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Open AccessArticle

Multi-Temporal DInSAR to Characterise Landslide Ground Deformations in a Tropical Urban Environment: Focus on Bukavu (DR Congo)

Department of Earth Sciences, Royal Museum for Central Africa, Leuvensesteenweg 13, 3080 Tervuren, Belgium
Department of Geography, Earth System Science, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
Department of Geography, University of Liège, clos Mercator, 3, 4000 Liège, Belgium
F. R. S.—FNRS, Rue d’Egmont, 5, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Department of Geology, Université Officielle de Bukavu, Site Universitaire de Karhale, Kadutu, 570 Bukavu, DR Congo
European Center for Geodynamics and Seismology, Rue Josy Welter, 19, L-7256 Walferdange, Luxembourg
Department of Geophysics/Astrophysics, National Museum of Natural History, Rue Münster, 25, L-2160 Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(4), 626;
Received: 14 March 2018 / Revised: 5 April 2018 / Accepted: 9 April 2018 / Published: 18 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radar Interferometry for Geohazards)
Landslides can lead to high impacts in less developed countries, particularly in tropical environments where a combination of intense rainfall, active tectonics, steep topography, and high population density can be found. However, the processes controlling landslide initiation and their evolution through time remains poorly understood. Here we show the relevance of the use of the multi-temporal differential radar interferometric (DInSAR) technique to characterise ground deformations associated with landslides in the rapidly-expanding city of Bukavu (DR Congo). We use 70 COSMO-SkyMed synthetic aperture radar images acquired between March 2015 and April 2016 with a mean revisiting time of eight days to produce ground deformation rate maps and displacement time series using the small baseline subset approach. We find that various landslide processes of different ages, mechanisms, and states of activity can be identified. Ground deformations revealed by DInSAR are found consistent with field observations and differential GPS measurements. Our analysis highlights the ability of DInSAR to grasp landslide deformation patterns affecting the complex tropical-urban environment of the city of Bukavu. However, longer time series will be needed to infer landside responses to climate, seismic, and anthropogenic drivers. View Full-Text
Keywords: DInSAR; landslide; validation; tropical environment; urban environment DInSAR; landslide; validation; tropical environment; urban environment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nobile, A.; Dille, A.; Monsieurs, E.; Basimike, J.; Bibentyo, T.M.; D’Oreye, N.; Kervyn, F.; Dewitte, O. Multi-Temporal DInSAR to Characterise Landslide Ground Deformations in a Tropical Urban Environment: Focus on Bukavu (DR Congo). Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 626.

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