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A nation-wide system for landslide mapping and risk management in Italy: The second Not-ordinary Plan of Environmental Remote Sensing


Di Martire D.1, Paci M.2, Confuorto P.1, Costabile S. 3, Guastaferro F.2, Verta A.2, Calcaterra D.1

1Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, dell’Ambiente e delle Risorse, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Largo San Marcellino 10, 80138 Napoli, Italy
2GIA Consulting, Viale degli Astronauti, 8, 80131, Naples, Italy;
3Ministry of Environment and Protection of Land and Sea of Italy, Via Cristoforo Colombo, 44, 00147, Rome, Italy.
Int J Appl Earth Obs Geoinformation, Volume 63, December 2017, Pages 143-157
Landslides are frequent events that may cause human casualties and injuries as well as damage to urban and man-made structures, with extensive loss of economic resources. For this reason, landslide mapping is a primary tool for hazard and risk assessment. Italian Ministry of Environment, thanks to great availability and functionality of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data promoted the Not-ordinary Plan of Environmental Remote Sensing (Piano Straordinario di Telerilevamento Ambientale, PST-A in Italian) in 2008, as to constitute a national database of active or potential instability phenomena affecting the Italian territory, based on the exploitation of interferometric products (ERS and ENVISAT). In this paper, the PST-A-3 is described. A procedure based on the integration of engineering-geological approaches and SAR interferometry data belonging to COSMO-SkyMed constellation (100 frames 40 × 40 km) has been here implemented over 7,400 km2 of the Italian territory. First, landslides have been mapped by field geologists, defining type and state of activity. Simultaneously to field surveys, remote sensing data have been analyzed as to detect areas with considerable displacement registered by the satellite. Both products have been overlaid, also quantifying the coincidence between the events reported according to the two detection methodologies and subtracting those landslide not recordable by the satellite, finally obtaining an updated landslide inventory map with 4,522 newly detected phenomena. Therefore, PST-A-3 proves to be a valuable system for local authorities, in order to provide a contribution to risk management but also for the forecasting of landslide events, as testified by two case studies selected. Thanks to the PST-A experience, the use of such strategy to other countries could represent a valid contribution to land management at worldwide scale.
Key-words: Risk management, Landslide mapping, SAR interferometry, COSMO-SkyMed, Remote sensing, Geomorphological survey.