The paper discusses, using geotechnical criteria, the potentialities offered by the Small BAseline Subset (SBAS) Differential Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry (DInSAR) technique to investigate a subsidence phenomenon affecting the urban area of Sarno town (Campania Region, Italy). To this aim, low- and full-resolution data, acquired by ERS-1/2 and Envisat satellites in the period from 1992 to 2004, have been used. In particular, low-resolution DInSAR data, once validated via a comparison with ground levelling data, are analyzed in order to detect the most subsidence-affected areas where damages to buildings were recorded during past surveys. Interesting correlation between the ground deformation gradient vectors and some damage characteristics, such as the direction of building rotation axes, are shown. Then, a preliminary analysis at “building scale” by means of full-resolution DInSAR data is presented in order to study the response of some buildings to ground movements, also deriving the maximum values attained by some relevant parameters to be used in damage criteria. Finally, the usefulness of low- and full-resolution analyses for monitoring of urbanized areas is highlighted by stressing the role that the geotechnical approach can play in DInSAR data validation process as well as in pointing out all the issues to improve the reliability of the obtained results in at “building scale” studies.
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