TOWARDS TIME-SERIES PROCESSING OF VHR SATELLITE IMAGES FOR SURFACE DEFORMATION DETECTON AND MEASUREMENTS
Keywords: deformation measurement, image correlation, high-performance computing, satellite remote sensing
Abstract. The increasing fleet of VHR optical satellites (e.g. Pléiades, Spot 6/7, WorldView-3) offers new opportunities for the monitoring of surface deformation resulting from gravitational (e.g. glaciers, landslides) or tectonic forces (coseismic slip). Image correlation techniques have been developed and successfully employed in many geoscientific studies to quantify horizontal surface deformation at sub-pixel precision. The analysis of time-series, however, has received less attention in this context and there is still a lack of techniques that fully exploit archived image time-series and the increasing flux of incoming data. This study targets the development of an image correlation processing chain that relies on multiple pair-wise matching to exploit the redundancy of deformation measurements recorded at different view angles and over multiple time steps. The proposed processing chain is based on a hierarchical image correlation scheme that readily uses parallel processing. Since pair-wise matching can be performed independently the distribution of individual tasks is straightforward and yields to significant reductions of the overall runtime scaling with the available HPC infrastructure. We find that it is more convenient to implement experimental analytical tasks in a high-level programming language (i.e. R) and explore the use of parallel programming to compensate for performance bottlenecks of the interpreted language. Preliminary comparisons against maps from domain expert suggest that the proposed methodology is suitable to eliminate false detections and, thereby, enhances the reliability of correlation-based detections of surface deformation.