Articles | Volume 11, issue 9
Research article
22 Sep 2011
Research article |  | 22 Sep 2011

Using ground based radar interferometry during emergency: the case of the A3 motorway (Calabria Region, Italy) threatened by a landslide

C. Del Ventisette, E. Intrieri, G. Luzi, N. Casagli, R. Fanti, and D. Leva

Abstract. The rapid assessment of the evolution of the phenomena which occur during an emergency, along with an all weather and h24 monitoring capability, are probably the main characteristics of a system aimed at optimizing intervention in natural disasters, such as landslide collapses. A few techniques are able to provide all these features remotely, hence assuring safe conditions to operators. This paper reports on an application of the GB-InSAR (Ground-Based Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar) technique to monitor a landslide threatening an infrastructure, the A3 motorway in the Calabria Region (Southern Italy), in emergency conditions. Here, it is evaluated how well this technique is able to satisfy these requirements. On 30 January 2009, a mass movement never detected before and located near Santa Trada viaduct caused the closure of that sector of the A3 motorway. The prompt installation of a GB-InSAR permitted to follow and to understand the temporal evolution of the landslide until the end of the emergency and then safely reopen of the motorway. The main steps of the GB-InSAR interferometry data interpretation used in managing this emergency are described and discussed here. In detail, data collected through a continuous acquisition have permitted the division of the unstable area into three smaller zones characterized by different extents of displacement.