Welcome to WInSAR

Overview: The Western North America InSAR (WInSAR) Consortium was established by a group of practicing scientists and engineers to facilitate collaboration in, and advancement of, Earth science research using radar remote sensing. Its members are universities, research laboratories, and public agencies. WInSAR oversees the acquisition and archiving of spaceborne SAR data over western North America for the benefit of the membership. The major objectives of WInSAR are to:

  • Promote the use and development of InSAR technology for scientific investigations, in particular but not limited to, seismic and magmatic processes, plate boundary deformation, land subsidence, and topographic mapping.
  • Acquire SAR imagery in western North America, archive and catalog the data, and disseminate it for use by member organizations.
  • Provide value-added InSAR products and software for use by the scientific community.
  • Advocate the open exchange of SAR data by seeking to enlarge the number of member organizations.
  • Solicit funds and promote programs and space missions to meet these objectives.

UNAVCO provides organizational and operational support for WInSAR activities. The WInSAR Executive Committee acts as an Advisory Committee of the UNAVCO Board of Directors. UNAVCO's operational support includes membership administration, financial management, data management and archiving, and software tools for data exploration and access.

Motivation: The western part of North America is the focus of intensive scientific research into a variety of plate boundary processes including earthquakes, volcanism, mountain building, and micro-plate tectonics. For example, the characterization and more complete understanding of the plate boundary deformation system, and its relationship to the occurrence of earthquakes, is a rich scientific problem that may ultimately lead to a reduction in seismic risk. Other natural processes that induce surface deformation such as land subsidence induced by water or oil extraction are also at work in western North America. The technique of spaceborne Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) provides an excellent means of observing deformation over broad areas. It is capable of 10's of meters spatial resolution at monthly or greater intervals. InSAR has proven to be a powerful tool to characterize large-scale deformation associated with active faults. It also can resolve small-scale deformation features such as shallow creep, postseismic and interseismic deformation. And it is an ideal tool for measuring land subsidence and improving digital terrain models.

Data: WInSAR data is now stored at the UNAVCO SAR Archive as one of several SAR data collections. At the UNAVCO SAR Archive you'll find tools to search, access, and order (request additions to) the WInSAR data collection(s). You can simultaneously search and potentially access other SAR data collections held at UNAVCO (depending on your data access privileges). WInSAR helps coordinate requests for data acquisition and for data purchase, aiding individual investigators by simplifying interactions with data providers.

Funding: Funding for WInSAR operations and data acqusitions is provided by NSF, NASA, and the USGS. A portion of archived data was provided at low or no cost by the European Space Agency. WInSAR does not review or fund research.