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SBAS-DInSAR Surface Deformation Analysis of the Mendoza Region (argentina) by Using ENVISAT ASAR Data

Leonardo D. Euillades(1), Mauro H. Blanco(1), Antonio Pepe(2) and Pablo A. Euillades(1)

(1) Instituto CEDIAC, cc 405, Fac. de Ing., Univ. Nacional de Cuyo, 5500, Mendoza, Argentina
(2) IREA, National Research Council, Via Diocleziano 328, Napoli, 80124, Italy


The city of Mendoza is located in the west-central region of Argentina, in the most seismically active region of the country. Previous works, carried out by using ERS SAR data and GPS, reported active crustal deformation near the city[1, 2]. However, because of lack of enough SAR data, previous InSAR results remain ambiguous for what attains a quantitative evaluation of the detected displacements.

Recent acquisition of an ENVISAT long-term dataset allowed us to clarify the currently ongoing deformation processes within the area of interest (AOI). In particular, we used a dataset composed by 22 IS4 ENVISAT ascending scenes, spanning more than 2 years from January 2005 to February 2007. The processing technique is the Small BAseline Subsets (SBAS) approach, which has been broadly validated by investigating numerous sites around the world[3].

We detected at least three main deformation areas within the AOI: 1) Barrancas Oilfield located roughly 30km south of the Mendoza city. This area is characterized by a recently uplifted anticline where GPS studies suggest that the opposite limbs of the anticline exhibit differential shortening[4]. The ERS and ENVISAT deformation data shows uplift phenomena currently ongoing within this structure. 2) Mendoza river, the city’s main water supply. It runs from west to east, about 20 km south of the city, and then turns to the north. Important features located near the river course are an industrial area (oil refinery, thermal electricity plant, etc.), the highly populated suburb of Luján de Cuyo and large agricultural fields to the east of Mendoza. Furthermore, a dam has been recently constructed in the area named Potrerillos, located about 25 km west of the industrial area and inside the precordillera. Deformation time series suggest subsidence and uplift (at the lake shore) possibly related to filling and emptying dam operations, respectively. 3) Agricultural fields in the surroundings of Mendoza. We detected, east of Mendoza, subsidence effects possibly related with groundwater management.

The sources of the detected deformation are still under investigation, though some hypothesis have been already stated. Further work is ongoing to assess them, as well as to validate the achieved DInSAR results by via comparison with continuous GPS measurements.

[1] B. Brooks, M. Bevis, R. S. Jr., E. Kendrick, R. Manceda, E. Lauria, R. Maturana & M. Araujo, Crustal motion in the Southern Andes (26°-36°S): Do the Andes behave like a microplate?, Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, G3, 4, 10, 2003.

[2] P. Euillades, B. Brooks, M. Blanco & L. Euillades, Preliminary results of differential interferometry in west-central Argentina, Proc. Fringe 2005 Workshop, Frascati, Roma, ESA Publication Division, 2005.

[3] P. Berardino, G. Fornaro, R. Lanari & E. Sansosti, A New Algorithm for Surface Deformation Monitoring Based on Small Baseline Differential SAR Interferograms, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 40, 11, 2375-2383, 2002.

[4] B. Brooks, M. Bevis, E. Kendrick, P. Euillades, M. Blanco, L. Euillades, G. Cabrera, A. Aryal & J. Foster, Structural Geodesy: Active Deformation of the Barrancas Anticline, Mendoza, Argentina, Eos Trans. AGU, 87, 52, Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract G43B-1001, 2006.


Keywords: ESA European Space Agency - Agence spatiale europeenne, observation de la terre, earth observation, satellite remote sensing, teledetection, geophysique, altimetrie, radar, chimique atmospherique, geophysics, altimetry, radar, atmospheric chemistry