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Using InSAR Time Series to Monitor Surface Fractures and Fissures in the Al-Yutamah Valley, Western Arabia

Aldaajani, Thamer and Simons, Mark and Yunjun, Zhang and Bekaert, David P. S. and Almalki, Khalid A. and Liu, Yuan-Kai (2022) Using InSAR Time Series to Monitor Surface Fractures and Fissures in the Al-Yutamah Valley, Western Arabia. Remote Sensing, 14 (8). Art. No. 1769. ISSN 2072-4292. doi:10.3390/rs14081769.

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Western Arabia routinely experiences geophysical phenomena that deform the surface of the earth in a variety of ways. These phenomena include earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, sinkholes, and earth fissuring and fracturing. We perform a time-series analysis of interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) observations derived from the ESA Sentinel-1 radar satellite constellation to map regional surface displacements in western Arabia as a function of time. We rely on InSAR products generated by the JPL-Caltech ARIA project to detect regions with short wavelength anomalies, and then manually reprocess InSAR products at a higher resolution for these regions to maximize spatial and temporal coverage. We post-process InSAR products using MintPy workflows to develop the InSAR time series. We report short wavelength anomalies localized within alluvial valleys across western Arabia and find a 5 cm/year line-of-sight surface displacement within the Al-Yutamah Valley. Part of the observed subsidence is correlated with surface fractures that developed in conjunction with severe rainfall events in regions characterized mainly by alluvial sediments at the surface. Regions of observed subsidence that are not associated with any surface fractures or fissures are correlated with the presence of basalt layers at the surface. Both regions are subject to groundwater exploitation. The observed subsidence is inferred to be driven by groundwater withdrawal perhaps modulated by the presence of a preexisting depositional environment (e.g., paleo-lake deposits) that promotes unconsolidated soil compaction.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Information
Aldaajani, Thamer0000-0001-8062-6406
Simons, Mark0000-0003-1412-6395
Yunjun, Zhang0000-0001-9441-7082
Bekaert, David P. S.0000-0002-0408-0488
Liu, Yuan-Kai0000-0003-4032-9444
Additional Information:© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Received: 28 February 2022 / Revised: 28 March 2022 / Accepted: 1 April 2022 / Published: 7 April 2022. This article belongs to the Special Issue Geodetic Observations for Earth System. This research was supported by the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and carried out at the California Institute of Technology, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and KACST. We thank the reviewers for their thoughtful and constructive feedback. Supplementary Materials: The following supporting information can be downloaded at:, Figure S1: Regional phase residuals; Figure S2: Regional coherence history and interferogram network; Figure S3: Regional spatial and temporal solid earth tides; Figure S4: Velocity field of western Arabia after removing solid earth tides; Figure S5: Velocity field of western Arabia after removing delay due to troposphere; Figure S6: Velocity field of western Arabia after removing effect of DEM error; Figure S7: Spatial distribution of annual periodic signal; Figure S8: Spatial distribution of error; Figure S9: Spatial distribution of error; Figure S10: Local phase residuals; Figure S11: Local coherence history and interferogram network. Author Contributions. Conceptualization, T.A. and M.S.; Methodology, Z.Y., D.B., K.A.A. and T.A.; Software, Z.Y., D.B. and T.A.; Validation, T.A., M.S. and K.A.A.; Formal analysis, T.A., Z.Y., D.B. and Y.-K.L.; Data curation, Z.Y. and D.B.; Writing—original draft preparation, T.A.; Writing—review and editing, M.S., Z.Y., K.A.A., D.B., Y.-K.L. and T.A.; Visualization, T.A. and Z.Y.; Supervision, M.S.; Project administration, T.A. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript. This research received no external funding. Institutional Review Board Statement: Not applicable. Informed Consent Statement: Not applicable. Data Availability Statement: Not applicable. The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Group:Seismological Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:geodetic imaging; InSAR time series; earth fissuring
Issue or Number:8
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220503-997909000
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Aldaajani, T., Simons, M., Yunjun, Z., Bekaert, D., Almalki, K. A., & Liu, Y.-K. (2022). Using InSAR Time Series to Monitor Surface Fractures and Fissures in the Al-Yutamah Valley, Western Arabia. Remote Sensing, 14(8), 1769.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:114551
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:03 May 2022 19:14
Last Modified:25 Jul 2022 23:14

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