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Summary of Proposal XTI_GEOL0432

Title New insights into volcanic processes using experimental bistatic high sampling rate TDX-SAR data
Investigator Dr Gonzalez, Pablo - University of Liverpool, Department of Earth, Ocean and Ecological Sciences
Team Member
Dr. Gonzalez, Pablo J. - University of Western Ontario, Department of Earth Sciences
Dr. Tiampo, Kristy F. - University of Western Ontario, Department of Earth Sciences
Dr. Fernandez, Jose - Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Instituto de Astronomia y Geodesia
Dr. Charco, Maria - Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Instituto de Astronomia y Geodesia
Dr. Camacho, Antonio G. - Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Instituto de Astronomia y Geodesia
Summary Natural hazards are a major concern in world-class tourist destinations, not only for the local population, but numerous visitors (Canary and Cape Verde archipelagos). Those archipelagos have significant volcanic activity and represent an opportunity to study fundamental scientific questions in volcanology and volcano-tectonics processes related with any improvement in natural risk reduction. In the past, geodetic data from GPS and InSAR have been very useful to study many volcanic settings (dike and sill intrusions, inflation-deflation cycles, etc.). But subtle and smooth patterns due to flank instability and long-standing volcanic processes, at mm/year scales, cannot be confidently resolved, and if so, uncertainties remain as a concern. In this context, new trends in SAR-based space geodesy techniques can help to overcome the problem of sparse distribution of volcanic ground monitoring stations through those Atlantic archipelagos and elsewhere. High-rate and high-spatial resolution InSAR time series could indeed help to fill the gap, at low cost, between the previous very long observation periods and the required precision that should be achieved to observe slow-moving volcanic ground deformation processes. In this context, major volcanoes in the Canary Islands and Cape Verde are suffering from limited or non-existing monitoring systems despite the threat that some of them may represent for the populations. We plan a two year project that uses stripmap bistatic single polarization across-track interferometry to ensure high sampling rate (11 days) with compatibility with the primary acquisition mode of TSX and TDX during the global DEM TDX mission (2010-2012). To achieve the objectives of the mission, we plan to develop a new algorithm for high rate sampling time series analysis for ground deformation uncertainty assessment, and finite element numerical volcanic models to interpret any possible deformation. A large consistent and reliable high rate dataset of SAR data and the development of an algorithm for time series analysis with uncertainty assessment, would allow determining ground deformation rate with unprecedented precision and with high spatial detail. The development of such time series algorithm would distinguish among ground deformation and atmospheric artifact on the basis of a statistical analysis. Also, new three-dimensional finite element method models (and software) to incorporate subsurface geological heterogeneities and topographic effects will be developed and used for interpretation of the volcanic ground deformation detected using the TDX/TSX data and its time series analysis. Five test sites have been selected according to the current volcanic activity. The reason for selection of five different targets is to verify that the developed tools (robustness purposes) will work in very different conditions for interferometry (terrain slopes, vegetation cover, presence of snow, etc.), and maximize the potential detection of a variety of volcanic ground deformation processes. In the Canary Islands, we propose to study four Islands (Tenerife, La Palma, Lanzarote and El Hierro). In Cape Verde only Fogo Island represents a concern for volcanic hazard. In this project, we propose the consistent and continuous acquisition of stripmap bistatic single polarization data. This acquisition mode will not interfere with the normal-primary acquisition mode of the DEM global mission, enabling the acquisition of data every 11 days in ascending and descending modes for each target region. At each orbital pass, data is acquired for the full coverage of five targets and with ascending or descending modes, for an amount of ~60 images for target for the proposed two year period. We request an overall quota of ~300 TDX stripmap bistatic single polarization images. For general funding support, UWO (where most data-related activities would occur) has large computing facilities and specialized computer support staff.

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