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Journal of Applied Remote Sensing

Monitoring and assessment of barrier lakes formed after the Wenchuan earthquake based on multitemporal remote sensing data
Author(s): Liangyun Liu; Yanhong Wu; Zhengli Zuo; Zhengchao Chen; Xingxing Wang; Wenjuan Zhang
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Paper Abstract

The Wenchuan earthquake on May 12, 2008, triggered many secondary disasters, among which the barrier lakes formed by landslides were extremely serious. We monitored the number and spatial distribution of the barrier lakes in the earthquake-hit area from ADS40 airborne images, which covered areas of about 23,700 km2. The results showed that there were 51 barrier lakes in the monitored area; among these, 10 were large-scale lakes and 14 were middle-sized lakes. The barrier lakes were distributed along the Longmen Mountain fault from the northeast to southwest direction. We used the dimensionless blockage index (DBI) to assess the potential risk of the barrier lakes. A small DBI value indicated a stable barrier lake, but the lake might have a higher risk with potential accumulative secondary disasters. Our study emphasized the monitoring and analysis of the high-risk Tangjiashan Barrier Lake from the multitemporal ADS40 airborne images acquired on May 16, 19, 23, and 27. We found that the water level at this barrier lake reached 66 m within 15 days after the barrier lake was formed, and the reservoir storage capacity reached 1.2 × 108 m3 with an increase of 8 × 106 m3 of water per day. Therefore, it faced a very real and urgent risk of dam break and overflow, considering the predicted storm rainfall and the continuous aftershocks. According to the analysis results, airborne remote sensing demonstrated the advantages of being intelligent, being able to maneuver, and providing high resolution. These advantages allowed us to quickly monitor and assess the distribution and dynamic changes of the barrier lakes in the earthquake-hit region using multitemporal airborne remote sensing images.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 May 2009
PDF: 12 pages
J. Appl. Remote Sens. 3(1) 031665 doi: 10.1117/1.3153915
Published in: Journal of Applied Remote Sensing Volume 3, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Liangyun Liu, Ctr. for Earth Observation and Digital Earth (China)
Yanhong Wu, Ctr. for Earth Observation and Digital Earth (China)
Zhengli Zuo, Ctr. for Earth Observation and Digital Earth (China)
Zhengchao Chen, Ctr. for Earth Observation and Digital Earth (China)
Xingxing Wang, Ctr. for Earth Observation and Digital Earth (China)
Wenjuan Zhang, Ctr. for Earth Observation and Digital Earth (China)


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