Articles | Volume 10, issue 12
Research article
09 Dec 2010
Research article |  | 09 Dec 2010

Remote landslide mapping using a laser rangefinder binocular and GPS

M. Santangelo, M. Cardinali, M. Rossi, A. C. Mondini, and F. Guzzetti

Abstract. We tested a high-quality laser rangefinder binocular coupled with a GPS receiver connected to a Tablet PC running dedicated software to help recognize and map in the field recent rainfall-induced landslides. The system was tested in the period between March and April 2010, in the Monte Castello di Vibio area, Umbria, Central Italy. To test the equipment, we measured thirteen slope failures that were mapped previously during a visual reconnaissance field campaign conducted in February and March 2010. For reference, four slope failures were also mapped by walking the GPS receiver along the landslide perimeter. Comparison of the different mappings revealed that the geographical information obtained remotely for each landslide by the rangefinder binocular and GPS was comparable to the information obtained by walking the GPS around the landslide perimeter, and was superior to the information obtained through the visual reconnaissance mapping. Although our tests were not exhaustive, we maintain that the system is effective to map recent rainfall induced landslides in the field, and we foresee the possibility of using the same (or similar) system to map landslides, and other geomorphological features, in other areas.