Remote sensing system resolution and risk assessment of natural hazards

Aderbal C. Corrêa1, R. Lee Peyton2, J. Erik Loehr3
University of Missouri-Columbia, E2509 EBE, Columbia, MO 65211, USA.Tel.: +1-573-882-2041, Fax: +1-573-882-4784,
E-mail: 1acorrea@ecn.missouri.edu, 2peyton@ecn.missouri.edu, 3eloehr@ecn.missouri.edu

Advances in remote sensing technology will enable these system to be used more effectively for assessment and prediction of natural and man-made hazards. This topic is addressed in the context of floods and landslides. Floods are the most frequently occurring natural hazard and are often accompanied by landslides in mountainous terrain. In any given watershed, common parameters influencing both flood and landslide hazards include the physical characteristics of the area, climate, land cover, and land use. Satellite remote sensing currently provides input information to define most of these parameters with 10 to 30 m spatial resolution and 3- and 7-band spectral resolution (SPOT and LANDSAT). However, new commercial systems, scheduled to become available this year, will provide spatial data with 1m resolution. This high spatial resolution will allow detailed terrain mapping at the larger scales needed for geotechnical and hydrologic work. The high spectral resolution provided by other satellites will also allow for the identification of mineralogical composition of soils and bedrock, a key parameter in evaluating flood and landslide risks.