Special Section on Remote Sensing of the Wenchuan Earthquake

Monitoring and assessment of barrier lakes formed after the Wenchuan earthquake based on multitemporal remote sensing data

[+] Author Affiliations
Liangyun Liu, Yanhong Wu, Zhengli Zuo, Zhengchao Chen, Xingxing Wang, Wenjuan Zhang

Key Laboratory of Digital Earth Science, Center for Earth Observation and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Floor 14, Kedian Building, No.9 Beiyitiao Road, Beijing, Beijing 100190 China

J. Appl. Remote Sens. 3(1), 031665 (May 26, 2009). doi:10.1117/1.3153915
History: Received November 1, 2008; Revised May 8, 2009; Accepted May 8, 2009; May 26, 2009; Online May 26, 2009
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Abstract

The Wenchuan earthquake on May 12, 2008, triggered many secondary disasters, among which the barrier lakes formed by landslides were extremely serious. We monitored the number and spatial distribution of the barrier lakes in the earthquake-hit area from ADS40 airborne images, which covered areas of about 23,700 km2>. The results showed that there were 51 barrier lakes in the monitored area; among these, 10 were large-scale lakes and 14 were middle-sized lakes. The barrier lakes were distributed along the Longmen Mountain fault from the northeast to southwest direction. We used the dimensionless blockage index (DBI) to assess the potential risk of the barrier lakes. A small DBI value indicated a stable barrier lake, but the lake might have a higher risk with potential accumulative secondary disasters. Our study emphasized the monitoring and analysis of the high-risk Tangjiashan Barrier Lake from the multitemporal ADS40 airborne images acquired on May 16, 19, 23, and 27. We found that the water level at this barrier lake reached 66 m within 15 days after the barrier lake was formed, and the reservoir storage capacity reached 1.2 × 108> m3> with an increase of 8 × 106> m3> of water per day. Therefore, it faced a very real and urgent risk of dam break and overflow, considering the predicted storm rainfall and the continuous aftershocks. According to the analysis results, airborne remote sensing demonstrated the advantages of being intelligent, being able to maneuver, and providing high resolution. These advantages allowed us to quickly monitor and assess the distribution and dynamic changes of the barrier lakes in the earthquake-hit region using multitemporal airborne remote sensing images.

© 2009 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Liangyun Liu ; Yanhong Wu ; Zhengli Zuo ; Zhengchao Chen ; Xingxing Wang, et al.
"Monitoring and assessment of barrier lakes formed after the Wenchuan earthquake based on multitemporal remote sensing data", J. Appl. Remote Sens. 3(1), 031665 (May 26, 2009). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.3153915


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