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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(8), 659; doi:10.3390/rs8080659

Evaluation of the Use of Sub-Pixel Offset Tracking Techniques to Monitor Landslides in Densely Vegetated Steeply Sloped Areas

University College London, Mullard Space Science Laboratory, Holmbury St. Mary, Surrey RH5 6NT, UK
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Zhenhong Li, Roberto Tomas, Zhong Lu, Richard Gloaguen and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 1 June 2016 / Revised: 5 August 2016 / Accepted: 10 August 2016 / Published: 17 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Earth Observations for Geohazards)

Abstract

Sub-Pixel Offset Tracking (sPOT) is applied to derive high-resolution centimetre-level landslide rates in the Three Gorges Region of China using TerraSAR-X Hi-resolution Spotlight (TSX HS) space-borne SAR images. These results contrast sharply with previous use of conventional differential Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (DInSAR) techniques in areas with steep slopes, dense vegetation and large variability in water vapour which indicated around 12% phase coherent coverage. By contrast, sPOT is capable of measuring two dimensional deformation of large gradient over steeply sloped areas covered in dense vegetation. Previous applications of sPOT in this region relies on corner reflectors (CRs), (high coherence features) to obtain reliable measurements. However, CRs are expensive and difficult to install, especially in remote areas; and other potential high coherence features comparable with CRs are very few and outside the landslide boundary. The resultant sub-pixel level deformation field can be statistically analysed to yield multi-modal maps of deformation regions. This approach is shown to have a significant impact when compared with previous offset tracking measurements of landslide deformation, as it is demonstrated that sPOT can be applied even in densely vegetated terrain without relying on high-contrast surface features or requiring any de-noising process. View Full-Text
Keywords: landslide monitoring; sub-Pixel Offset Tracking (sPOT); TerraSAR-X High-resolution Spotlight data; Corner Reflectors vs. natural scatterers; densely vegetated terrain landslide monitoring; sub-Pixel Offset Tracking (sPOT); TerraSAR-X High-resolution Spotlight data; Corner Reflectors vs. natural scatterers; densely vegetated terrain
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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

Sun, L.; Muller, J.-P. Evaluation of the Use of Sub-Pixel Offset Tracking Techniques to Monitor Landslides in Densely Vegetated Steeply Sloped Areas. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 659.

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