Measuring human-induced land subsidence from space

Fact Sheet 069-03
By: , and 



Satellite Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) is a revolutionary technique that allows scientists to measure and map changes on the Earth's surface as small as a few millimeters. By bouncing radar signals off the ground surface from the same point in space but at different times, the radar satellite can measure the change in distance between the satellite and ground (range change) as the land surface uplifts or subsides. Maps of relative ground-surface change (interferograms) are constructed from the InSAR data to help scientists understand how ground-water pumping, hydrocarbon production, or other human activities cause the land surface to uplift or subside. Interferograms developed by the USGS for study areas in California, Nevada, and Texas are used in this fact sheet to demonstrate some of the applications of InSAR to assess human-induced land deformation
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Measuring human-induced land subsidence from space
Series title Fact Sheet
Series number 069-03
DOI 10.3133/fs06903
Year Published 2003
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) California Water Science Center, Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Water Science Center
Description 4 p.
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