Validating InSAR-SBAS results by means of different GNSS analysis techniques in medium- and high-grade deformation areas


This study aimed to validate the interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) method by using relative and absolute Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) techniques. In this context, two land subsidence areas, one high (Mexico City) and one medium (Aguascalientes), were monitored between 2014 and 2018 by using Sentinel 1A satellite data. The monitoring was carried out with the Small Baseline Subset (SBAS) technique using 46 images for Mexico City and 18 images for Aguascalientes. Concordantly, the GNSS Continuously Operating Reference Station (CORS) data in the regions were analyzed with relative and Precise Point Positioning (PPP) GNSS analysis techniques. The time series obtained from three different analyses were compared and the results were evaluated in light of statistical criteria. According to the results, it is determined that the InSAR-SBAS technique can vary up to ± 20 mm from the displacement values obtained from GNSS due to various noise sources. Such deviations were limited to a few samples, and in general the differentiations were reasonable in the range of 7–8 mm. The difference between the deformation velocity estimation results obtained from the three different methods varied between 3 and 10 mm/year. In this context, these findings suggest that the InSAR-SBAS technique is an effective method for monitoring land deformation with the accuracy of sub-centimeter decided. In addition, PPP which has become an increasingly popular technique showed fast and reliable results in the range of 5–10 mm for InSAR verification. Moreover, with this study, most current results for Mexico City, which is the world’s fastest subsiding metropole, were achieved. In the central region of the city, the detected 300 mm/year of subsidence rate was updated as 370 mm/year. In addition, Aguascalientes was monitored by using the Sentinel 1A satellite mission for the first time in this study. The 60 mm/year subsidence rate obtained for Aguascalientes in previous studies was updated and it was estimated that there are zones where this rate reaches up to − 115 mm/year levels. In this regard, it was concluded that the deformation rate has increased for both regions since the previous monitoring studies.

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The author would like to thank to anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments on the paper.

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Correspondence to Sefa Yalvac.

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Yalvac, S. Validating InSAR-SBAS results by means of different GNSS analysis techniques in medium- and high-grade deformation areas. Environ Monit Assess 192, 120 (2020).

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  • InSAR validation
  • GNSS
  • Relative positioning
  • Precise point positioning
  • Land subsidence