Measuring earthquake and volcano activity from space

Shimon Wdowinski
University of Miami, Florida
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This tutorial is based on real InSAR observations acquired over the Andes from 1992 to 2005. It will get the student acquainted with InSAR observations and basic concepts of space geodesy.

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The activity is aimed for undergraduate level. It is based on basic physics knowledge and common sense. It is intended for use with students majoring in science.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

  • Be familiar with physical/mathematical description of wave, wavelength, and phase.
  • Have basic knowledge of drawing profile from a map.

How the activity is situated in the course

This activity is untested as of when this description was written. It is a modified, simplified version of an activity I gave student in a special PhD course.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

Understanding and interpreting Interferograms of earthquake and volcano activity.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Converting map information into a profile, unwrapping phase observations, converting phase measurements to length.

Other skills goals for this activity

Description of the activity/assignment

The student will be introduced to InSAR observations in the beginning of the class via a PPT presentation that explains basic concepts. The activity will expose the student to simple examples of earthquake and volcano activity and better understanding of the colorful phase presentation of interferograms.

Determining whether students have met the goals

Students asked to plot specific diagrams and answer questions.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

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