Digital Geography

A great visualization of InSAR data by the ESA – ups and downs at the East African Rift

InSAR (Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar) is one of the greatest remote sensing tools for everyone interested in crustal movements. The principle is simple: A satellite equipped with a radar device is constantly measuring the topography of the Earth while orbiting. When it crosses the same area a second time, the two datasets can be compared and the changes in altitude can be measured. The fascinating thing is that these changes may be as small as < 1 cm, using the interferometric effect! Repeated measurements allow creating time series and monitoring areas with crustal deformation. Such deformation can be caused by…