Landslide mapping and analysis along the China-Pakistan Karakoram Highway based on SBAS-InSAR detection in 2017 Landslide mapping and analysis along the China-Pakistan Karakoram Highway based on SBAS-InSAR detection in 2017

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Vol18 No.10: 2540-2564

Title】Landslide mapping and analysis along the China-Pakistan Karakoram Highway based on SBAS-InSAR detection in 2017

Author】SU Xiao-jun1,3; ZHANG Yi2,3*; MENG Xing-min1,2,3; YUE Dong-xia1,3; MA Jin-hui1,3; GUO Fu-yun4; ZHOU Zi-qiang5; REHMAN Mohib Ur1,3; KHALID Zainab1,3; CHEN Guan2,3; ZENG Run-qiang2,3; ZHAO Fu-meng1,3

Addresses】1 College of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China; 2 School of Earth Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China; 3 Gansu Tech Innovation Centre for Environmental Geology and Geohazard Prevention, Lanzhou 730000, China; 4 Geological Environment Monitoring Institute of Gansu Province, Lanzhou 730050, China; 5 Institute of Geological Hazards Prevention, Gansu Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China

Corresponding author】ZHANG Yi

Citation】Su XJ, Zhang Y, Meng XM, et al. (2021) Landslide mapping and analysis along the China-Pakistan Karakoram Highway based on SBAS-InSAR detection in 2017. Journal of Mountain Science 18(10). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-021-6686-6

DOI】https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-021-6686-6

Abstract】The Karakoram Highway (KKH), a part of the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), is a major highway connecting northern Pakistan to China.The inventorying and analysis of landslides along KKH are challenging because of poor accessibility, vast study area, limited availability of ground-based datasets, and the complexity of landslide processes in the region. In order to preserve life, property, and infrastructure, and to enable the uninterrupted and efficient operation of the KKH, it is essential to strengthen measures for the prevention and control of geological disasters. In the present study, SBAS-InSAR (Small Baseline Subsets-Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar) was used to process 150 scenes of Sentinel 1-A images in the year 2017 along the Karakoram Highway. A total of 762 landslides, including 57 complex landslides, 126 rock falls, 167 debris slides, and 412 unstable slopes, ranging in size between 0.0017 and 10.63 km2 were identified. Moreover, this study also gains an inventory of 40 active glacier movements in this region. Landslide categorization, displacements characteristics, spatial distribution, and their relationship with various contributing factors have been successfully investigated along the entire KKH using image interpretation and frequency-area statistics. The criteria adopted for landslides categorization is presented in the study. The results showed that the 2-D ground deformation derived in Hunza valley echoes well with the general regional landslides characteristics. The spatial distribution analysis revealed that there are clumped distributions of landslides in the Gaizi, Tashkurgan, and Khunjerab in China, as well as in Hunza valley, and north of Chilas city in Pakistan.Statistical results indicated that these landslides mainly occur on south-facing slopes with a slope angle of 20° – 45° and elevation relief of 550 – 2,100 m. Landslide development is also related to low vegetation cover and weathering effects in mountain gullies. Overall, our study provides scientific data support and theoretical references for prevention, control, and mitigation of geological disasters in the Karakoram region.

Keywords】Landslides mapping; Slope deformation; Identification; Landslide development; Area development ratio; SBAS-InSAR; Karakoram Highway.