Participants from over 20 countries presented new findings based on their work with TerraSAR-X data. The satellite is used to carry out research on the causes and effects of global change and, for example, to monitor volcanoes and conduct earthquake research.
At the University of Miami, for example, so-called postseismic movements of the earth’s surface which occurred as a consequence of the major Haitian earthquake of January 12, 2010 are being investigated. It was possible to detect new displacements, which are primarily attributed to adjustments in groundwater level as a reaction to changes in the sea level at the Haitian coast.
The eruption of Eyjafjallajökull volcano on Iceland in spring 2010 was intensively monitored with TerraSAR-X and GPS ground measurements. Thanks to this combination of observations, Delft technical University, the University of Iceland in Reykjavik and the University of Wisconsin could construct an improved model of magma movement beneath the volcano. This work improves understanding of the complex processes occurring within volcanoes and thus also the chances for more precise forecasts of volcanic eruptions.
Universities in Hamburg and Oslo studied the Fimbul ice shelf in the Antarctic with the help of TerraSAR-X and images from ground-based radar. The rapidly moving glacier snouts which flow into the ice shelf are particularly interesting indicators of change in the polar oceans. The team of scientists determined that there is a correspondence between structures in TerraSAR-X scenes of the top and bottom surfaces of the ice shelf: in places on the surface where there is more snow because it has drifted into depressions, there is likewise an indentation on the underside. Using this approach facilitates predictions based on satellite images about the inaccessible undersides of large ice sheets. The discussion is now about cause and effect, and about the relevance of this knowledge for mechanics, ocean circulation, and the stability of Antarctic ice shelves.