Articles | Volume 9, issue 5
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 9, 1587–1598, 2009
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 9, 1587–1598, 2009

  24 Sep 2009

24 Sep 2009

Mapping and monitoring geomorphological processes in mountainous areas using PSI data: Central Pyrenees case study

G. Herrera1, J. C. Davalillo1, J. Mulas1, G. Cooksley2, O. Monserrat3, and V. Pancioli4 G. Herrera et al.
  • 1Área de Peligrosidad y Riesgos Geológicos, Departamento de Investigación y Prospectiva Geocientífica, Instituto Geológico y Minero de España (IGME), c/ Alenza 1, 28003 Madrid, Spain
  • 2Altamira Information, c/ Còrsega, 381–387, 2n 3a, 08037 Barcelona, Spain
  • 3Instituto de Geomática, Av. Canal Olímpic s/n, 08860 Castelldefels, Spain
  • 4Department of Earth Sciences, University of Florence, via La Pira 4 , 50121 Firenze, Italy

Abstract. In this paper the Stable Point Network technique, an established Persistent Scatterer InSAR (PSI) technique, (SPN), has been applied for the first time to the analysis of several geomorphological processes present in the Gállego river basin (Central Pyrenees, Spain). The SPN coherence based approach has been used to process three different SAR images datasets covering two temporal periods: 1995 to 2001 and 2001 to 2007. This approach has permitted the detection of more than 40 000 natural ground targets or Persistent Scatterers (PSs) in the study area, characterised by the presence of vegetation and a low urban density. Derived displacement maps have permitted the detection and monitoring of deformations in landslides, alluvial fans and erosive areas. In the first section, the study area is introduced. Then the specifics of the SPN processing are presented. The deformation results estimated with the SPN technique for the different processed datasets are compared and analysed with previous available geo-information. Then several detailed studies are presented to illustrate the processes detected by the satellite based analysis. In addition, a comparison between the performance of ERS and ENVISAT satellites with terrestrial SAR has demonstrates that these are complementary techniques, which can be integrated in order to monitor deformation processes, like landslides, that over the same monitoring area may show very different ranges of movement. The most relevant conclusions of this work are finally discussed.