, and the maximum long-term afterslip was about 0.24 m. The simulated post-seismic deformation caused by poroelastic rebound and viscoelastic relaxation suggests that the afterslip mechanism controls the post-seismic deformation. The coupling pattern of the aftershock and afterslip indicates that the aftershock was mainly caused by the afterslip. The post-seismic spatiotemporal features of the 2014 Yutian earthquake have significant implications for analyzing seismic hazards at the southwestern end of the Altyn Tagh Fault. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring Subtle Ground Deformation of Geohazards from Space)
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20 pages, 29602 KiB  
Article
A Multi-Scale Spatial Difference Approach to Estimating Topography Correlated Atmospheric Delay in Radar Interferograms
by Zhigang Yu, Guoman Huang, Zheng Zhao, Yingchun Huang, Chenxi Zhang and Guanghui Zhang
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(8), 2115; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15082115 - 17 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1055
Abstract
The Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) has been widely used as a powerful technique for monitoring land surface deformations over the last three decades. InSAR observations can be plagued by atmospheric phase delays; some have a roughly linear relationship with the ground elevation, [...] Read more.
The Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) has been widely used as a powerful technique for monitoring land surface deformations over the last three decades. InSAR observations can be plagued by atmospheric phase delays; some have a roughly linear relationship with the ground elevation, which can be approximated using a linear model. However, the estimation results of this linear relationship are sometimes affected by phase ramps such as orbital errors, tidal loading, etc. In this study, we present a new approach to estimate the transfer function of vertical stratification phase delays and the transfer function of phase ramps. Our method uses the idea of multi-scale spatial differences to decompose the atmospheric phase delay into the vertical stratification component, phase ramp component, and other features. This decomposition makes the correlation between the vertical stratification phase delays and topography more significant and stable. This can establish the correlation between the different scales and phase ramps. We demonstrate our approach using a synthetic test and two real interferograms. In the synthetic test, the transfer functions estimated by our method were closer to the design values than those estimated by the full interferogram–topography correlation approach and the band-pass filtering approach. In the first real interferogram, out of the 9 sub-regions corrected by the proposed method, 7 sub-regions were outperformed the full interferogram–topography correlation approach, and 8 sub-regions were superior to the band-pass filtering method. Our technique offers a greater correction effect and robustness for coseismic deformation signals in the second real interferogram. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring Subtle Ground Deformation of Geohazards from Space)
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21 pages, 16439 KiB  
Article
The 8 January 2022, Menyuan Earthquake in Qinghai, China: A Representative Event in the Qilian-Haiyuan Fault Zone Observed Using Sentinel-1 SAR Images
by Liangyu Zhu, Lingyun Ji, Chuanjin Liu, Jing Xu, Xinkai Liu, Lei Liu and Qiang Zhao
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(23), 6078; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14236078 - 30 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1686
Abstract
On 8 January 2022, a Ms 6.9 earthquake occurred in Menyuan, Qinghai, China. This event provided important geodetic data before and after the earthquake, facilitating the investigation of the slip balance along the seismogenic faults to understand seismogenic behavior and assess seismic risk. [...] Read more.
On 8 January 2022, a Ms 6.9 earthquake occurred in Menyuan, Qinghai, China. This event provided important geodetic data before and after the earthquake, facilitating the investigation of the slip balance along the seismogenic faults to understand seismogenic behavior and assess seismic risk. In this study, we obtained the interseismic (2016–2021) and coseismic deformation fields of the 2022 earthquake using Sentinel-1 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images and estimated the slip rate, fault locking, and coseismic slip of the seismogenic faults. The results indicated that the seismogenic fault of the 2022 Menyuan earthquake, i.e., the Tuolaishan–Lenglongling Fault, had shallow locked areas before the earthquake; its long-term slip rate could reach 6 ± 1.2 mm/yr. The earthquake ruptured a sinistral strike-slip fault with a high dip angle; the maximum slip magnitude reached 3.47 m, with a moment magnitude of 6.6. The area of coseismic slip > 1.5 m was equivalent to the range of the isoline, with a locking value of 0.6. The interseismic locking region can limit the approximate scope of the coseismic slip distribution. The 2022 Menyuan earthquake released energy that had accumulated over 482 years in the stepover region between the Lenglongling and Tuolaishan faults. The accumulated elastic strain power of the Tuolaishan Fault was equivalent to an Mw 6.79 earthquake. These circumstances in terms of the strain energy balance demonstrate that interseismic locking, as constrained from the geodetic data, and the elapsed time from the previous paleoseismic event are useful for earthquake location and energy predictions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring Subtle Ground Deformation of Geohazards from Space)
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17 pages, 6020 KiB  
Article
Rupture Process of the 2022 Mw6.6 Menyuan, China, Earthquake from Joint Inversion of Accelerogram Data and InSAR Measurements
by Chuanchao Huang, Guohong Zhang, Dezheng Zhao, Xinjian Shan, Chaodi Xie, Hongwei Tu, Chunyan Qu, Chuanhua Zhu, Nana Han and Junxian Chen
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(20), 5104; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14205104 - 12 Oct 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1928
Abstract
We obtained the rupture process and slip distribution of the 2022 Mw6.6 Menyuan earthquake by jointly inverting accelerogram data and InSAR measurements. The near-field InSAR measurements provide good constraints on the shallow slip distributions (<6 km). The accelerogram data enable us to better [...] Read more.
