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17 December 1999 Detection of rapid erosion in SE Spain using ERS SAR interferometric coherence imagery
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Abstract
Soil erosion is a widespread problem in Mediterranean countries. Irregular and often intense rainfalls in this semi- arid region can result in rapid erosion in areas where the slope is steep, the lithology is soft and the vegetation is sparse. The erosion process randomly changes micro-topography of slope surface and thus results in reducing coherence of the radar signals between the initial and the eroded state. This paper reports a case study of rapid erosion using ERS SAR coherence imagery. Three ERS SAR scenes of Almeria Province, Spain with 70, 140 and 210 days separation were processed to produce three coherence images. The coherence images were analyzed in conjunction with Landsat TM images, topographic and geological maps. This study reveals hard evidence of rapid erosion on steep slopes along a motorway cut through strata of soft marls. The slopes subject to rapid erosion appear in intermediate level of coherence in 70 days and gradually lose coherence in 140 and 210 days. In contrast, the dense vegetation in the valley lost coherence almost completely in 70 days and afterwards while more resistant rocks (gypsum and limestone) above and beneath the marls show high to intermediate coherence in the three coherence images.
© (1999) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Jian Guo Liu, Hoonyol Lee, and Timothy Pearson "Detection of rapid erosion in SE Spain using ERS SAR interferometric coherence imagery", Proc. SPIE 3868, Remote Sensing for Earth Science, Ocean, and Sea Ice Applications, (17 December 1999); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.373131
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