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Updating geomorphic features of watersheds and their boundaries in hazardous areas using satellite synthetic aperture radar

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Abstract:

Volcanic disasters can cause severe loss of human life and damage to property. The main damage is caused during an eruption and from subsequent erosion of deposited materials. Heavy rainfall in volcanic areas erodes volcanic deposits, mainly pyroclastic flows and ash fall deposits, which flow as lahar to the foothill of the mountain and cause drastic damage to economically important areas. This post-eruption disaster becomes complex due to the occurrence of stream captures and watershed breakouts that lead to devastating lahars. Continuous monitoring of such geomorphic and hydrologic changes is necessary to cope with changing hazard conditions. Therefore it is important to update the watershed boundaries in order to study current hazard conditions and develop mitigation plans for future disasters. Changes of geomorphic and watershed boundary have occurred in the Mayon Volcano in the Philippines mainly as a result of a major volcanic eruption of 1993, due to which mitigation structures were constructed and modified in the low lying areas. In this study interferometry was used to develop DEM from SAR data to delineate watershed boundaries. New lava flows, pyroclastic flows and lahar deposits in the watersheds were mapped using elevation changes, coherence and intensity derived from the SAR images. Updating geomorphic features of the watersheds and their boundaries using SAR provides a new weather independent alternative technique for monitoring the effect of volcanic activity.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01431160902791879

Affiliations: 1: Earth Observations and GeoSolutions Division, Canada Centre for Remote Sensing (CCRS), Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 2: School of Engineering and Technology, Asian Institute of Technology, Klong Luang, Pathumthani, Thailand 3: Civil and Environmental Engineering, Kanazawa Institute of Technology, Ishikawa, Japan

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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