In the present work we present first results of ground deformation measurements inferred through repeat-pass Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Interferometry (InSAR) in C- and X-band over an Italian Alpine area, in Lombardia region. The activity was carried out in the framework of the MORFEO (MOnitoraggio e Rischio da Frana mediante dati EO) project founded by the Italian Spatial Agency (ASI) and dedicated to landslide risk assessment.
A number of areas affected by hydrogeological instabilities have been selected and studied in detail by processing both C- and X-band SAR data through SPINUA, a Persistent Scatterer like algorithm. In particular, two stacks of 30 Ascending ENVISAT SAR images (October 2004 - January 2009) and 32 Descending ENVISAT SAR images (December 2004 - January 2009) have been independently processed to ensures the detection of movements occurring along both west and east facing slopes. Moreover, further deformation measurements have been obtained by processing a set of 12 COSMO-SkyMED ascending HIMAGE interferometric acquisitions (Satellite CSKS1; Beam HI-03; POL: HH; Incidence Angle: 29°) provided by ASI. After a proper tuning of the interferometric algorithmic solutions, even with very high normal baselines, we are able to appreciate the potentials of X-band interferometry. Although the number of COSMO-SkyMED acquisitions is quite limited, spanning a period of only 10 months (August 2008 - June 2009), SPINUA was capable to retrieve preliminary ground displacement patterns that are in good agreement with those previously estimated in C-band. Quite impressive is to realize that, because of the tenfold improved resolution of X-band images, multi-temporal InSAR techniques may be successfully applied for the estimation of the displacement maps with a number of acquisitions much lower than in C-band.
InSAR-derived displacements provided on areas of hydrogeological interest are going to be validated in the framework of MORFEO project by the geological partnership thanks to the availability of ground truths. In the present work, we present the results obtained on the towns of Garzeno, Catasco and Germasino which are affected by landslide phenomena. We provide a first validation by comparing the deformation maps derived from ENVISAT C-band data, from COSMO-SkyMED X-band data as well as from ERS and RADARSAT C-band data freely available on the GeoIFFI web-catalogue.