Timely information about landslides during or immediately after an event is an invaluable source for emergency response and management. Using an active sensor, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) can capture images of the earth’s surface regardless of weather conditions and may provide a solution to the problem of mapping landslides when clouds obstruct optical imaging. The 2018 Hokkaido Eastern Iburi earthquake (Mw
6.6) and its aftershocks not only caused major damage with severe loss of life and property but also induced many landslides across the area. To gain a better understanding of the landslides induced by this earthquake, we proposed a method of landslide mapping using pre- and post-event Advanced Land Observation Satellite 2 Phased Array L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar 2 (ALOS-2 PALSAR-2) images acquired from both descending and ascending orbits. Moreover, the accuracy of the classification results was verified by comparisons with high-resolution optical images, and ground truth data (provided by GSI, Japan). The detected landslides show a good match with the reference optical images by visual comparison. The quantitative comparison results showed that a combination of the descending and ascending intensity-based landslide classification had the best accuracy with an overall accuracy and kappa coefficient of 80.1% and 0.45, respectively.
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