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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Geohazards affecting UNESCO WHL sites in the UK observed from geological data and satellite InSAR
Author(s): Francesca Cigna; Deodato Tapete; Kathryn Lee

Paper Abstract

Geohazards pose significant threats to cultural and natural heritage worldwide. In the UK, only 1 out of 29 UNESCO World Heritage List (WHL) sites has been inscribed on the list of World Heritage in Danger, whilst it is widely accepted that many more could be affected by geohazards. In this paper we set out the foundations of a methodological approach to analyse geological, geohazard and remote sensing data available at the British Geological Survey to retrieve an overview of geohazards affecting the UK WHL sites. The Castles and Town Walls (constructed in the time of King Edward I) in Gwynedd in north Wales are used as test sites to showcase the methodology for geohazard assessment at the scale of individual property also to account for situations of varied geology and local topography across multiproperty WHL sites. How such baseline geohazard assessment can be combined with space-borne radar interferometry (InSAR) data is showcased for the four UNESCO WHL sites located in Greater London. Our analysis feeds into the innovative contribution that the JPI-CH project PROTHEGO ‘PROTection of European cultural HEritage from GeOhazards’ ( is making towards mapping geohazards in the 400+ WHL sites of Europe by exploiting non-invasive remote sensing methods and surveying technologies.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 August 2016
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 9688, Fourth International Conference on Remote Sensing and Geoinformation of the Environment (RSCy2016), 96880X (12 August 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2240768
Show Author Affiliations
Francesca Cigna, British Geological Survey (United Kingdom)
Deodato Tapete, British Geological Survey (United Kingdom)
Kathryn Lee, British Geological Survey (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9688:
Fourth International Conference on Remote Sensing and Geoinformation of the Environment (RSCy2016)
Kyriacos Themistocleous; Diofantos G. Hadjimitsis; Silas Michaelides; Giorgos Papadavid, Editor(s)

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