Proceedings of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (Apr 2020)

Permafrost seasonal surface changes revealed from Sentinel-1 InSAR time-series, Yamal peninsula

  • K. Teshebaeva,
  • K. J. van Huissteden,
  • A. V. Puzanov,
  • D. N. Balykin,
  • A. I. Sinitsky,
  • N. Kovalevskaya

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 382
pp. 183 – 187


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Widespread thawing of permafrost in the northern Eurasian continent causes severe problems for infrastructure and global climate. We test the potential of Sentinel-1 SAR imagery to enhance detection of permafrost surface changes in the Siberian lowlands of the northern Eurasian continent at the Yamal peninsula site. We used InSAR time-series technique to detect seasonal surface movements related to permafrost active layer changes. The satellite InSAR time-series analysis has detected continuous movements, subsidence in three zones, which have occurred during the time period from 2017 to 2018. Observed subsidence zones show up to 180 mm yr−1 rates of seasonal active layers changes. These seasonal ground displacement patterns align well with lithology and linked to anthropogenic impact on the permafrost surface changes in the area. The results show that Sentinel-1 mission is of great importance for the longer-term monitoring of active layer thickening in permafrost regions. The combined analyses of the obtained InSAR time series with additional field observations may support regular process monitoring as part of a global warming risk assessment.