Scanning inside volcanoes with synthetic aperture radar echography tomographic doppler imaging

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A problem with synthetic aperture radars (SARs) is that due to the poor penetrating action of electromagnetic waves within solid bodies, the ability to see through distributed targets is precluded. In this context, indeed, imaging is only possible for targets distributed on the scene surface. This work describes an imaging method based on the analysis of micro-motions present in volcanoes and generated by the Earth's underground heat. Processing the coherent vibrational information embedded in a single SAR image, in the single-look-complex configuration, the sound information is exploited, penetrating tomographic imaging over a depth of about 3 km from the Earth’s surface. Measurement results are calculated by processing a single-look-complex image from the COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation satellite constellation of Vesuvius. Tomographic maps reveal the presence of the magma chamber, together with the main and the secondary volcanic conduits. This technique certainly paves the way for completely new exploitation of SAR images to scan inside the Earth’s surface.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3828
Number of pages26
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number15
Early online date8 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2022


  • synthetic aperture radar (SAR)
  • doppler frequencies
  • multi-chromatic analysis
  • micro-motion
  • volcanoes
  • seismic images


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