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Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences


This paper provides a review of using Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR), a microwave remote sensing technique, for deformation monitoring of hydroelectric power projects, a critical infrastructure that requires consistent and reliable monitoring. Almost all major dams around the world were built for the generation of hydropower. InSAR can enhance dam safety by providing timely settlement measurements at high spatial-resolution. This paper provides a holistic view of different InSAR deformation monitoring techniques such as Differential Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry (DInSAR), Ground-Based Synthetic Aperture Radar (GBInSAR), Persistent Scatterer Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (PSInSAR), Multi-Temporal Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (MTInSAR), Quasi-Persistent Scatterer Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (QPSInSAR) and Small BAseline Subset (SBAS). PSInSAR, GBInSAR, MTInSAR, and DInSAR techniques were quite commonly used for deformation studies. These studies demonstrate the advantage of InSAR-based techniques over other conventional methods, which are laborious, costly, and sometimes unachievable. InSAR technology is also favoured for its capability to provide monitoring data at all times of day or night, in all-weather conditions, and particularly for wide areas with mm-scale precision. However, the method also has some disadvantages, such as the maximum deformation rate that can be monitored, and the location for monitoring cannot be dictated. Through this review, we aim to popularize InSAR technology to monitor the deformation of dams, which can also be used as an early warning method to prevent any unprecedented catastrophe. This study also discusses some case studies from southern India to demonstrate the capabilities of InSAR to indirectly monitor dam health.

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© 2022 Sinopec Petroleum Exploration and Production Research Institute. Publishing services by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of KeAi Communications Co. Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license ( Publisher’s version of record:

Publication Title

Energy Geoscience


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