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Satellite Data to Improve the Knowledge of Geohazards in World Heritage Sites

Department of Earth Sciences, University of Firenze, Via G. La Pira 4, 50121 Firenze, Italy
Centre Tecnològic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya (CTTC/CERCA), Geomatics Division, 08860 Castelldefels, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(7), 992;
Received: 11 May 2018 / Revised: 15 June 2018 / Accepted: 20 June 2018 / Published: 22 June 2018
PDF [9795 KB, uploaded 17 September 2018]


According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) agency, the World Heritage Sites (WHS) inscribed in the World Heritage List (WHL) must be safeguarded with an adequate protection system, in order to guarantee their integrity and authenticity. Currently, many UNESCO sites are threatened by geohazards, but the safeguard of these sites does not seem to be wide-ranging. Looking at the standard list of factors affecting the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of WHS, which has been adopted by the World Heritage Committee in 2008, it seems that only “sudden geological events” are considered as factors that undermine the protection of the properties. Furthermore, it is well known that slow-kinematic phenomena can also threaten cultural and natural heritage. This study proposes a satellite InSAR-based procedure to identify and monitor the temporal and spatial evolution of ground deformation related to slow-kinematic geohazards (slow-moving landslides and ground-subsidence). This procedure, applied in this work on the Tuscany Region (Italy), simplify the InSAR products interpretation, making them easily exploitable by the local WHS managers for long-term geohazards monitoring and conservation strategies. These activities, thanks to the main characteristics of the recent Sentinel-1 data (short revisit time, free availability without any restrictions and worldwide coverage), can be defined for each UNESCO site of the world. View Full-Text
Keywords: InSAR; geohazards; World Heritage Sites; ground deformation; UNESCO InSAR; geohazards; World Heritage Sites; ground deformation; UNESCO

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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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Pastonchi, L.; Barra, A.; Monserrat, O.; Luzi, G.; Solari, L.; Tofani, V. Satellite Data to Improve the Knowledge of Geohazards in World Heritage Sites. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 992.

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