In this paper, the potential of Infrared Thermography (IRT) as a novel operational tool for landslide surveying, mapping and characterization was tested and demonstrated in different case studies, by analyzing various types of instability processes (rock slide/fall, roto-translational slide-flow). In particular, IRT was applied, both from terrestrial and airborne platforms, in an integrated methodology with other geomatcs methods, such as terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) and global positioning systems (GPS), for the detection and mapping of landslides’ potentially hazardous structural and morphological features (structural discontinuities and open fractures, scarps, seepage and moisture zones, landslide drainage network and ponds). Depending on the study areas’ hazard context, the collected remotely sensed data were validated through field inspections, with the purpose of studying and verifying the causes of mass movements. The challenge of this work is to go beyond the current state of the art of IRT in landslide studies, with the aim of improving and extending the investigative capacity of the analyzed technique, in the framework of a growing demand for effective Civil Protection procedures in landslide geo-hydrological disaster managing activities. The proposed methodology proved to be an effective tool for landslide analysis, especially in the field of emergency management, when it is often necessary to gather all the required information in dangerous environments as fast as possible, to be used for the planning of mitigation measures and the evaluation of hazardous scenarios. Advantages and limitations of the proposed method in the field of the explored applications were evaluated, as well as general operative recommendations and future perspectives.
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