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Summary of Proposal LAN1247

TitleMonitoring of landslides using data of different SAR satellites: A case study of the Great Caucasus region.
Investigator Mikhailov, Valentin - Schmidt Institute of physics of the Earth, Russian academy of sciences, Joint analysis of satellite and surface data
Team Member
Dr Kiseleva, Elena - Schmidt Institute of physics of the Earth Russian academy of Sciences, Department of joint interpretation of satellite and surface data
Mr Golubev, Vasily - Schmidt Institute of physics of the Earth Russian academy of sciences, Department of joint interpretation of satellite and surface data
Dr. Hooper, Andy - Delft University of Technology, Department of Earth Observation and Space Systems
SummaryMain objectives. The team of the project consists of research scientists working in Russian Academy of Sciences and in TU Delft. The main objective of our study is in development of methods for SAR data processing and interpretation. SAR data processing includes a number of steps and every step calls for decisions regarding which corrections to introduce, which type of filtering to apply, which values for parameters of interpolation and filtration to assign etc. Besides, one can use data from different satellites, tracks and processing technique, hence often the choice is not easy. We stated a problem to develop a procedure for multiple calculations trying different data and methods and changing different parameters to get time-series which meet specified criteria of quality and put in agreement SAR and surface data. Another objective is to develop practical recommendations for satellite landslide monitoring in environmental conditions of the Great Caucasus. The landslide in Sochi-city, which activated in May 2011, is situated above the tunnel of the only railway road running along the Black Sea shore line. State enterprise “Russian railways” started construction of a new tunnel situated deeper, in basement rocks. To keep the existing tunnel working they also organized surface monitoring which includes repeated geodesy, borehole inclinometry and seismic monitoring. Schmidt IPE RAS suggested to apply SAR interferometry to test efficiency of satellite monitoring. New tunnel should be constructed in four years. During this period surface monitoring is supposed to be continued providing an opportunity for joint analyses of surface and SAR data. Thus, the project will contribute to our general objective: to promote applications of InSAR technique to mitigate risks of natural and technogenic catastrophes in Russia. At the moment few groups are working in this field in our country. Natural object. Foothills of the Great Caucasus are mostly covered by water saturated sedimentary rocks containing thick layers of clays therefore landslides are very often here. The landslides cause human loss and economic damage hence monitoring is of high y importance for this territory. There are no regular monitoring test sites in the area. Some repeated measurements usually start after catastrophic events but cease in a couple of years. Results of this project if successful may be useful for planning permanent surface monitoring test-sites. As we already obtained reliable data on landslide activity in very complicated forest-covered area in the Great Caucasus Mountains in the frameworks of C1P #7991 ESA project, we hope to get positive result of this project as well. Methods. We suggest applying StaMPS, specifically modules “PS”, “Small-baselines” and “Combined” for recovering of small deformations at slopes in landslide-hazardous areas. If project is supported we are going to combine X-band TerraSAR data with C-band ENVISAT data and determine direction and amplitude of displacements by joint analysis of SAR and surface data. Data required. We ask for 50 archived TerraSAR images covering the period from 2008-10-25 to 2010-08-27. For monitoring of present day activity we ask for new acquisitions of the landslide area with time interval at least one image per month. The study area is situated in the quadrangle: 1 N43 37 46.3 E39 41 26.0 2 N43 38 09.4 E39 41 56.7 3 N43 38 33.0 E39 40 14.7 4 N43 38 43.7 E39 40 47.9 Deliverables include annual and final reports, presentations at Russian and International meetings, papers in Russian and International scientific journals. Funding. Project will be funded from budget of Schmidt Institute of Physics of the Earth, Russian academy of Sciences, grants of Russian Foundation for Basic Research and probably from other non-commercial sources transferred to Schmidt IPE RAS.
Final ReportAlthough environmental conditions of the North Caucasus are not favorable for application of SAR interferometry, obtained results demonstrate that satellite monitoring is an efficient tool for landslide monitoring. As landslides are numerous in the North Caucasus satellite monitoring could contribute to landslide risk assessment and mitigation. Images from L-band, C-band and X-band satellites can be used to monitor displacements of the landslides in the mountainous areas of the Northern Caucasus. To get reliable results comparative analysis of results obtained from satellites with different wavelengths is preferable. In mountainous highly vegetated areas careful selection of processing parameters is necessary. This promotes damping of nuisance signals. Suggested approaches permitted us to obtain LOS velocity values using datasets from different satellites and both ascending and descending tracks being in good agreement. Experiments showed that corner reflectors in rural areas may be very helpful and ground control is necessary everywhere for verification and interpretation of results. Offset-tracking method can be successfully used to contour areas of large displacements and estimate their values even in rural areas where no results with PS-INSAR methods can be obtained. Our investigations revealed hopeful prospects of INSAR application to estimate landslide risk assessment in the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus, locate and monitor activity of landslides characterized by different displacement rates from slowly moving (10-15mm/Y) to rapid and strong movements (m/day) situated both in populated and rural areas. Authors acknowledge the European Space Agency ESA (project C1-7991), the Japanese Space Agency JAXA and Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt DLR (project LAN1247) who kindly supplied us with SAR data for this study. This study was partly supported by RFBR research project. The results were presented in the Living Planet Simposium in Edinburgh in 2013 and in Prague in 2016, Fringe meeting in Frascatti in 2015, SARWorkshop in Portugal in 2014 as well as All-Russian Conferences on Remote Sensing in 2013-2016.

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