Survey and monitoring of landslide displacements by means of L-band satellite SAR interferometry

Strozzi, Tazio and Farina, Paolo and Corsini, Alessandro and Ambrosi, Christian and Türing, Manfred and Zilger, Johannes and Wiesmann, Andreas and Wegmüller, Urs and Werner, Charles (2005) Survey and monitoring of landslide displacements by means of L-band satellite SAR interferometry. Landslides, 2 (3). pp. 193-201. ISSN 1612-510X

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Abstract

This paper illustrates the capabilities of L-band satellite SAR interferometry for the investigation of landslide displacements. SAR data acquired by the L-band JERS satellite over the Italian and Swiss Alps have been analyzed together with C-band ERS-1/2 SAR data and in situ information. The use of L-band SAR data with a wavelength larger than the usual C-band, generally considered for ground motion measurements, reduces some of the limitations of differential SAR interferometry, in particular, signal decorrelation induced by vegetation cover and rapid displacements. The sites of the Alta Val Badia region in South Tyrol (Italy), Ruinon in Lombardia (Italy), Saas Grund in Valais (Switzerland) and Campo Vallemaggia in Ticino (Switzerland), representing a comprehensive set of different mass wasting phenomena in various environments, are considered. The landslides in the Alta Val Badia region are good examples for presenting the improved performance of L-band in comparison to C-band for vegetated areas, in particular concerning open forest. The landslides of Ruinon, Saas Grund, and Campo Vallemaggia demonstrate the strength of L-band in observing moderately fast displacements in comparison to C-band. This work, performed with historical SAR data from a satellite which operated until 1998, demonstrates the capabilities of future planned L-band SAR missions, like ALOS and TerraSAR-L, for landslide studies.

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