Landslide monitoring at the North Caucasus railroad using SAR data of different wavelength and corner reflector

Category: 14-4
V.O. Mikhailov, E.A. Kiseleva, E.I. Smolyaninova, P.N. Dmitriev, Yu.A. Golubeva, Yu.S. Isaev, K.A. Dorokhin, E.P. Timoshkina, S.A. Khairetdinov, V.I. Golubev


UDC 551.217.3+532.5


V.O. Mikhailov(1), E.A. Kiseleva(1), E.I. Smolyaninova(1),

P.N. Dmitriev(1), Yu.A. Golubeva(2), Yu.S. Isaev(3), K.A. Dorokhin(3),

E.P. Timoshkina(1), S.A. Khairetdinov(1), V.I. Golubev(1)


(1) Schmidt Institute of Physics of the Earth, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

(2) Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Dolgoprudni, Russia

(3)“Lenmetrogiprotrans”, St. Petersburg, Russia



In the present paper displacements of the landslide slope in the Tuapse-Adler section of the North Caucasus railroad during ten years period from July 2003 to May 2013 were estimated by means of SAR interferometry. PS-INSAR method was used to analyze dynamics of velocity of displacements of different parts of the landslide. We incorporated 38 images from descending 35D acquisitions of the Envisat satellite (C-band, wavelength 5.6 cm) covering three time periods: 2003–2006, 2007–2010, 2010–2012 and 38 images from ascending 54A acquisitions of TerraSAR-X и TanDEM-X satellites (Х-band, wavelength 3.1 cm) for two time periods: 2011–2012 and 2012–2013. As a result we localized several active areas where mean velocities of displacements in satellite line-of-sight (LOS) direction exceed 40 mm/year. Mean velocity values for the abovementioned time periods are different. We demonstrated that these variations cannot be attributed to different geometry of acquisitions of satellites, but, most likely, reflect dynamics of the landslide activity.

We established parameters of the artificial reflector which was mounted in November 2012 in the landslide area where lack of persistent scatterers of radar signal was observed. Mean velocity value in the LOS direction for the artificial reflector was estimated as 49.5 mm/year. Installation of the artificial reflector permitted us to extend the area of monitoring incorporating  the area covered by thick vegetation where no persistent scatterers had been identified before.

The obtained results demonstrate efficiency of C and X-band SAR interferometry in the Northern Caucasus for both localization of landslide bodies and monitoring their activity. 

Keywords: synthetic aperture radar, interferometry, satellite monitoring, landslides, corner reflector.



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