Special Section on Remote Sensing of the Wenchuan Earthquake

Disaster phenomena of Wenchuan earthquake in high resolution airborne synthetic aperture radar images

[+] Author Affiliations
Chao Wang, Hong Zhang, Fan Wu, Bo Zhang, Yixian Tang, Hongan Wu, Xiaoyang Wen, Dongmei Yan

Center for Earth Observation and Digital Earth (CEODE), Chinese Academy of Sciences, #45, Bei San Huan Xi Road, P.O.Box 2434, Beijing, 100086 China

J. Appl. Remote Sens. 3(1), 031690 (May 26, 2009). doi:10.1117/1.3154558
History: Received November 1, 2008; Revised May 16, 2009; Accepted May 18, 2009; May 26, 2009; Online May 26, 2009
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Abstract

The devastating Wenchuan Earthquake occurred in Sichuan Province, Southwestern China, with a magnitude of 8.0 on May 12, 2008. Most buildings along the seismic zone were ruined, resulting in infrastructure damage to factories, traffic facilities and power supplies. The earthquake also triggered geological disasters, such as landslides, debris flow, landslide lakes, etc. During the rescue campaign the remote sensing aircrafts of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), equipped with synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and optical sensors, flew over the disaster area and acquired many high resolution airborne SAR images. We first describe the basic characteristics of SAR imagery. The SAR images of buildings are simulated, and the backscattering mechanism of the buildings is analyzed. Finally, the various disaster phenomena are described and analyzed in the high resolution airborne SAR images. It is shown that certain phenomena of ruins could be identified clearly in high resolution SAR images in proper imaging conditions, while the functional destruction is quite difficult to detect. With calibrated data, the polarmetric SAR interferometry could be used to analyze the scattering mechanism and 3D distribution of the scattering center, which are redound to earthquake damage assessment.

© 2009 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Chao Wang ; Hong Zhang ; Fan Wu ; Bo Zhang ; Yixian Tang, et al.
"Disaster phenomena of Wenchuan earthquake in high resolution airborne synthetic aperture radar images", J. Appl. Remote Sens. 3(1), 031690 (May 26, 2009). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.3154558


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