Using wavelet tools to analyse seasonal variations from InSAR time-series data: a case study of the Huangtupo landslide
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- Tomás, R., Li, Z., Lopez-Sanchez, J.M. et al. Landslides (2016) 13: 437. doi:10.1007/s10346-015-0589-y
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Synthetic aperture radar interferometry (InSAR) has proven to be a powerful tool for monitoring landslide movements with a wide spatial and temporal coverage. Interpreting landslide displacement time-series derived from InSAR techniques is a major challenge for understanding relationships between triggering factors and slope displacements. In this study, we propose the use of various wavelet tools, namely, continuous wavelet transform (CWT), cross wavelet transform (XWT) and wavelet coherence (WTC) for interpreting InSAR time-series information for a landslide. CWT enables time-series records to be analysed in time-frequency space, with the aim of identifying localized intermittent periodicities. Similarly, XWT and WTC help identify the common power and relative phase between two time-series records in time-frequency space, respectively. Statistically significant coherence and confidence levels against red noise (also known as brown noise or random walk noise) can be calculated. Taking the Huangtupo landslide (China) as an example, we demonstrate the capabilities of these tools for interpreting InSAR time-series information. The results show the Huangtupo slope is affected by an annual displacement periodicity controlled by rainfall and reservoir water level. Reservoir water level, which is completely regulated by the dam activity, is mainly in ‘anti-phase’ with natural rainfall, due to flood control in the Three Gorges Project. The seasonal displacements of the Huangtupo landslide is found to be ‘in-phase’ with respect to reservoir water level and the rainfall towards the front edge of the slope and to rainfall at the higher rear of the slope away from the reservoir.