Surface Deformation (InSAR)

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Derive remote intelligence on the location, extent, magnitude and evolution of surface deformation from CGG’s innovative satellite InSAR solutions.

  • Utilize cost-effective ground and structure mapping solutions
  • Measure baseline changes and present-day deformation regimes
  • Strengthen environmental due diligence & HSE compliance
  • Investigate geohazard activity across susceptible assets

Our satellite InSAR solutions offer clients intelligence by providing insight into the location, extent, magnitude and evolution of surface deformation, increasing knowledge to improve decision making and reduce risk.

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Unique capabilities

  • Remote, wide-area mapping
  • High-density measurements
  • Millimetric precision
  • Historical assessments and long-term monitoring
  • Complementary data source

Diverse applications

We provide cutting-edge satellite InSAR solutions that address a wide variety of challenges encountered by a diverse range of clients, including oil and gas operators, mine operators and regulators, geothermal operators, energy companies, engineering firms, niche consultancies, public bodies, government departments, local authorities and insurers.

Applications include:

  • Oil & gas fields – Onshore exploration, development and production (primary and enhanced recovery e.g. CSS, SAGD)
  • Mining – Mine subsidence, pit slope stability, tailings, heap-leach pad, waste and stockpile stability, abandoned mine system recovery
  • Geohazards & environment – Landslide movement, earthquakes impacts, neotectonic activity, sinkholes, mud volcanoes, coastal stability
  • Geothermal – Site assessment, production monitoring
  • Underground storage – Gas storage sites, strategic hydrocarbon reserves, Carbon Capture & Sequestration (CCS)
  • Engineering – Baseline assessments, tunnel settlement, reclaimed land settlement
  • Critical infrastructure – Power stations, pipelines, dams, terminals

As a direct measure of the surface deformation impacts of surface and sub-surface activity, our solutions reduce operational risk with respect to health and safety, environmental impact, hazard mapping, risk assessment and legal compliance. As an indirect measure of sub-surface conditions, our solutions support improved planning and optimal resource management.

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Integrated services

Operational links to complementary solutions within CGG and beyond means we are uniquely positioned to develop and implement integrated services to address broader client requirements and challenges.

  • Expert consultants: Geophysicists, engineering geologists, mining engineers, reservoir engineers, surveyors
  • Land survey: GNSS, precise levelling
  • Modelling: Geomechanical modelling, reservoir modelling
  • Geology: Integrated geohazard studies
  • Seismic: 4D seismic, microseismic

World-leading expertise

Our team of expert geoscientists have been at the forefront of the development, design and provision of satellite InSAR solutions since 1995. From deserts to major cities, our solutions are used to study surface deformation resulting from natural and anthropogenic activities in diverse operational environments.

Understanding the unique requirements of a project is essential to implementing an appropriate satellite InSAR solution, and transparency on the capabilities and limitations of InSAR technology is central to our philosophy. We work closely with clients to understand their project requirements, which ensures that we implement solutions that are 'fit-for-purpose' based on the optimal combination of radar image parameters (wavelength, resolution, temporal frequency, viewing geometries etc.), site environmental characteristics (ground cover, climate etc.) and processing approach.

We use radar images acquired by the entire family of past and present radar satellites, including: ERS-1 & -2, Envisat, RADARSAT-1 & -2, JERS-1, ALOS PALSAR, ALOS-2, TerraSAR-X, COSMO-SkyMed and Sentinel-1A. Our status as a global, independent supplier of satellite imagery guarantees the impartial selection of the most appropriate radar imagery within a project.

Our cutting-edge InSAR processing capabilities include:

  • Powerful and versatile processing: Advanced InSAR processing algorithms and workflows that exploit persistent, temporary and distributed radar scatterers.
  • Historical assessments and long-term monitoring: From 1992 to present day, and into the future.
  • Vertical and horizontal: Multiple viewing geometries to resolve vertical and horizontal deformation.
  • Regional monitoring: Wide-area and multi-asset monitoring.
  • Enhanced deliverables: Integrated datasets, surfaces models, visualisations and tailored information products.
  • InSAR AnalystTM toolbox: Proprietary analysis tool for ArcGIS.
  • Supporting technology: Artificial radar reflectors, integrated surface deformation geo-monitoring.

Our commitment to innovation is reflected by our involvement in internal and external research and development programmes aimed at advancing processing techniques and the development of new solutions. As a globally recognised centre of excellence for satellite InSAR we provide training and consultancy services to clients across the world.

The land of fire, ice and landslides (Iceland)


Mapping precursor landslide deformation in Iceland – mapped using satellite InSAR.
Revealing Hidden Sinkhole Hazards


Revealing and monitoring hidden sinkhole hazards - mapped using satellite InSAR
The Way Forward For Tunnel Monitoring


Mapping tunnel-related ground settlement - mapped using satellite InSAR.
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