Heleno, SIN, Frischknecht, C, d'Oreye, N, Lima, JNP, Faria, B, Wall, R, Kervyn, F (2010). Seasonal tropospheric influence on SAR interferograms near the ITCZ - The case of Fogo Volcano and Mount Cameroon. JOURNAL OF AFRICAN EARTH SCIENCES, 58(5), 833-856.
The potential of differential SAR interferometry (DInSAR) to measure volcanic ground deformation is widely recognized, despite several limitations still hindering its use in operational volcano monitoring, one of the most critical being water vapor change in the troposphere. In this paper we investigate tropospheric influence on SAR interferograms for two African active volcanoes strongly affected by the oscillation of the Inter-tropical convergence zone (ITCZ). Fogo Island (similar to 40,000 inhabitants), located in the southwestern part of the Cape Verde archipelago, is a 30-km-wide active volcano that last erupted in 1995. Mount Cameroon, with approximately 300,000 people living in its immediate surroundings, is the most active volcanic center of the 1600 km-long Cameroon volcanic line, counting seven eruptions over the last century. We analyze 72 SLC ASAR images of Fogo, acquired by ENVISAT from June 2005 to December 2007, and 14 SLC ASAR images of Mount Cameroon, acquired from July 2004 to January 2008. A total of 274 two-pass interferograms, computed from the SLC images, were used for fringe counting and least-squares data adjustment, allowing the estimation of a relative phase delay for each image. We then compare the InSAR-retrieved phase delays with two independent calculations of precipitable water vapor (PWV) in the troposphere, using MODIS and GPS, and observe that all time-series, for both regions under study, match up the ITCZ seasonal oscillation. We conclude that most (if not all) of the phase delays observed are due to water vapor change in the troposphere. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.