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Satellite Art that Moves You

Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park, BC

Credit: 3vGeomatics Inc. Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel-1 data processed by ESA

Situated in the northwestern corner of British Columbia is Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park. This image entitled "Satellite Art that Moves You: InSARGround Deformation Measurements in Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park, BC" shows how the park appears to repeat Sentinel-1 satellite observations. Orbit after orbit, the satellite's sensor uses radar technology to image Earth. Resulting black-and-white imagery shows how its microwave signal has interacted with Earth's surface. Dark areas show where the signal has bounced away from the sensor (smooth water surfaces), while lighter areas show where the signal has been scattered and reflected back to the sensor.

By comparing multiple radar data collections over time, using a technique called Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR), Sentinel-1 data can be used to measure and colour-code ground movements as small as a few millimetres. Overlaid on the black-and-white image, the colours reveal areas of ground movement detected over one month. Blue indicates little to no change; pinks and yellows show varying degrees of movement that are likely associated with historic landslides and ice flows.

Created by: Dr. Andy Pon, data scientist at 3v Geomatics. Prior to working at 3v Geomatics, Dr. Pon obtained a PhD in astrophysics and worked as a postdoctoral astronomer at institutes in Canada, the UK, and Germany.

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