The Groningen gas field, the largest natural gas field in Europe, was discovered in 1959 and started its production in 1963. The Earth surface above it experienced subsidence over the past six decades because of gas extraction activities. To accurately reveal this surface movement with satellite SAR data, our study first proposes and demonstrates a model-backfeed (MBF) InSAR deformation estimation method to improve InSAR deformation time series modeling. This method allowed us to include a priori knowledge and to iteratively optimize functional and stochastic models. Using this method and employing a spatio-temporal SAR data integration method based upon Monte Carlo and Multiple Hypothesis Testing methods, we retrieved the 20-year subsidence history of the Groningen gas field by integrating 32 ERS-1/2, 68 Envisat and 82 Radarsat-2 SAR images. The results show that the maximum cumulative surface subsidence in this gas field has been as much as 15.5cm between 1995 and 2015. In terms of precision and accuracy, our MBF method offered a better result than the standard Multi-Temporal InSAR analysis method: the Ensemble Coherence increased by 10%–19% and Spatio-Temporal Consistency decreased by 2%–20%. In terms of accuracy, our results better concur with the external GNSS reference observations. We further show that the spatio-temporal SAR data integration method has better links with multi-platform SAR data if the uncertainties of the InSAR geolocation and temporal deformation are included. The study demonstrates that the MBF method optimized the estimation of deformation parameters and mitigated unwrapping errors.
|International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation (JAG)
|Published - Jul 2022