Detecting deformation on a global scale through systematic processing with the DLR InSAR Browse Service on the GEP


Since 2016 two systematic processing services are available on GEP – the DLR High- and Medium-Resolution InSAR Browse Services which produce the same six products at different resolutions:

  •  Terrain corrected interferometric 

– phase and
– coherence

  •  Calibrated amplitude for the

– master and
– slave

  •  Composites of

– Amplitude-Change and
– Coherence-Amplitudes

Examples and descriptions of all these products can be found in the [Interpreting the Layers of DLR’s InSAR Browse Service] (Interpreting the Layers of DLR’s InSAR Browse Service) blog.

The DLR High-Resolution InSAR Browse Service is available to registered users and has a resolution of 50 and a spacing of 25 metres. It covers 22 active volcanoes worldwide as depicted in Figure 1. The DLR Medium-Resolution InSAR Browse Service is publicly viewable and produces products with a resolution of 100 and a spacing of 50 metres. It partially covers the CEOS seismic mask, focusing on densely populated areas as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 3 illustrates a timeline of deformation events caused by volcanic activity and earthquakes detected by the InSAR Browse Service during the first half of 2017.

Figure 1: Overview of the coverage of the DLR High-Resolution InSAR Browse Service in context of the Volcano-2 Trial Case. About 22 volcanoes in Europe, South-East Asia and Latin America are systematically observed.

Figure 2: Overview of the geographical expansion of the DLR Medium-Resolution InSAR Browse service. Until September 2016 the service covered the European Seismic Mask (dark blue), it was then expanded to the 20% mask (blue).

Figure 3: Deformation detected with the DLR InSAR Browse Service from January to June 2017. (1) and (2) shows a deformation event caused by an eruption of the volcano Piton de la Fournaise that started on January 31st. (3) shows the deformation caused by the February 6th earthquake close to Behram, Turkey. (4) shows the deformation of the volcano Cerro Azul on the Galapagos Island of Isabella in March 2017 that has not yet resulted in an eruption. (5) is the deformation caused by the April 5th earthquake in north-eastern Iran. (6) is the second eruption of the volcano Piton de la Fournaise on May 17th.

GEP’s ability to leverage multiple supply chains aids user understanding of InSAR: An example with the April 5 2017 earthquake in North-Eastern Iran
GEP v2 successfully passed Acceptance Review with ESA, now ready for pre-operations!
Opportunity to monitor AOIs with high-resolution Sentinel-1 InSAR Browse service

So looking at the effective footprint of the totality of Browse images produced the systematic InSAR Medium Resolution Browse of DLR is currently covering 38% of the world tectonic mask defined by the CEOS WG Disasters and this is 40% of the world tectonic mask if one includes the systematic InSAR High Resolution Browse service for registered users. All this represents systematic processing over 15% of the Earth’s land masses with repeat InSAR Browse images every 12 days (and 6 days in Europe). Congrats! Philippe