A combined field/remote sensing approach for characterizing landslide risk in coastal areas
International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation
Reason for embargo
Currently under an indefinite embargo pending publication by Elsevier. 12 month embargo to be applied on publication
Understanding the key factors controlling slope failure mechanisms in coastal areas is the first and most important step for analyzing, reconstructing and predicting the scale, location and extent of future instability in rocky coastlines. Different failure mechanisms may be possible depending on the influence of the engineering properties of the rock mass (including the fracture network), the persistence and type of discontinuity and the relative aspect or orientation of the coastline. Using a section of the North Coast of Cornwall, UK, as an example we present a multi-disciplinary approach for characterizing landslide risk associated with coastal instabilities in a blocky rock mass. Remotely captured terrestrial and aerial LiDAR and photogrammetric data was interrogated using Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques to provide a framework for subsequent analysis, interpretation and validation. The remote sensing mapping data was used to define the rock mass discontinuity network of the area and to differentiate between major and minor geological structures controlling the evolution of the North Coast of Cornwall. Kinematic instability maps generated from aerial LiDAR data using GIS techniques and results from structural and engineering geological surveys are presented. With this method, it was possible to highlight the types of kinematic failure mechanism that may generate coastal landslides and highlight areas that are more susceptible to instability or increased risk of future instability. Multi-temporal aerial LiDAR data and orthophotos were also studied using GIS techniques to locate recent landslide failures, validate the results obtained from the kinematic instability maps through site observations and provide improved understanding of the factors controlling the coastal geomorphology. The approach adopted is not only useful for academic research, but also for local authorities and consultancy's when assessing the likely risks of coastal instability.
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