Probing tectonic processes with space geodesy in the south Carpathians: insights from archive SAR data

Abstract

The Carpathian bend is amongst the tectonically most active areas in Europe where intraplate subduction triggers sub-crustal earthquakes releasing significant amount of seismic energy in a well-defined seismic zone. To constrain the deep processes by exploiting their linkage to the surface processes an accurate knowledge of surface deformations is required. Detection of small-magnitude tectonic processes with high reliability is a challenge in which the recent space geodetic techniques may bright a breakthrough. In this study we used the archive ENVISAT data set of the European Space Agency to investigate the feasibility limit of detecting crustal deformations in the region of the south Carpathian bend, where past geodetic observations failed to unravel the tectonic processes with high details. Despite the inherent limitations of radar interferometry our results show that coherent velocity field can be estimated with a magnitude of few mm/year. The vertical displacement field suggests subsidence in the Brasov basin which is in agreement with former studies, however radar interferometry can provide a more detailed picture.

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Acknowledgements

ENVISAT images were provided by the European Space Agency under contract No. 30142 Initial assessments of recent surface evolution at the interior of the Carpathian bend area (Romania) using archive SAR acquisitions and geodetic data.

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Correspondence to István Bozsó.

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Szűcs, E., Bozsó, I., Kovács, I.J. et al. Probing tectonic processes with space geodesy in the south Carpathians: insights from archive SAR data. Acta Geod Geophys 53, 331–345 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40328-018-0228-x

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Keywords

  • Geodynamics
  • Vrancea zone
  • Radar interferometry
  • ENVISAT