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Summary of Proposal GEO1838

TitleInvestigating landslide and land subsidence hazards using TSX images
Investigator Li, Zhenhong - Newcastle University, School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences
Team Member
Dr Tomás Jover, Roberto - University of Alicante, Departamento de Ingeniería Civil
Dr Kincal, Cem - Dokuz Eylul University, Engineering Faculty, Geological Engineering Dept.
SummaryLandslides are a major global hazard, controlled by geology, climate and land-use. Recent catastrophic landslides in China and elsewhere have demonstrated the importance of understanding this hazard and of developing early-warning systems. Real-time monitoring systems can observe individual landslides but are costly to install and maintain over large areas.To address this, regional hazard susceptibility maps are becoming more common although the results are strongly dependent on the maps of included causal factors. Therefore, the development and application of various InSAR techniques can often provide the most comprehensive regional assessment of widespread landslide hazards. With the higher resolutions offered by the TerraSAR-X sensor, individual landslide bodies can also be studied in order to extract the underlying geophysical mechanisms. Continued monitoring of active slope failures may help to act as an early warning system through the potential to identify accelerating deformation characteristics which may signal an imminent catastrophic failure. Similarly, land subsidence is a major global hazard, resulting from natural (eg landslides and earthquakes) and human (eg mining, oil and groundwater extraction) processes, that causes economic losses and fatalities. The hazard is both widespread and spatially variable, such that reliable mapping of subsidence across wide areas is of crucial importance to support sustainable economic development, protect infrastructure assets and to ensure public safety, particularly for urban areas with active faults and/or intensive groundwater use. This proposal aims to apply a number of techniques to the regularly acquired SAR images (namely conventional InSAR, SBAS-InSAR and pixel-offset time-series techniques) in order to further understand various landslide and city subsidence hazards. Building on prior experience of monitoring landslides in the Three Gorges region, China, this proposed research aims to: (1) Develop a reliable InSAR processing chain (using existing or modified processing software). (2) Identify subsiding areas over several selected study sites and their corresponding trends. (3) Compare techniques and, where possible imaging modes, for assessing hazards associated with slow-moving landslides. (4) Model the identified geohazards to assess the geophysical mechanisms for slope instability. The final deliverables will be: (i) A quantitative hazard assessment for each region. (ii) A peer-reviewed article containing the comparison between Envisat and TerraSAR-X products for landslide and land subsidence monitoring.

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