Evidence of instability in previously-mapped landslides as measured using GPS, optical, and SAR data between 2007 and 2017: A case study in the Portuguese bend landslide complex, California

El Hachemi Bouali, Michigan Technological University
Thomas Oommen, Michigan Technological University
Rüdiger Escobar-Wolf, Michigan Technological University


© 2019 by the authors. Velocity dictates the destructive potential of a landslide. A combination of synthetic aperture radar (SAR), optical, and GPS data were used to maximize spatial and temporal coverage to monitor continuously-moving portions of the Portuguese Bend landslide complex on the Palos Verdes Peninsula in Southern California. Forty SAR images from the COSMO-SkyMed satellite, acquired between 19 July 2012 and 27 September 2014, were processed using Persistent Scatterer Interferometry (PSI). Eight optical images from the WorldView-2 satellite, acquired between 20 February 2011 and 16 February 2016, were processed using the Co-registration of Optically Sensed Images and Correlation (COSI-Corr) technique. Displacement measurements were taken at GPS monuments between September 2007 and May 2017. Incremental and average deformations across the landslide complex were measured using all three techniques. Velocity measured within the landslide complex ranges from slow (> 1.6 m/year) to extremely slow (< 16 mm/year). COSI-Corr and GPS provide detailed coverage of m/year-scale deformation while PSI can measure extremely slow deformation rates (mm/year-scale), which COSI-Corr and GPS cannot do reliably. This case study demonstrates the applicability of SAR, optical, and GPS data synthesis as a complimentary approach to repeat field monitoring and mapping to changes in landslide activity through time.