Land Deformation from Radar Interferometry

Another exciting area of our ongoing research is related to the application of radar interferometric studies to assess the magnitude and the nature (natural versus anthropogenic) of land deformation in various settings around the world. Dr. Sultan’s team assessed natural deformation in various settings, including subsidence related to compaction of sediments in the Nile Delta, uplift associated with the rise of a salt diapir in Jazan city in Arabia, and uplift associated with deposition of evaporites in coastal sabkhas in Qatar. The group also investigated anthropogenic deformation (subsidence) caused by groundwater extraction from the fossil aquifers in central and northern Arabia and deformation associated with varying anthropogenic activities in and around the Doha city in Qatar. These include decomposition of waste in landfills, uplift associated with injection wells, and subsidence in reclaimed land along the coastline. We just developed a fully automated system that can generate in days, deformation maps over any part of the world from Sentinel-1 data applying PSI technologies.