Post-disaster assessment of landslides in southern Taiwan after 2009 Typhoon Morakot using remote sensing and spatial analysis
- 1Center for Space and Remote Sensing Research
- 2Department of Civil Engineering, National Central University, Zhong-Li, Taoyuan, 320, Taiwan
Abstract. On 8 August 2009, the extreme rainfall of Typhoon Morakot triggered enormous landslides in mountainous regions of southern Taiwan, causing catastrophic infrastructure and property damages and human casualties. A comprehensive evaluation of the landslides is essential for the post-disaster reconstruction and should be helpful for future hazard mitigation. This paper presents a systematic approach to utilize multi-temporal satellite images and other geo-spatial data for the post-disaster assessment of landslides on a regional scale. Rigorous orthorectification and radiometric correction procedures were applied to the satellite images. Landslides were identified with NDVI filtering, change detection analysis and interactive post-analysis editing to produce an accurate landslide map. Spatial analysis was performed to obtain statistical characteristics of the identified landslides and their relationship with topographical factors. A total of 9333 landslides (22 590 ha) was detected from change detection analysis of satellite images. Most of the detected landslides are smaller than 10 ha. Less than 5% of them are larger than 10 ha but together they constitute more than 45% of the total landslide area. Spatial analysis of the detected landslides indicates that most of them have average elevations between 500 m to 2000 m and with average slope gradients between 20° and 40°. In addition, a particularly devastating landslide whose debris flow destroyed a riverside village was examined in depth for detailed investigation. The volume of this slide is estimated to be more than 2.6 million m3 with an average depth of 40 m.