InSAR nationwide monitoring: the Italian case

italy-insar-monitoring

TRE ALTAMIRA together with E-geos have processed thousands of SAR images to cover the entire Italian territory within the framework of the PST project (Piano Straordinario di Telerilevamento), which went live in 2008, years prior to the launch of Sentinel-1 satellites. The PST results are now presented in the article: “Analysis of surface deformations over the whole Italian territory by interferometric processing of ERS, Envisat and COSMO-SkyMed radar data”.

A forward-looking project. Using InSAR technology and more than 20,000 images from ERS, Envisat and COSMO-SkyMed satellites, the study has mapped unstable areas over Italy, detecting ground deformations due to subsidence, landslides, earthquakes and volcanic activities in a period covering 22 years (1992-2014).

Ground motion was traditionally considered a local phenomenon, and as such, its impact has been handed at a local level. The increasing importance of the need for a regular monitoring has resulted in more and more initiatives moving up to a national level and joining forces with local authorities. A detailed analysis of this nationwide study reveals a huge amount of information on the different phenomena affecting the territory, enabling a better characterisation of vulnerable areas with known instabilities. It provides a more accurate identification and mapping of threatened areas. It can also help establish that areas once considered at risk have recovered their stability.

Land management. The response to the high-priority, societal need of better understanding and mitigating terrain motions affecting our people, territory and economy has to be proactive rather than reacting only after an issue arises.

The new Sentinel-1 era. Today, multi-hazard ground motion studies with InSAR can benefit from the new Sentinel-1 satellite platform, specifically designed for ground deformation monitoring over large areas and operated by ESA.

A near-real time monitoring program of ground deformation. TRE ALTAMIRA is making the transition from historical satellite analyses of radar imagery to a near-real time monitoring programs at a regional and national scale. Up-to-date displacement information is routinely provided to clients relying on our advanced satellite InSAR technique (SqueeSAR™), our broad computing capacity and free access to timely Sentinel-1 images.

Sentinel-1 analysis over Tuscany (IT).

SqueeSAR™ analysis over Tuscany (IT) using Sentinel-1 imagery.