The Sichuan Earthquake, occurred on May 12, 2008, is the strongest earthquake to hit China since the 1976
Tangshan earthquake. The earthquake had a magnitude of M 8.0, and caused surface deformation greater than 3 meters.
This paper presents the research work of measuring the co-seismic deformations of the earthquake with satellite
differential interferometric SAR technique. Four L-band SAR images were used to form the interferogram with 2 pre-
scenes imaged on Feb 17, 2008 and 2 post- scenes on May 19, 2008. The Digital Elevation Models extracted from
1:50,000-scale national geo-spatial database were used to remove the topographic contribution and form a differential
interferogram. The interferogram presents very high coherence in most areas, although the pre- and post- images were
acquired with time interval of 92 days. This indicates that the L-band PALSAR sensor is very powerful for
interferometry applications. The baseline error is regarded as the main phase error source in the differential interferogram.
Due to the difficulties of doing field works immediately after the earthquake, only one deformation measurement
recorded by a permanent GPS station is obtained for this research. An approximation method is proposed to eliminate the
orbital phase error with one control point. The derived deformation map shows similar spatial pattern and deformation
magnitude compared with deformation field generated by seismic inversion method.