Natural Hazards Editors' Highlights

Radar Data Highlights Areas Damaged by Wildfire and Debris Flows

Synthetic aperture radar data post-processing can be used to analyze changes in the landscape, providing a useful tool for disaster response.

Source: Earth and Space Science


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NASA’s Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) flies 12½ kilometers above the Earth and collects data at high spatial resolution. Its observations have been used to detect a variety of changes in the Earth’s surface including crustal deformation and fault slip due to earthquakes, and surface motion from groundwater withdrawal and recharge. Donnellan et al. [2018] demonstate how UAVSAR imagery can be applied to natural hazard mapping and disaster response. Using the example of the 101 Freeway in California, affected in late 2017 by wildfire and in early 2018 by debris flows caused by a winter storm, the authors post-processed UAVSAR data to analyze changes in the landscape. Their results are presented in a before-and-after fashion. Data products using this method could be a useful tool for disaster response for fires and debris flows.

Citation: Donnellan, A., Parker, J., Milliner, C., Farr, T. G., Glasscoe, M., Lou, Y., et al. [2018]. UAVSAR and optical analysis of the Thomas fire scar and Montecito debris flows: Case study of methods for disaster response using remote sensing products. Earth and Space Science, 5. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018EA000398

—Benoît Pirenne, Editor, Earth and Space Science

Text © 2018. The authors. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
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