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ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2014, 3(1), 368-390; doi:10.3390/ijgi3010368

Monitoring Geologic Hazards and Vegetation Recovery in the Wenchuan Earthquake Region Using Aerial Photography

Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100094, China
Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100094, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 November 2013 / Revised: 4 March 2014 / Accepted: 10 March 2014 / Published: 19 March 2014
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On 12 May 2008, the 8.0-magnitude Wenchuan earthquake occurred in Sichuan Province, China, triggering thousands of landslides, debris flows, and barrier lakes, leading to a substantial loss of life and damage to the local environment and infrastructure. This study aimed to monitor the status of geologic hazards and vegetation recovery in a post-earthquake disaster area using high-resolution aerial photography from 2008 to 2011, acquired from the Center for Earth Observation and Digital Earth (CEODE), Chinese Academy of Sciences. The distribution and range of hazards were identified in 15 large, representative geologic hazard areas triggered by the Wenchuan earthquake. After conducting an overlay analysis, the variations of these hazards between successive years were analyzed to reflect the geologic hazard development and vegetation recovery. The results showed that in the first year after the Wenchuan earthquake, debris flows occurred frequently with high intensity. Resultantly, with the source material becoming less available and the slope structure stabilizing, the intensity and frequency of debris flows gradually decreased with time. The development rate of debris flows between 2008 and 2011 was 3% per year. The lithology played a dominant role in the formation of debris flows, and the topography and hazard size in the earthquake affected area also had an influence on the debris flow development process. Meanwhile, the overall geologic hazard area decreased at 12% per year, and the vegetation recovery on the landslide mass was 15% to 20% per year between 2008 and 2011. The outcomes of this study provide supporting data for ecological recovery as well as debris flow control and prevention projects in hazard-prone areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: Wenchuan earthquake; landslide; debris flow; vegetation recovery; aerial photography Wenchuan earthquake; landslide; debris flow; vegetation recovery; aerial photography

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Li, Z.; Jiao, Q.; Liu, L.; Tang, H.; Liu, T. Monitoring Geologic Hazards and Vegetation Recovery in the Wenchuan Earthquake Region Using Aerial Photography. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2014, 3, 368-390.

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