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Assessing the feasibility of a national InSAR ground deformation map of Great Britain with Sentinel-1

Novellino, Alessandro; Cigna, Francesca; Brahmi, Mouna; Sowter, Andrew; Bateson, Luke; Marsh, Stuart


Alessandro Novellino

Francesca Cigna

Mouna Brahmi

Andrew Sowter

Luke Bateson

Professor of Geospatial Engineering


This work assesses the feasibility of national ground deformation monitoring of Great Britain using synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery acquired by Copernicus’ Sentinel-1 constellation and interferometric SAR (InSAR) analyses. As of December 2016, the assessment reveals that, since May 2015, more than 250 interferometric wide (IW) swath products have been acquired on average every month by the constellation at regular revisit cycles for the entirety of Great Britain. A simulation of radar distortions (layover, foreshortening, and shadow) confirms that topographic constraints have a limited effect on SAR visibility of the landmass and, despite the predominance of rural land cover types, there is potential for over 22,000,000 intermittent small baseline subset (ISBAS) monitoring targets for each acquisition geometry (ascending and descending) using a set of IW image frames covering the entire landmass. Finally, InSAR results derived through ISBAS processing of the Doncaster area with an increasing amount of Sentinel-1 IW scenes reveal a consistent decrease of standard deviation of InSAR velocities from 6 mm/year to ≤2 mm/year. Such results can be integrated with geological and geohazard susceptibility data and provide key information to inform the government, other institutions and the public on the stability of the landmass.


Novellino, A., Cigna, F., Brahmi, M., Sowter, A., Bateson, L., & Marsh, S. (2017). Assessing the feasibility of a national InSAR ground deformation map of Great Britain with Sentinel-1. Geosciences, 7(2), Article 19.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 27, 2017
Publication Date Mar 30, 2017
Deposit Date Mar 31, 2017
Publicly Available Date Mar 31, 2017
Journal Geosciences
Electronic ISSN 2076-3263
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 2
Article Number 19
Keywords InSAR; Sentinel-1; geohazards
Public URL
Publisher URL


geosciences-07-00019.pdf (39.6 Mb)

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