Imaging our restless Earth…


π-RATE (Poly-Interferogram Rate And Time-series Estimator) is a Matlab-based software package that estimates displacement rate, time series and their associated uncertainties from a set of unwrapped InSAR images. It originated from the multi-interferogram method proposed by Juliet Biggs and her colleagues at the University of Oxford (Biggs et al., 2007). The method was then improved by John Elliott, Hua Wang and their colleagues (Elliott et al., 2008; Wang et al., 2009; Wang et al., 2012). Tim Wright developed some scripts, and led the whole period of π-RATE’s development. The codes and documentation have been prepared for public release by Hua Wang.

π-RATE is designed to work with data produced by ROI_PAC. For other InSAR software, we recommend to convert your data to ROI_PAC’s RMG and RSC format. For all the scripts in π-RATE, you can type “help scriptname” for a brief description of its usage. π-RATE can only be used for academic purpose, and MUST NOT be used as a part of any commercial package.

We thank Matthew Garthwaite, Carolina Pagli and other colleagues for thorough discussion and test for the software.

Download and Install

To install π-RATE, you need create a folder, e.g. pirate, under certain directory. Please refer to the manual for the usage in detail.

Request π-RATE by sending me an email.

Make a folder for the scripts.
mkdir $HOME/pirate
Uncompress the scripts.
cd $HOME/pirate
tar -xvf pirate_v3.1.tar
Setup environment in your .cshrc file.
setenv PIRATEHOME $HOME/pirate
source $home/.cshrc
addpath for π-RATE in Matlab.


  • Biggs, J., T. Wright, Z. Lu. et al. (2007), Multi-interferogram method for measuring interseismic deformation: Denali Fault, Alaska, Geophys. J. Int., 170, 1165-1179.
  • Elliott, J. R., J. Biggs, B. Parsons. et al (2008), InSAR slip rate determination on the Altyn Tagh Fault, northern Tibet, in the presence of topographically correlated atmospheric delays, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L12309, doi:10.1029/2008GL033659.
  • Wang, H., T. J. Wright, J. Biggs (2009), Interseismic slip rate of the northwestern Xianshuihe fault from InSAR data, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L03302, doi:10.1029/2008GL036560.
  • Wang, H., T. J. Wright, Y. Yu, H. Lin, L. Jiang, C. Li, G. Qiu (2012), InSAR reveals coastal subsidence in the Pearl River Delta, China, Geophys. J. Int., 191, 1119-1128.
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