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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-137
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-137
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  12 May 2020

12 May 2020

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A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Deriving slope movements for an imminent landslide along the Jinsha river

Wentao Yang1, Lianyou Liu2,3,4, and Peijun Shi2,3,4 Wentao Yang et al.
  • 1Three-gorges Reservoir Area (Chongqing) Forest Ecosystem Research Station, School of Soil and Water Conservation, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing, 100083, China
  • 2Academy of Disaster Reduction and Emergency Management, Ministry of Emergency Management & Ministry of Education, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, 100875, China
  • 3MOE, Key Laboratory of Environmental Change and Natural Disaster, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, 100875, China
  • 4State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, 100875, China

Abstract. Landslides are major hazards that may pose serious threats to mountain communities. Even landslides in remote mountains could have non-negligible impacts on populous regions by blocking large rivers and forming megafloods. Usually, there are slope deformations before major landslides occur, and detecting precursors over large mountain regions is important for screening possible landslide disasters. In this work, we applied multi-temporal optical remote sensing images (Landsat 7 and Sentinel-2) and an image correlation method to detect sub-pixel slope deformations of a slope. Along the Jinsha river, this slope is located downstream the famous Baige landslide near the Mindu town, Tibet Autonomous Region. We used DEM derived aspect to restrain background noises in image correlation results. We found the slope remained stable from November 2015 to November 2018 and moved significantly from November 2018 to November 2019. We used more data to analyse slope movement in 2019 and found retrogressive slope movements with increasingly large deformations near the river bank. We also analysed spatial-temporal patterns of the slope deformation from October 2018 to February 2020 and found seasonal variations in slope deformations. Only the slope foot moved in dry seasons, whereas the entire slope activated in rainy seasons. Until 24 August 2019, the size of the slope with displacements larger than 3 m is similar to that of the Baige landslide. However, the river width at the foot of this slope is much narrower than the river width at the foot of the Baige landslide. We speculate it may continue to slide down and could threaten the Jinsha river. Further modelling works should be done to check if the imminent landslide could dam the Jinsha river and measures be taken to mitigate possible dammed breach flood disasters. This work illustrates the potential of using optical remote sensing to monitor slope deformations over large remote mountain regions.

Wentao Yang et al.

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Short summary
We analyzed deformation of a moving slope along the Jinsha River from November 2015 to November 2019. The slope is 80 km downstream the famous Baige landslide, which caused two megafloods to downstream communities. This slope was relatively stable for the first three years (2015–2018) but moved significantly in the last year (2018–2019). The deformation is linked to seasonal precipitation. If this slope continues to slide down, it may have similar impacts as the Baige landslide.
We analyzed deformation of a moving slope along the Jinsha River from November 2015 to November...
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