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  • Applications of SAR interferometric techniques for ground stability monitoring in support of disaster management

    Paper ID



    • Florin Serban


    Advanced Studies and Research Center






    The high potential of using SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) satellite imagery and advanced SAR techniques like DInSAR (Differential Interferometry of Synthetic Aperture Radar) or PSI (Persistent Scatterers Interferometry) for the development of models and scenarios to predict disaster events such as cave-ins or landslides is obvious today. A number of two sites in Romania that suffer of ground instability will be presented in this work. The DInSAR and PSI techniques were applied to retrieve as accurate as possible the displacement information. Firstly it is presented a case study in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania. The SIRIU rock-fill dam, developed in an active part of the mountains (thus with steep slopes), generates land subsidence in the village downstream and heavy landslides activity on the slopes of the surrounding mountains, affecting the lake and the roads along it. Detection and monitoring of land deformation was performed using TerraSAR-X High Resolution Spotlight imagery, and DInSAR technique. A large number of landslides, including very local ones, were detected and ground validation was done in the field. A value added product like hazard map of the area could be used to highlight the subsidence in dam and urban areas. The second site is a number of 4 tailing retention ponds at different stages of their life. The tailing ponds are hydrotechnical structures of permeable type designed for the safe storage of mining detritus byproducts and disposal of the water contained in these byproducts. Starting in 1998 approximately 550 mines have been closed and introduced in a conservation process. In order to prevent ecological and human damage, all these mines and storage ponds for mining tailings are required to be under continuous monitoring. Using 15 high-resolution Spotlight TerraSAR-X images, the stability of the storage pond was monitored over a period of 5 months during 2011. PSI analysis was applied in order to generate deformation maps and deformation profiles. The aim of this pilot project conducted by ASRC Ltd, Bucharest, Romania, was to prove that high resolution SAR imagery provides critical spatial information to a risk assessment and decision making process that is necessary for an appropriate addressing of the environmental threats and safety hazards posed by landslides or inactive mines.