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Journal of Applied Remote Sensing

Disaster phenomena of Wenchuan earthquake in high resolution airborne synthetic aperture radar images
Author(s): Chao Wang; Hong Zhang; Fan Wu; Bo Zhang; Yixian Tang; Hongan Wu; Xiaoyang Wen; Dongmei Yan
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Paper Abstract

The devastating Wenchuan Earthquake occurred in Sichuan Province, Southwestern China, with a magnitude of 8.0 on May 12, 2008. Most buildings along the seismic zone were ruined, resulting in infrastructure damage to factories, traffic facilities and power supplies. The earthquake also triggered geological disasters, such as landslides, debris flow, landslide lakes, etc. During the rescue campaign the remote sensing aircrafts of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), equipped with synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and optical sensors, flew over the disaster area and acquired many high resolution airborne SAR images. We first describe the basic characteristics of SAR imagery. The SAR images of buildings are simulated, and the backscattering mechanism of the buildings is analyzed. Finally, the various disaster phenomena are described and analyzed in the high resolution airborne SAR images. It is shown that certain phenomena of ruins could be identified clearly in high resolution SAR images in proper imaging conditions, while the functional destruction is quite difficult to detect. With calibrated data, the polarmetric SAR interferometry could be used to analyze the scattering mechanism and 3D distribution of the scattering center, which are redound to earthquake damage assessment.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 May 2009
PDF: 16 pages
J. Appl. Remote Sens. 3(1) 031690 doi: 10.1117/1.3154558
Published in: Journal of Applied Remote Sensing Volume 3, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Chao Wang, Ctr. for Earth Observation and Digital Earth (China)
Hong Zhang, Ctr. for Earth Observation and Digital Earth (China)
Fan Wu, Ctr. for Earth Observation and Digital Earth (China)
Bo Zhang, Ctr. for Earth Observation and Digital Earth (China)
Yixian Tang, Ctr. for Earth Observation and Digital Earth (China)
Hongan Wu, Ctr. for Earth Observation and Digital Earth (China)
Xiaoyang Wen, Chinese Academy of Sciences (China)
Dongmei Yan, Ctr. for Earth Observation and Digital Earth (China)


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