Time Evolution of Deformation Using Time Series of Differential Interferograms: Application to La Palma Island (Canary Islands)

  • Patricia A. Perlock
  • Pablo J. González
  • Kristy F. Tiampo
  • Gema Rodríguez-Velasco
  • Sergey Samsonov
  • José Fernández
Part of the Pageoph Topical Volumes book series (PTV)


Differential interferometry is a very powerful tool for detecting changes in the Earth’s crust where coherence conditions are good, but is difficult to employ in some volcanic areas due to dense vegetation. We apply two differential InSAR methods using the time series associated with the interferograms to perform a phase analysis on a data set for La Palma island (Canary Islands) from the ERS-1 and ERS-2 European Space Agency (ESA) satellites for the time period 1992 to 2000. Both methods involve choosing a master image from the database and creating a series of interferograms with respect to this image. The “Coherent Pixel Time Series” (CPTS) technique chooses pixels with good average coherence, aligns the unwrapped interferograms with a stable area and then performs an inversion to calculate the linear velocity to quantify the deformation. The Coherent Target Modeling (CTM) method calculates the temporal coherence of each pixel to identify stable targets and then determines the best velocity for each pixel by using a linear fit that maximizes the temporal coherence. Using these two methods we have been able to detect deformation on La Palma Island that has been previously undetectable by conventional InSAR methods. There is a roughly circular region on the Southern part of the island that is actively deforming at ∽ -4 to -8 mm/yr. This region is located near the Teneguia valcano, the host of the last known eruption on La Palma in 1971. A thorough investigation of the possible sources for this deformation revealed that it was most likely created by a subsurface thermal source.

Key words

Time series La Palma InSAR ground deformation modeling differential interferograms permanent scatterers 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia A. Perlock
    • 1
  • Pablo J. González
    • 2
  • Kristy F. Tiampo
    • 1
  • Gema Rodríguez-Velasco
    • 2
  • Sergey Samsonov
    • 1
  • José Fernández
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  2. 2.Instituto de Astronomía y Geodesia, CSIC-UCMMadridSpain

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