Unraveling spatial and temporal heterogeneities of very slow rock-slope deformations with targeted DInSAR analyses
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Spaceborne radar interferometry is a powerful tool to characterize landslides at local and regional scales. However, its application to very slow rock slope deformations in alpine environments (displacement rates < 5 cm/year) remains challenging, mainly due to low signal to noise ratio, atmospheric disturbances, snow cover effects, and complexities resulting from heterogeneous displacement in space and time. Here we combine SqueeSARTM data, targeted multi-temporal baseline DInSAR, GPS data, and detailed field morpho-structural mapping, to unravel the kinematics, internal segmentation, and style of activity of the Mt. Mater deep-seated gravitational slope deformation (DSGSD) in Valle Spluga (Italy). We retrieve slope kinematics by performing 2D decomposition (2D InSAR) of SqueeSARTM products derived from Sentinel-1 data acquired in ascending and descending orbits. To achieve a spatially-distributed characterization of DSGSD displacement patterns and activity, we process Sentinel-1 A/B images (2016-2019) with increasing temporal baselines (ranging from 24-days to 1-year) and generate several multi-temporal interferograms. Unwrapped displacement maps are validated using ground-based GPS data. Interferograms derived with different temporal baselines reveal a strong kinematic and morpho-structural heterogeneity and outline nested rockslides and active sectors, that arise from the background displacement signal of the main DSGSD. Seasonal interferograms, supported by GPS displacement measurements, reveal non-linear displacement trends suggesting a complex response of different slope sectors to rainfall and snowmelt. Our analyses clearly outline a composite slope instability with different nested sectors possibly undergoing different evolutionary trends towards failure. The results herein outline the potential of a targeted use of DInSAR for the detailed investigation of very slow rock slope deformations in different geological and geomorphological settings. Show more
Journal / seriesRemote Sensing
Pages / Article No.
Subjectdeep-seated gravitational slope deformation; slow rock-slope deformation; kinematics; landslide activity; heterogeneity; DInSAR processing; SqueeSAR; GPS
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