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Exploration Technique: PSInSAR

Exploration Technique Information
Exploration Group: Remote Sensing Techniques
Exploration Sub Group: Active Sensors
Parent Exploration Technique: Radar
Information Provided by Technique
Stratigraphic/Structural: Detect fault and ground movement
Hydrological: Can give indications about subsurface geothermal fluid flow
Cost Information
Low-End Estimate (USD): 20.722,072 centUSD
0.0207 kUSD
2.072e-5 MUSD
2.072e-8 TUSD
/ sq. mile
Median Estimate (USD): 103.6010,360 centUSD
0.104 kUSD
1.036e-4 MUSD
1.036e-7 TUSD
/ sq. mile
High-End Estimate (USD): 259.0025,900 centUSD
0.259 kUSD
2.59e-4 MUSD
2.59e-7 TUSD
/ sq. mile
Time Required
Low-End Estimate: 16 weeks0.307 years
2,688 hours
112 days
3.68 months
/ job
Median Estimate: 54 weeks1.035 years
9,072 hours
378 days
12.419 months
/ job
High-End Estimate: 120 weeks2.3 years
20,160.001 hours
840 days
27.598 months
/ job
Additional Info
Cost/Time Dependency: Resolution, Frequency of Collection, Monitoring Period, Level of Processing
Persistent Scatterer Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (PSInSAR) is a remote sensing technique that uses radar signals from a satellite to accurately measure ground displacement. PSInSAR is an improved and more accurate analysis algorithm compared to the InSAR method.
Other definitions:Wikipedia Reegle

Persistent Scatterer Interferometric Synthetic Aperature Radar (PSInSAR) is a remote sensing method which bounces satellite radar signals off of naturally occurring permanent scattering points. Features such as roof tops, bridges, dams, water pipelines, antennae, large rock outcrops, and other prominent natural features make good persistent scatterers. The precise position of each scatterer in relation with other scatterers can be recorded. Using this technique the motion of each scaterer structure can be very precisely tracked and ground deformation can be determined.[1]
Use in Geothermal Exploration
PSInSAR is useful for monitoring and precisely measuring the movement of a geothermal area over time. Changes in the underground water levels, pressures, and temperatures due to geothermal utilization can lead to changes on the surface. Subsidence or uplift of a geothermal area before and after utilization can be monitored and for geothermal areas located in fault zones lateral movement along fault lines in the area can be monitored. With the PSInSAR method ground movement and movement rates can be calculated with millimeter accuracy.[1] PSInSAR methods are advantageous compared to conventional GPS methods because a much larger area can be monitored and no ground equipment is needed.[2]
Related Techniques

Data Access and Acquisition
Basic Principle of PSInSAR.[1]

Best Practices
PSInSAR is a useful technique for monitoring the effects of fluid injection and extraction on surface deformation at geothermal areas. This method can also be used for detection of active faults in a geothermal area. PSInSAR is an accurate and cost-effective method. It is a useful method in agricultural areas, where conventional methods fail such as in Imperial Valley.[3] PSInSAR can be applied to geothermal exploration and the management of producing fields.[2]
Potential Pitfalls
PSInSAR cannot be used in highly vegetated areas unless manmade scatterers are built. Also, time measurements are limited to the intervals in which the satellites orbit.[1]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Parviz Tarikhi. Synthetic Aperture Radar Persistent Scatterer Interferometry (PSInSAR) [Internet]. 2010. Tunis, Tunisia. N/A. [cited 2013/09/17]. Available from:
  2. 2.0 2.1 Giacomo Falorni,Jessica Morgan,Mariana Eneva. 2011. Advanced InSAR Techniques for Geothermal Exploration and Production. Geothermal Resources Council Transactions. 35(N/A):1661-1666., Giacomo Falorni,Jessica Morgan,Mariana Eneva. 2011. Advanced InSAR Techniques for Geothermal Exploration and Production. Geothermal Resources Council Transactions. (!) .
  3. Mariana Eneva. Surface Deformation from Satellite Data and Geothermal Assessment, Exploration and Mitigation in Imperial Valley [Internet]. 2012. N/A. N/A. [cited 2013/09/17]. Available from:

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