On the Accuracy of Topographic Residuals Retrieved by MTInSAR

Yanan Du, Lei Zhang, Guangcai Feng, Zhong Lu, Qian Sun

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


� 1980-2012 IEEE. Topographic residuals in differential interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) measurements are mainly caused by inaccurate external digital elevation model (DEM). Accurate separation of the phase component contributed by topographic residuals plays an important role in the retrieval of deformation time series from InSAR observations. Even though the residuals can be modeled and estimated in the framework of multitemporal SAR interferometry (MTInSAR), it is not clear what an optimal processing strategy is and how accurate the estimation can reach. We analyze here the factors that affect the accuracy of the retrieved DEM residuals by applying four commonly used MTInSAR methods in a series of simulated scenarios. The results indicate that besides the quality of interferometric observations, the thresholds of spatial and temporal baselines, the diversity of spatial baseline lengths, the connectivity of interferogram network, and improper deformation model also fluctuate the accuracy of the retrieved topographic residuals. According to these affecting factors, this paper sheds light on an optimal approach to reliably retrieve accurate topographic residuals under MTInSAR framework.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7736067
Pages (from-to)1053-1065
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


  • Digital elevation model (DEM) error estimation
  • multitemporal synthetic aperture radar interferometry (MTInSAR)
  • topographic residuals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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