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Proceedings Paper

Detection of rapid erosion in SE Spain using ERS SAR interferometric coherence imagery
Author(s): Jian Guo Liu; Hoonyol Lee; Timothy Pearson
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Paper Abstract

Soil erosion is a widespread problem in Mediterranean countries. Irregular and often intense rainfalls in this semi- arid region can result in rapid erosion in areas where the slope is steep, the lithology is soft and the vegetation is sparse. The erosion process randomly changes micro-topography of slope surface and thus results in reducing coherence of the radar signals between the initial and the eroded state. This paper reports a case study of rapid erosion using ERS SAR coherence imagery. Three ERS SAR scenes of Almeria Province, Spain with 70, 140 and 210 days separation were processed to produce three coherence images. The coherence images were analyzed in conjunction with Landsat TM images, topographic and geological maps. This study reveals hard evidence of rapid erosion on steep slopes along a motorway cut through strata of soft marls. The slopes subject to rapid erosion appear in intermediate level of coherence in 70 days and gradually lose coherence in 140 and 210 days. In contrast, the dense vegetation in the valley lost coherence almost completely in 70 days and afterwards while more resistant rocks (gypsum and limestone) above and beneath the marls show high to intermediate coherence in the three coherence images.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 December 1999
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3868, Remote Sensing for Earth Science, Ocean, and Sea Ice Applications, (17 December 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.373131
Show Author Affiliations
Jian Guo Liu, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine (United Kingdom)
Hoonyol Lee, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine (United Kingdom)
Timothy Pearson, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3868:
Remote Sensing for Earth Science, Ocean, and Sea Ice Applications
Giovanna Cecchi; Edwin T. Engman; Eugenio Zilioli, Editor(s)

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