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ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing 70 (2012) 39-55
Correlation of multi-temporal ground-based optical images for landslide monitoring: Application, potential and limitations
Julien Travelletti 1, 2, Christophe Delacourt 3, Pascal Allemand 4, Jean-Philippe Malet ( ) 2, Jean Schmittbuhl 2, Renaud Toussaint 2, M. Bastard 2

The objective of this work is to present a low-cost methodology to monitor the displacement of continuously active landslides from ground-based optical images analyzed with a normalized image correlation technique. The performance of the method is evaluated on a series of images acquired on the Super-Sauze landslide (South French Alps) over the period 2008-2009. The image monitoring system consists of a high resolution optical camera installed on a concrete pillar located on a stable crest in front of the landslide and controlled by a datalogger. The data are processed with a cross-correlation algorithm applied to the full resolution images in the acquisition geometry. Then, the calculated 2D displacement field is orthorectified with a back projection technique using a high resolution DEM interpolated from Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS) data. The heterogeneous displacement field of the landslide is thus characterized in time and space. The performance of the technique is assessed using differential GPS surveys as reference. The sources of error affecting the results are then discussed. The strongest limitations for the application of the technique are related to the meteorological, illumination and ground surface conditions inducing partial or complete loss of coherence among the images. Small movements of the camera and the use of a mono-temporal DEM are the most important factors affecting the accuracy of the ortho-rectification of the displacement field. As the proposed methodology can be routinely and automatically applied, it offers promising perspectives for operational applications like, for instance, in early warning systems.
1 :  Littoral, Environnement, Télédétection, Géomatique (LETG - Géophen)
CNRS : UMR6554 – Université de Nantes – Université de Bretagne Occidentale (UBO) – Université de Rennes II - Haute Bretagne – Université de Caen Basse-Normandie – Université d'Angers
2 :  Institut de physique du globe de Strasbourg (IPGS)
CNRS : UMR7516 – INSU – Université de Strasbourg
3 :  Domaines Océaniques
INSU – Institut d'écologie et environnement – Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer (IUEM) – Université de Bretagne Occidentale (UBO) – Observatoire des Sciences de l'Univers – CNRS : UMR6538
4 :  Laboratoire de Géologie de Lyon - Terre, Planètes, Environnement (LGL-TPE)
CNRS : UMR5276 – INSU – Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I – École Normale Supérieure (ENS) - Lyon
Surface et Lithosphère
Planète et Univers/Sciences de la Terre
Image cross-correlation – Image matching – Landslide – Time-lapse photography – Displacement monitoring