Spring 2020 - EASC 400 D100

Selected Topics in Earth Sciences (3)

InSAR Applications

Class Number: 5526

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo, We 3:30 PM – 4:50 PM
    AQ 5051, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Bernhard Rabus
    1 778 782-4846
    Office: ASB Room 9829
  • Prerequisites:

    To be determined by instructor.



An advanced, in-depth treatment of a specialized area of earth sciences.


This course reviews the principles of Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar Remote Sensing and its Applications. An overview of the basic theory is presented to understand the capabilities and limitations of complex SAR data and their key land and marine applications. The course focus is on interferometric SAR (InSAR) applications, including generation of topographic maps as well as advanced time series analysis for measuring ground surface motion associated with seismic displacement, compaction related subsidence, volcanic inflation, and landslides.  

Recommended courses: undergraduate courses in advanced mathematics, remote sensing, geophysics, natural hazards (or permission of instructor)

Course Topics:

  1. Radar and SAR principles
  2. SAR marine applications
  3. SAR land applications
  4. InSAR principles
  5. InSAR processing (interferogram formation, phase unwrapping, geocoding)
  6. InSAR applications (topography)
  7. InSAR applications (differential InSAR, 3D velocity)
  8. Advanced applications (Polarimetric InSAR andTomography)
  9. Advanced processing (Surface displacement time series) 
  10. Advanced applications (Surface displacement time series – infrastructure)
  11. Advanced applications (Surface displacement time series – natural hazards)
Course Organization:
Two 1.5 hour lectures and 1 three-hour computer laboratory per week. Weekly assignments. 1 term research paper (topic either on evaluating/developing a novel method/algorithm or applied analysis of actual InSAR data).


  • Lab Assignments 30%
  • Research Projects 60%
  • Class Participation 10%



Powerpoint lecture materials, lab instructions, software manuals, and data sets required for the lab assignments will be provided.


Course Materials: The course does not use a specific textbook. A number of books area available that cover the course topics e.g.:
- Radar interferometry: data interpretation and error analysis. RF Hanssen. Springer Science & Business Media. 2001
- Radar Interferometry: Persistent Scatterer Technique. Author: BM. Kampes. Springer Science & Business Media. 2014
- Digital Processing of Synthetic Aperture Radar Data: Algorithms and Implementation. IG Cumming, FH Wong. Artech House - Technology & Engineering. 2005.

Additional Resources: Massonet, D. & Souyris, J.-C. (2008): Imaging with Synthetic Aperture Radar. EPFL Press distributed by CRC Press.

Henderson, F.M. & Lewis, A.J. (1998): Principles and Applications of Imaging Radar. Manual of Remote Sensing. Third Edition, Vol. 2. John Wiley & Sons. Inc.

Olivie, C. & Quegan, S. (2004): Understanding Synthetic Aperture Radar Images. Scitech.

Lee, J.-S. & Pottier, E. (2009): Polarimetric Radar Imaging. From Basics to Applications. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis.

Rees, G. (2006): Remote Sensing of Snow and Ice. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis.

Ferretti, A., Monti-Guarneri, A., Prati, C., Rocca, F. & Massonet, D. (2007): InSAR Principles. Guidelines for SAR Interferometry Processing and Interpretation. ESA TM-19, ISBN 92-9092-233-8.

Registrar Notes:

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