Geo-spatial Modeling for Automated Demarcation of Snow Avalanche Hazard Areas Using Landsat-8 Satellite Images and In Situ Data

  • Dhiraj Kumar SinghEmail author
  • Varunendra Dutta Mishra
  • Hemendra Singh Gusain
  • Neena Gupta
  • Arun Kumar Singh
Research Article


The aim of this study is to generate a reliable dynamic snow avalanche hazard map using analytical hierarchy process method based on multisource geo-spatial data for the Chowkibal–Tangdhar (C–T) road axis in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), India. Avalanche-prone areas of C–T axis have been demarcated using three causative parameters, i.e., terrain, ground cover and meteorological parameters. Terrain parameters, e.g., elevation, slope, aspect and curvature, have been estimated from Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer, Global Digital Elevation Model Version 2. Ground cover information has been extracted from Landsat-8 data. Meteorological parameters maps, i.e., snow depth, relative humidity and air temperature, have been generated using geo-spatial interpolation techniques of in situ data. All the parameters have been incorporated in Geographic Information System environment to generate the hazard map. Validation of hazard map was accomplished with the area under the curve method. The prediction rate was observed to be 93.2%. Further, 20% of the study area was estimated having no hazard, 55% as low hazard, 12% as moderate hazard and 13% as high hazard on April 13, 2015. Dynamic hazard map thus generated using remote sensing and in situ data will be useful for mitigation of snow avalanche hazard, regional planning for development of infrastructure, transportation, troops movement, army deployments and communication network.


Snow avalanches Terrain parameters Meteorological parameters Geographic Information System Analytical hierarchy process 



The authors are grateful to Shri. Naresh Kumar, Director, Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE), Chandigarh, for providing facilities to carry out this work and constant motivation during the investigation. The authors would like to acknowledge SASE staff for collecting ground data. We are also thankful to Shri. S. K. Dewali, Shri. Dhirender and Manoj Kumar for providing technical support during the preparation of the manuscript. Authors are thankful to, USGS for providing Landsat-8 data and GDEM.


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Copyright information

© Indian Society of Remote Sensing 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dhiraj Kumar Singh
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Varunendra Dutta Mishra
    • 1
  • Hemendra Singh Gusain
    • 1
  • Neena Gupta
    • 2
  • Arun Kumar Singh
    • 2
  1. 1.Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment- RDC (DRDO)ChandigarhIndia
  2. 2.Punjab Engineering College (Deemed to be University) (Formally Known as PEC University of Technology)ChandigarhIndia

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