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Monitoring Change at Geysers with Radar

Source:  Dan Hawkes

N_CAgeysersThe Geysers, in northern California—the largest producing geothermal field in the world—is located in a complex tectonic environment influenced by regional strain and Quaternary volcanism, and local displacement/deformation resulting from injection and production at the geothermal field. ESD geophysicist Don Vasco recently led a team of investigators (including ESD’s Jonny Rutqvist, Pat Dobson, and Curt Oldenburg) in resolving the deformation at The Geysers Geothermal Field, using two distinct sets of interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) data. They examined the utility of InSAR observations for monitoring deformation at The Geysers, using permanent and distributed scatterer techniques to derive estimates of the changes in the line-of-sight distance. Their results showed compatibility between the temporal variation in deformation from InSAR data and estimates from coupled numerical modeling.

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Citation: Vasco, D.W., J. Rutqvist, A. Feretti, A. Rucci, F. Bellotti, P. Dobson, C. Oldenburg, J. Garcia, M. Walters, and C. Harline (2013), Monitoring deformation at the Geysers Geothermal Field, California, using C-band and X-band interferometric synthetic aperture radar. Geophysical Research Letters, 40 (11); 2567–2572; DOI: 10.1002/grl.50314.

Funding: EERE, Geothermal Technologies Program