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Proceedings Paper

SRTM-based geomorphometrics for detecting neotectonic deformation: A cost-effective alternative to InSAR in vegetated regions?
Author(s): Nasos Argyriou; Richard Teeuw
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Paper Abstract

This study examines whether Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) can be used to highlight zones of neotectonic deformation. Away from well-exposed coastal zones, the assessment of regional tectonic deformation is often hampered by dense vegetation, steep-sided high relief and rugged, poorly-accessible terrain. Such regions are of prior interest in examining and understanding their neotectonic status. The test region for this study is the island of Crete, located in the outer forearc of the Hellenic subduction zone, associated with collision of the African plate and the Eurasian plate. This tectonic setting affects the island’s landscape, with mountainous relief and geomorphological processes that are strongly influenced by neotectonic deformation of the ground surface. A set of geomorphometric analyses of SRTM DEMs (such as asymmetry factor, mountain front sinuosity, stream-length gradient index, amplitude relief etc.), were compared with drainage basin geomorphological variations. Some of the characteristic features associated with the deformation of the bedrock and the landscape of the study area were: i) tectonically active mountain fronts; ii) uplifted and tilted blocks and; iii) migration of streams due to tectonic control. Consideration of multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) approach combines various extracted SRTM DEM-based geomorphometrics for detecting zones of neotectonic deformation. The methodology developed in this study provides a low-cost reconnaissance tool for assessing regional tectonic regimes and zones of neotectonic activity. It can provide a useful alternative to Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) data for highlighting zones of neotectonic deformation, particularly where vegetation or snow cover limits the effectiveness of InSAR.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 August 2013
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 8795, First International Conference on Remote Sensing and Geoinformation of the Environment (RSCy2013), 87950U (5 August 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2028322
Show Author Affiliations
Nasos Argyriou, Univ. of Portsmouth (United Kingdom)
Richard Teeuw, Univ. of Portsmouth (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8795:
First International Conference on Remote Sensing and Geoinformation of the Environment (RSCy2013)
Diofantos G. Hadjimitsis; Kyriacos Themistocleous; Silas Michaelides; George Papadavid, Editor(s)

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