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UAV and Airborne LiDAR Data for Interpreting Kinematic Evolution of Landslide Movements: The Case Study of the Montescaglioso Landslide (Southern Italy)

Department of European and Mediterranean Cultures, University of Basilicata, Via Lanera, 75100 Matera, Italy
National Research Council, CNR-IREA, Via Amendola 122/D, 70125 Bari, Italy
Italian Spatial Agency, ASI, Via del Politecnico, 00133 Rome, Italy
Italian Spatial Agency, ASI, Contrada Terlecchia, 75100 Matera, Italy
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Ambientale, del Territorio, Edile e di Chimica, Politecnico di Bari, 70125 Bari, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2019, 9(6), 248;
Received: 15 April 2019 / Revised: 12 May 2019 / Accepted: 27 May 2019 / Published: 3 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Hazards)
PDF [14669 KB, uploaded 3 June 2019]


Airborne remote sensing systems are increasingly used in engineering geology and geomorphology for studying and monitoring natural hazardous scenarios and events. In this study, we used two remote sensing monitoring techniques, i.e., light detection and ranging (LiDAR) and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to analyze the kinematic evolution of the Montescaglioso landslide (Basilicata, Southern Italy), a large rain-triggered landslide that occurred in December 2013. By comparing pre- and post-event LiDAR and UAV DEMs and UAV orthomosaics, we delineated landslide morphological features and measured horizontal displacements and elevation change differences within landslide body. Analysis of two subsequent post-events digital terrain models (DTMs) also allowed the evaluation of the evolutionary behavior of the slope instability, highlighting no signs of reactivation. The UAV-derived digital surface models (DSMs) were found consistent with the LiDAR-DTMs, but their use was in addition highlighted as highly effective to support geomorphic interpretations and complement LiDAR and field-based data acquisitions. This study shows the effectiveness of combining the two UAV-LiDAR methodologies to evaluate geomorphological features indicative of the failure mechanism and to interpret the evolutionary behavior of the instability process View Full-Text
Keywords: LiDAR; UAV; DTM; DSM; geomorphological analysis; landslide kinematics LiDAR; UAV; DTM; DSM; geomorphological analysis; landslide kinematics

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Pellicani, R.; Argentiero, I.; Manzari, P.; Spilotro, G.; Marzo, C.; Ermini, R.; Apollonio, C. UAV and Airborne LiDAR Data for Interpreting Kinematic Evolution of Landslide Movements: The Case Study of the Montescaglioso Landslide (Southern Italy). Geosciences 2019, 9, 248.

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