Analysis of InSAR phase coherence and correlation of image intensity in urban environment: effects of baseline and urban texture

Nazzareno Pierdicca(1) , Marco Chini(2) , Salvatore Stramondo(3) , and Christian Bignami(1)

(1) Univ. La Sapienza of Rome, Via Eudossiana 18, 00184 Rome, Italy
(2) Univ. Alma Mater Studiorum of Bologna, Viale C. Berti Pichat 8, 40127 Bologna, Italy
(3) Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Via di Vigna Murata 605, 00143 Rome, Italy


The prompt detection, mapping and assessment of urban damages due to earthquakes is a key point, particularly in remote areas or where the infrastructures are not well developed to ensure the necessary communication exchanges or where their operability has strongly decreased as a consequence of the destructive event. Both the InSAR phase coherence and correlation of the multilook intensities of images collected before and after the earthquake have been used in literature to detect changes of urban settlements. An analysis of these parameters has been performed using a series of SAR images of Rome, in order to evaluate their potential and limitation in detecting urban changes in different conditions. The effect of the baselines (both spatial and temporal baselines) has been evaluated experimentally from the available set of ERS images. The drop off of the InSAR phase coherence with the spatial baseline has been shown strictly dependent on the urban texture as revealed by optical images. A comparison with the theoretical relationship between coherence and spatial baseline has been performed.


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