Repeat-pass spaceborne interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) is commonly used to measure surface deformation; phase delays due to atmospheric water vapour may have significant impact on the accuracy of these measurements. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in using forecasts and analyses from numerical weather prediction (NWP) models – which can provide good estimates of the atmospheric state – to correct for atmospheric phase delays. In this study, three separate estimates of atmospheric water vapour content from NWP output are used in combination with Environmental Satellite (Envisat) Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) data over the Pearl River Delta region in South China to mitigate atmospheric distortion. The NWP-based estimates are derived from: (1) interpolation of National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Final Operational Global Analysis (FNL) data; (2) Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model simulations initialized with FNL analysis without additional data assimilation; and (3) WRF simulations initialized with a three-dimensional variational (3DVar) data assimilation system that ingests additional meteorological observations. The accuracy of the atmospheric corrections from these different NWP model outputs is further verified quantitatively with precipitable water vapour (PWV) data from several ground-based global positioning system (GPS) stations in Hong Kong. Inter-comparison shows a good agreement between the PWV derived from the WRF-3DVar simulations and the GPS measurements, suggesting that atmospheric correction by convection-permitting WRF simulations initialized with mesoscale data assimilation may effectively mitigate atmospheric distortion in InSAR measurements, especially for coastal areas.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)