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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 307; doi:10.3390/rs8040307

Landslide Mapping in Vegetated Areas Using Change Detection Based on Optical and Polarimetric SAR Data

German Aerospace Center (DLR), German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD), Muenchener Str. 20, 82234 Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
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Academic Editors: Roberto Tomas, Zhenhong Li, Zhong Lu and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 29 January 2016 / Revised: 29 March 2016 / Accepted: 31 March 2016 / Published: 6 April 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Earth Observations for Geohazards)
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Abstract

Mapping of landslides, quickly providing information about the extent of the affected area and type and grade of damage, is crucial to enable fast crisis response, i.e., to support rescue and humanitarian operations. Most synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data-based landslide detection approaches reported in the literature use change detection techniques, requiring very high resolution (VHR) SAR imagery acquired shortly before the landslide event, which is commonly not available. Modern VHR SAR missions, e.g., Radarsat-2, TerraSAR-X, or COSMO-SkyMed, do not systematically cover the entire world, due to limitations in onboard disk space and downlink transmission rates. Here, we present a fast and transferable procedure for mapping of landslides, based on change detection between pre-event optical imagery and the polarimetric entropy derived from post-event VHR polarimetric SAR data. Pre-event information is derived from high resolution optical imagery of Landsat-8 or Sentinel-2, which are freely available and systematically acquired over the entire Earth’s landmass. The landslide mapping is refined by slope information from a digital elevation model generated from bi-static TanDEM-X imagery. The methodology was successfully applied to two landslide events of different characteristics: A rotational slide near Charleston, West Virginia, USA and a mining waste earthflow near Bolshaya Talda, Russia. View Full-Text
Keywords: landslide; change detection; SAR polarimetry; PolSAR; object-based image analysis; OBIA; TanDEM-X landslide; change detection; SAR polarimetry; PolSAR; object-based image analysis; OBIA; TanDEM-X
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Plank, S.; Twele, A.; Martinis, S. Landslide Mapping in Vegetated Areas Using Change Detection Based on Optical and Polarimetric SAR Data. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 307.

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