Journal article

Inventorying slope movements in an Alpine environment using DInSAR

  • Barboux, Chloé University of Fribourg, Department of Geosciences, Geography, Switzerland
  • Delaloye, Reynald University of Fribourg, Department of Geosciences, Geography, Switzerland
  • Lambiel, Christophe Institute of Earth Surface Dynamics, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
Published in:
  • Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. - 2014, vol. 39, no. 15, p. 2087-2099
English Differential SAR Interferometry (DInSAR) is a technique that can be used to detect and characterize slope movements. It is investigated here as a tool for establishing a detailed overview of complex slope movements at a regional scale in an Alpine context. This paper gives specific recommendations to use and to understand DInSAR signals in mountainous areas located above the tree line, excluding glaciated areas. It proposes a systematic procedure based on accurate interpretations of interferometric signals from a large DInSAR dataset to locate and estimate the displacement rate of moving zones. The methodology was successfully applied in the Western Swiss Alps, where about 1500 moving objects were detected above the tree line using a large dataset of ERS and JERS interferograms dating from the 1990s. The DInSAR-detected movements had a displacement rate ranging from a few centimeters to several meters per year and were attributed to various types of mass wasting phenomena (rock glaciers, landslides, etc.). This kind of inventory derived from DInSAR can be used as a preliminary tool for natural hazard management and process understanding in mountain areas. As automatic data archiving and systematic acquisition of SAR data are ensured worldwide for most SAR sensors, a similar methodology can basically be applied in many other parts of the globe – also by using data from current SAR sensors – as long as a high resolution DEM is available.
Faculté des sciences et de médecine
Département de Géosciences
  • English
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