We obtained the rupture process and slip distribution of the 2022 Mw6.6 Menyuan earthquake by jointly inverting accelerogram data and InSAR measurements. The near-field InSAR measurements provide good constraints on the shallow slip distributions (<6 km). The accelerogram data enable us to better resolve the deeper coseismic slip (>6 km). The combination of two types of data provided improved constrains on slip distribution of the 2022 Menyuan earthquake. The results from joint inversion of InSAR and accelerogram data reveal a 26-km-long rupture length, which roughly agrees with the mapped length from the optically identified surface rupture trace and the InSAR deformation field. We imaged a major asperity with a dimension of 14 × 6 km at 4 km depth updip of the hypocenter. The maximum slip is estimated to be 3.8 m at 4 km depth. The duration of the 2022 Menyuan earthquake is ~14 s, and 90% of the seismic moment is released in the first 10 s. The total seismic moment is estimated to be 1.31 × 1 × 1019 N·m, equivalent to a moment magnitude of Mw6.7. Our results highlight that the moderate but shallow rupture during the 2022 Menyuan earthquake could intensify the seismic damage on the surface, confirmed by field investigations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring Subtle Ground Deformation of Geohazards from Space)
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13 pages, 3536 KiB  
Technical Note
Present-Day Crustal Deformation of the Northwestern Tibetan Plateau Based on InSAR Measurements
by Guifang Zhang, Chunyan Qu, Xinjian Shan, Xiaogang Song, Yingfeng Zhang and Yanchuan Li
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(21), 5195; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15215195 - 31 Oct 2023
Viewed by 759
Abstract
In this study, The ENVISAT advanced synthetic aperture radar observations from 2003 to 2010 of a descending track covering an area of 100 km × 300 km were used to map the surface velocity field in northwestern Tibet. The derived line-of-sight (LOS) velocity [...] Read more.
In this study, The ENVISAT advanced synthetic aperture radar observations from 2003 to 2010 of a descending track covering an area of 100 km × 300 km were used to map the surface velocity field in northwestern Tibet. The derived line-of-sight (LOS) velocity map revealed that interseismic deformation was mainly located on the Altyn Tagh Fault (ATF) and other four immature subsidiary faults (i.e., Tashikule Fault, Muzitage-jingyuhe Fault, Heishibeihu Fault, and Woniuhu Fault). A 2D elastic screw dislocation model was used to interpret the interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) velocity profiles, which revealed the following results. (a) The oblique movement is partitioned between left-lateral slip at a rate of 6.3 ± 1.4 mm/y on the ATF and 5.9 ± 2.8 mm/y on the subsidiary faults. The low slip rate of the ATF indicates that the ATF does not drive the northeastward extrusion of material, with most of the extrusion occurring in the eastern interior of the plateau and the four subsidiary faults localizing the oblique convergence partitioned in the west. This can reasonably explain why catastrophic earthquakes and rapid slip do not occur all over along the ATF. (b) Based on the four subsidiary faults accommodating the oblique movement and the traces amalgamation with the EKLF (delineated Bayan Har plate boundary to the northeast), we concluded guardedly that the four subsidiary faults are the evoluting plate boundary of the Bayan Har block to the northwest. (c) The Tanan top-up structure had an uplift rate of ~0.6 mm/y at the south of the Tarim Basin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring Subtle Ground Deformation of Geohazards from Space)
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16 pages, 10728 KiB  
Technical Note
Revealing the Kinematic Characteristics and Tectonic Implications of a Buried Fault through the Joint Inversion of GPS and Strong-Motion Data: The Case of the 2022 Mw7.0 Taiwan Earthquake
by Chuanchao Huang, Chaodi Xie, Guohong Zhang, Wan Wang, Min-Chien Tsai and Jyr-Ching Hu
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(19), 4868; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15194868 - 08 Oct 2023
Viewed by 828
Abstract
Understanding the kinematic characteristics of the Longitudinal Valley Fault Zone (LVFZ) can help us to better understand the evolution of orogens. The 2022 Mw7.0 Taitung earthquake that occurred in Taiwan provides us with a good opportunity to understand the motion characteristics of the [...] Read more.
Understanding the kinematic characteristics of the Longitudinal Valley Fault Zone (LVFZ) can help us to better understand the evolution of orogens. The 2022 Mw7.0 Taitung earthquake that occurred in Taiwan provides us with a good opportunity to understand the motion characteristics of the Central Range Fault (CRF) and the strain partitioning pattern within the Longitudinal Valley Fault (LVF). We obtained the coseismic displacement and slip distribution of the 2022 Taiwan earthquake based on the strong-motion and GPS data available. The causative fault of this earthquake is the west-dipping Central Range Fault, which is buried beneath the western boundary of the LVF. The coseismic displacement field exhibits a quadrant distribution pattern, indicating a left-lateral strike-slip mechanism with a maximum displacement exceeding 1.25 m. The joint inversion results show that the size of the main asperity is 40 km × 20 km, and the maximum slip amount of 2.6 m is located at a depth of 10 km, equivalent to an earthquake of Mw7.04. The LVFZ is composed of LVF and CRF, which accommodates nearly half of the oblique convergence rate between the Philippine Sea Plate and the Eurasian Plate. There is a phenomenon of strain partitioning in the southern segment of the Longitudinal Valley Fault Zone. The Central Mountain Range Fault is primarily responsible for accommodating strike-slip motion, while the Longitudinal Valley Fault is mainly responsible for accommodating thrust motion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring Subtle Ground Deformation of Geohazards from Space)
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