Phase Inconsistencies and Multiple Scattering in SAR Interferometry

Francesco De Zan, Mariantonietta Zonno, Paco Lopez-Dekker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


With three coherent synthetic aperture radar images, it is possible to form three interferograms. In some cases, the phases of the three averaged interferograms will be significantly inconsistent and indicate a sort of phase excess or deficit (which we call lack of triangularity or inconsistency). In this paper, we illustrate theoretically which models can explain such phenomenon and provide some real-data examples. It is also shown that two or more independent scattering mechanisms are necessary to explain phase inconsistencies. The observation of lack of consistency might be useful to derive information on the target and as a warning that the scatterer presents a temporal covariance matrix, which is not intrinsically real, with consequences for the processing of interferometric stacks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7147797
Pages (from-to)6608-6616
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Closure phase
  • inconsistency
  • multiple scattering
  • skewness
  • Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) interferometry


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