Monitoring slow-moving landslides in Switzerland with satellite SAR interferometry

Strozzi, Tazio and Caduff Rafael, Rafael and Manconi, Andrea and Wegmèller, Urs and Ambrosi, Christian (2020) Monitoring slow-moving landslides in Switzerland with satellite SAR interferometry. Swiss Bulletin fuer Angewandte Geologie, 25. pp. 85-99. ISSN 1664-1884

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Accurate information about the surface deformation of slope instabilites is important for the analysis and interpretation of their associated hazard potential. Satellite SAR interferometry is an appealing technology for surface deformation monitoring over large areas that is now entering an advanced operational phase triggered by the increased availability of satellite data. In order to show potential and limitations of current satellite SAR data for the assessment of the state of activity of slow-moving landslides in Switzerland, we exemplary present results over Loderio in Canton Ticino. By the synergetic use of satellite SAR data of different carrier frequencies and ground resolutions, we could detect both the fastest moving and vegetated part of the landslide (rates of motion up to 6 cm/year) as well as rocks and scattered houses over the very slow-moving sectors (rates of motion of a few mm/year up to 1 cm/year). The satellite based information on the surface motion complements well the geomorphological analysis performed with aerial photographs and field surveys. Similar results can be nowadays expected everywhere over slow-moving landslides in the Swiss Alps.

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