Publication Date




Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Marine Geology and Geophysics (Marine)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Falk Amelung

Second Committee Member

Shimon Wdowinski

Third Committee Member

Guoqing Lin

Fourth Committee Member

Sarah Kruse

Fifth Committee Member

Timothy Dixon


As human sprawl extends, and the use of natural resources grows, changes in the surface of the Earth represent an increasing threat for human lives. Deformation in the Earth surface is driven by many different processes (e.g. anthropogenic changes). A better understanding of the behavior and magnitude of these movements may help to improve human life and risk assessment. This work explores Earth superficial deformation processes that happen in solid, ice or aquatic surfaces using radar interferometry technique to observe surface changes. Three different non-tectonic phenomena were selected: tidal flow inundation in coastal wetlands (Chapter 3), precursory sinkhole movements in suburban areas (Chapter 4), and permafrost change and loss (Chapter 5). Results show great capability of the technique detecting the diverse rates of deformation from each chosen site. Water level changes of 24 cm and tidal inundation extents of up to 20 km were detected in the coast of Louisiana. Deformation due to possible sinkhole was observed with rates reaching -20 mm/yr in houses located in Florida and permafrost surface changes ranging +/- 1.4cm/yr were observed in the region of the Mackenzie river delta in Canada.


InSAR; envirnomental monitoring; hazard monitoring

Available for download on Tuesday, December 03, 2019