How to assess landslide activity and intensity with Persistent Scatterer Interferometry (PSI) : the PSI-based matrix approach

Cigna, Francesca; Bianchini, Silvia; Casagli, Nicola. 2013 How to assess landslide activity and intensity with Persistent Scatterer Interferometry (PSI) : the PSI-based matrix approach. Landslides, 10 (3). 267-283.

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We provide a step-by-step analysis and discussion of the ‘PSI-based matrix approach’, a methodology employing ground deformation velocities derived through Persistent Scatterer Interferometry (PSI) for the assessment of the state of activity and intensity of extremely to very slow landslides. Two matrices based on PSI data are designed respectively for landslides already mapped in preexisting inventories and for newly identified phenomena. Conversely, a unique intensity scale is proposed indiscriminately for both. Major influencing factors of the approach are brought to light by the application in the 14 km2 area of Verbicaro, in Northern Calabria (Italy). These include lack of PSI data within the landslide boundaries, temporal coverage of the available estimates, and need of field checks as well as the operative procedures to set the activity and intensity thresholds. For the area of Verbicaro, we exploit 1992–2011 PSI data from ERS1/2 and RADARSAT1/2 satellites, projecting them along the maximum slope directions. An activity threshold of ±5 mm/year is determined by applying the average projection factor of local slopes to the PSI data precision. The intensity threshold between extremely and very slow phenomena (16 mm/year) is reduced by ~20% to account for temporal and spatial averages being applied to attribute representative velocities to each landslide. The methodology allows assessing the state of activity and the intensity for 13 of the 24 landslides premapped in the 2007 inventory and for two newly identified phenomena. Current limitations due to characteristics and spatial coverage of PSI data are critically tackled within the discussion, jointly with respective implications.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 1612-510X
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: This article is published with Open Access at
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Space Sciences
Date made live: 09 Oct 2012 12:38 +0 (UTC)

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