Detecting seasonal landslide movement within the Cascade landslide complex (Washington) using time-series SAR imagery

Remote Sensing of Environment
By: , and 



Detection of slow or limited landslide movement within broad areas of forested terrain has long been problematic, particularly for the Cascade landslide complex (Washington) located along the Columbia River Gorge. Although parts of the landslide complex have been found reactivated in recent years, the timing and magnitude of motion have not been systematically monitored or interpreted. Here we apply novel time-series strategies to study the spatial distribution and temporal behavior of the landslide movement between 2007 and 2011 using InSAR images from two overlapping L-band ALOS PALSAR-1 satellite tracks. Our results show that the reactivated part has moved approximately 700 mm downslope during the 4-year observation period, while other parts of the landslide complex have generally remained stable. However, we also detect about 300 mm of seasonal downslope creep in a terrain block upslope of the Cascade landslide complex—terrain previously thought to be stable. The temporal oscillation of the seasonal movement can be correlated with precipitation, implying that seasonal movement here is hydrology-driven. The seasonal movement also has a frequency similar to GPS-derived regional ground oscillations due to mass loading by stored rainfall and subsequent rebound but with much smaller magnitude, suggesting different hydrological loading effects. From the time-series amplitude information on terrain upslope of the headscarp, we also re-evaluate the incipient motion related to the 2008 Greenleaf Basin rock avalanche, not previously recognized by traditional SAR/InSAR methods. The approach used in this study can be used to identify active landslides in forested terrain, to track the seasonal movement of landslides, and to identify previously unknown landslide hazards.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Detecting seasonal landslide movement within the Cascade landslide complex (Washington) using time-series SAR imagery
Series title Remote Sensing of Environment
DOI 10.1016/j.rse.2016.10.006
Volume 187
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Publisher location Amsterdam
Contributing office(s) Volcano Science Center
Description 13 p.
First page 49
Last page 61
Country United States
State Washington
Other Geospatial Cascade Landslide Complex
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