Innovative Landslide Change Detection Monitoring: Application of Space-Borne InSAR Techniques in the Thompson River Valley, British Columbia, Canada

  • David HuntleyEmail author
  • Peter Bobrowsky
  • Francois Charbonneau
  • Jeffrey Journault
  • Renato Macciotta
  • Michael Hendry
Conference paper


Open image in new window In this paper we present the first results from Coherent Points Analyses and Differential Stacking of RADARSAT-2 InSAR persistent scatterer interferograms covering a portion of the Thompson River valley, south of Ashcroft in British Columbia Canada. Surface displacements amounting to less than 5 cm/year are detected on landslides that are crossed by national railway infrastructure (train tracks and lock-block retaining walls). Our study shows that many landslides in the Thompson River valley have zones of displacement that are more active than others. For the portions of the North Slide, South Slide and Barnard Slide, zones of active displacement landslide can be resolved within the InSAR data acquired between 2013 and 2016. In contrast, both the Ripley Landslide and Red Hill Slide show marked variations in displacement rates related to seasonal changes in river stage and groundwater level, and compound translational-rotational sliding of coherent blocks of sediment. InSAR techniques effectively capture the surface movement detected by GPS stations, ground-based LiDAR, borehole piezometers and fibre optic installations at the Ripley Landslide test site. This successful application of Coherent Points Analysis and Differential Stacking of persistent scatterer interferograms suggests both techniques are suitable for monitoring unstable terrain in other remote settings where infrastructure, natural resources, the environment, local communities and public safety are at risk.


Thompson River valley British Columbia Landslides Railway infrastructure RADARSAT-2 InSAR interferometry Coherent Points Analysis Differential Stacking 1D and 2D displacement rates 



The project benefited from management under Carmel Lowe, Philip Hill, Adrienne Jones, Steve Irwin and Sonia Talwar (GSC Pacific), Andrée Blais-Stevens (GSC Central); James Ikkers and David Anderson (NRCAN International Division); and Merrina Zhang and Sharon Philpott (Transport Canada). The following colleagues contributed on site and in the office: Wendy Sladen and Baolin Wang (GSC Central), Lionel Jackson, Roger MacLeod, Peter Neelands and Erin Dlabola (GSC Pacific), Laura Weise (University of Potsdam) and Karolin Döringer (University of Vienna). Staff at CPR and CN ensured researchers operated in safety and with oversight. WLF critical reviewers greatly improved the draft manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Huntley
    • 1
    Email author
  • Peter Bobrowsky
    • 2
  • Francois Charbonneau
    • 3
  • Jeffrey Journault
    • 4
  • Renato Macciotta
    • 4
  • Michael Hendry
    • 4
  1. 1.Geological Survey of CanadaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Geological Survey of CanadaSidneyCanada
  3. 3.Canada Centre for Remote Sensing/Canadian Centre for Mapping and Earth ObservationOttawaCanada
  4. 4.Canadian Rail Research Laboratory, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 3-065 Markin/CNRL Natural Resources Engineering FacilityUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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