Advantages to Geoscience and Disaster Response from QuakeSim Implementation of Interferometric Radar Maps in a GIS Database System
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High-resolution maps of earth surface deformation are available in public archives for scientific interpretation, but are primarily available as bulky downloads on the internet. The NASA uninhabited aerial vehicle synthetic aperture radar (UAVSAR) archive of airborne radar interferograms delivers very high resolution images (approximately seven meter pixels) making remote handling of the files that much more pressing. Data exploration requiring data selection and exploratory analysis has been tedious. QuakeSim has implemented an archive of UAVSAR data in a web service and browser system based on GeoServer (http://geoserver.org). This supports a variety of services that supply consistent maps, raster image data and geographic information systems (GIS) objects including standard earthquake faults. Browsing the database is supported by initially displaying GIS-referenced thumbnail images of the radar displacement maps. Access is also provided to image metadata and links for full file downloads. One of the most widely used features is the QuakeSim line-of-sight profile tool, which calculates the radar-observed displacement (from an unwrapped interferogram product) along a line specified through a web browser. Displacement values along a profile are updated to a plot on the screen as the user interactively redefines the endpoints of the line and the sampling density. The profile and also a plot of the ground height are available as CSV (text) files for further examination, without any need to download the full radar file. Additional tools allow the user to select a polygon overlapping the radar displacement image, specify a downsampling rate and extract a modest sized grid of observations for display or for inversion, for example, the QuakeSim simplex inversion tool which estimates a consistent fault geometry and slip model.
KeywordsRadar interferometry disaster response earthquakes geographic information systems (GIS)
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