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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Monitoring deformation at the Geysers geothermal field, California using C-band and X-band interferometric synthetic aperture radar

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We resolve deformation at The Geysers Geothermal Field using two distinct sets of interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) data. The first set of observations utilize archived European Space Agency C-band synthetic aperture radar data from 1992 through 1999 to image the long-term and large-scale subsidence at The Geysers. The peak range velocity of approximately 50 mm/year agrees with previous estimates from leveling and global positioning system observations. Data from a second set of measurements, acquired by TerraSAR-X satellites, extend from May 2011 until April 2012 and overlap the C-band data spatially but not temporally. These X-band data, analyzed using a combined permanent and distributed scatterer algorithm, provide a higher density of scatterers (1122 per square kilometer) than do the C-band data (12 per square kilometer). The TerraSAR-X observations resolve 1 to 2 cm of deformation due to water injection into a Northwest Geysers enhanced geothermal system well, initiated on October 2011. The temporal variation of the deformation is compatible with estimates from coupled numerical modeling. © 2013 American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

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