Many energy pipelines traverse hilly and mountainous terrains that are prone to landslides and other geohazards. The mapping, identification, and monitoring of geohazards along pipeline right-of-ways are essential in effectively managing the risks they may pose to pipeline integrity and human safety. One approach to monitoring potential geohazards is to use space-borne synthetic aperture radar (SAR). SAR is an effective and proven technology used to monitor ground surface change over vast areas and can be used in a cost-efficient manner, especially in areas that are remote or challenging.

This paper focuses on aspects of a novel three-fold approach for monitoring geohazards using satellite radar imagery. This is accomplished by combining interferometric SAR (InSAR), automated amplitude change detection, and polarimetric change detection. The resulting analyses are to be merged into a new geohazard index map that will provide a simplified overview of the change influence for given pipeline segments over an extensive area. It is anticipated that the geohazard index map would be used to support operator decision-making in proactively mitigating the potential adverse effects identified.

A brief introduction to the methodologies employed and a discussion of the validation that is currently underway as a joint project between MDA Geospatial Services and Southern California Gas Company is provided by this paper.

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