Measures of Spatial Autocorrelation Changes in Multitemporal SAR Images for Event Landslides Detection

Alessandro C. Mondini, 2017, Measures of Spatial Autocorrelation Changes in Multitemporal SAR Images for Event Landslides Detection, Remote sensing (Basel) (2017). doi_10.3390/rs9060554,
URL: http://www.cnr.it/prodotto/i/371524

Landslides cause damages and affect victims worldwide, but landslide information is lacking. Even large events may not leave records when they happen in remote areas or simply do not impact with vulnerable elements. This paper proposes a procedure to measure spatial autocorrelation changes induced by event landslides in a multi-temporal series of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) intensity Sentinel-1 images. The procedure first measures pixel-based changes between consecutive couples of SAR intensity images using the Log-Ratio index, then it follows the temporal evolution of the spatial autocorrelation inside the Log-Ratio layers using the Moran's I index and the semivariance. When an event occurs, the Moran's I index and the semivariance increase compared to the values measured before and after the event. The spatial autocorrelation growth is due to the local homogenization of the soil response caused by the event landslide. The emerging clusters of autocorrelated pixels generated by the event are localized by a process of optimal segmentation of the log-ratio layers. The procedure was used to intercept an event that occurred in August 2015 in Myanmar, Tozang area, when strong rainfall precipitations triggered a number of landslides. A prognostic use of the method promises to increase the availability of information about the number of events at the regional scale, and to facilitate the production of inventory maps, yielding useful results to study the phenomenon for model tuning, landslide forecast model validation, and the relationship between triggering factors and number of occurred events.

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