Using interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) analysis of ERS-1 and ERS-2 images, we detect several centimeters of uplift during the first half of 1993 in two areas of the San Bernardino ground-water basin of southern California. This uplift correlates with unusually high runoff from the surrounding mountains and increased ground-water levels in nearby wells. The deformation of the land surface identifies the location of faults that restrict ground-water flow, maps the location of recharge, and suggests the areal distribution of fine-grained aquifer materials. Our preliminary results demonstrate that naturally occurring runoff and resultant recharge can be used with interferometric deformation mapping to help define the structure and important hydrogeologic features of a ground-water basin. This approach may be particularly useful in investigations of remote areas with scant ground-based hydrogeologic data.
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InSAR analysis of natural recharge to define structure of a ground-water basin, San Bernardino, California