NASA logo
header banner


Deformation, Ecosystem Structure and Dynamics of Ice

Mission objectives:

  • Determine the likelihood of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and landslides.
  • Predict the response of ice sheets to climate change and impact on the sea level.
  • Characterize the effects of changing climate and land use on species habitats and carbon budget.
  • Monitor the migration of fluids associated with hydrocarbon production and groundwater resources..


  • LEO, SSO


  • L-band InSAR
  • Laser altimeter


DESDYNi intro image

Earth's surface and vegetation cover are constantly changing on a wide range of time scales. Measuring these changes globally from satellites would enable breakthrough science with important applications to society.

Surface deformation is linked directly to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and landslides. Observations of surface deformation are used to forecast the likelihood of earthquakes occurring as a function of location, as well as predicting both the place and time that volcanic eruptions and landslides are likely. Advances in earthquake science leading to improved time-dependent probabilities would be significantly facilitated by global observations of surface deformation, and could result in significant increases in the health and safety of the public due to decreased exposure to tectonic hazards. Monitoring surface deformation is also important for improving the safety and efficiency of extraction of hydrocarbons, for managing our ground water resources, and, in the future, providing information for managing CO2 sequestration.

NASA logo
Goddard Space Flight Center
Privacy Policy/ Important Notices