EGU23-12200, updated on 26 Feb 2023
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The role of salt supply, dissolution, and erosion on the surface deformation of emergent salt diapirs based on analysis of Persistent Scatterer Interferometry data

Mjahid Zebari1, Anke Friedrich1, Stefanie Rieger1, Christina Plattner1,2, Ramon Brcic3, and Prokop Závada4
Mjahid Zebari et al.
  • 1Department of Geo and Environmental Sciences, Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich (LMU), Munich, Germany (
  • 2Institut for Astronomical and Physical Geodesy, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany
  • 3Remote Sensing Technology Institute, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
  • 4Institute of Geophysics ASCR, the Czech Academy of Sciences (CAS), Prague, Czech Republic

In the emergent (subaerial) salt diapirs, the salt faces negative buoyancy when extruded to the surface, and flows outward around their vent by gravity spreading. It also faces dissolution and erosion. Salt supply, salt flow, dissolution, and erosion also influence the diapir’s shape. Although satellite geodesy monitors the surface deformation of the salt-caprock glacier system, the interpretation of the resulting deformation pattern in terms of salt supply, dissolution, and erosion is not straightforward. To overcome these shortcomings, we analyze surface deformation pattern of a fountain-shaped and nearly symmetrical diapir (Finu) within the Zagros Belt of Iran using Persistent Scatterer Interferometry (PSI). The PSI data are extracted from the Sentinel-1 SAR images using the Integrated Wide Area Processor (IWAP) at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) covering four years from October 2014 to December 2018. The line-of-sight signal from the PSI data is decomposed into the vertical and horizontal deformation signals. Within the diapir, the deformation signal is then spatially correlated with the influencing factors, including local position within the diapir, slope, karstification, and drainage. Along an E-W profile across the diapir, two-dimensional deformation vectors reflect salt supply and spreading; therefore, the magnitude and direction of these vectors are influenced by their local position within the diapir and the slope. There is a slight uplift in the central part of the salt domes with active salt extrusion. The deformation vectors divert outward in the slope direction, and the deformation reaches its maximum magnitude at the upper flanks of the central dome. The deformation decreases in the outer flat plateau regions of the extrusions and continues to decrease in the steep slopes at their lateral terminations. Along the same profile, relatively higher subsidence is detected in areas where sinkholes are abundant. In these regions, salt is removed in the subsurface by dissolution-driven karst development in contrast to areas where the surface drainage system is developed, and fluvial erosion is dominant. In the future, a better understanding of the factors controlling salt spreading around the vent and the impacts of dissolution/erosion mechanisms on the deformation will improve our ability to interpret surface deformation of the salt-caprock system at unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution.

How to cite: Zebari, M., Friedrich, A., Rieger, S., Plattner, C., Brcic, R., and Závada, P.: The role of salt supply, dissolution, and erosion on the surface deformation of emergent salt diapirs based on analysis of Persistent Scatterer Interferometry data, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-12200,, 2023.