An Improvement of the Performance of SAR Offset Tracking Approach to Measure Optimal Surface Displacements

Sung Ho Chae, Won Jin Lee, Won Kyung Baek, Hyung Sup Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


For the measurement of abrupt and large surface movements caused by earthquakes, volcanic eruption and melting glacier, Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) offset tracking method would be a feasible solution because it can provide unambiguous ground displacements in both the ground range and azimuth directions when the interferometric phase is not coherent. However, the measurement performance of the method largely depends on the kernel size, which denotes the size of search window to estimate the azimuth and range offsets between reference and target SAR images. Thus, there is a trade-off between sensitivity and measurement density depending on the search kernel size. In this study, an enhanced SAR offset tracking method based on multi-kernel processing has been developed to find an optimized measurement from the trade-off between resolution and measurement accuracy. It can obtain optimal surface displacement measurements by calculating multiple offset measurements and determining a final measurement from the statistical properties of the multiple measurements. The measurement performance of the proposed method was evaluated by using European Remote Sensing 2 (ERS-2) satellite SAR data sets of the Hector Mine earthquake event in 1999 and Advanced Land Observing Satellite-2 Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar-2 (ALOS-2 PALSAR-2) data sets of the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake event. Our results showed that an optimized measurement from the trade-off between the observation accuracy and resolution can be effectively determined by our proposed processing strategy. The results are improved results for measurement density and accuracy over previously published results. It further confirmed that our new method is allowed for the optimal measuring the large-scale fast surface displacements that cannot be sufficiently observed with the phase-based SAR method.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8827458
Pages (from-to)131627-131637
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Access
StatePublished - 2019


  • SAR offset tracking
  • Synthetic aperture radar (SAR)
  • surface deformation measurements
  • the 1999 hector mine earthquake
  • the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake


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