Combining remote sensing techniques and field surveys for post-earthquake reconnaissance missions

Giorgia Giardina*, Valentina Macchiarulo, Fatemeh Foroughnia, Joshua N. Jones, Michael R.Z. Whitworth, Brandon Voelker, Pietro Milillo, Camilla Penney, Keith Adams, Tracy Kijewski-Correa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


Remote reconnaissance missions are promising solutions for the assessment of earthquake-induced structural damage and cascading geological hazards. Space-borne remote sensing can complement in-field missions when safety and accessibility concerns limit post-earthquake operations on the ground. However, the implementation of remote sensing techniques in post-disaster missions is limited by the lack of methods that combine different techniques and integrate them with field survey data. This paper presents a new approach for rapid post-earthquake building damage assessment and landslide mapping, based on Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data. The proposed texture-based building damage classification approach exploits very high resolution post-earthquake SAR data integrated with building survey data. For landslide mapping, a backscatter intensity-based landslide detection approach, which also includes the separation between landslides and flooded areas, is combined with optical-based manual inventories. The approach was implemented during the joint Structural Extreme Event Reconnaissance, GeoHazards International and Earthquake Engineering Field Investigation Team mission that followed the 2021 Haiti Earthquake and Tropical Cyclone Grace.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages25
JournalBulletin of Earthquake Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Building damage
  • Haiti
  • Intensity ratio image
  • Landslides classification
  • Remote reconnaissance
  • Remote sensing
  • SAR
  • Texture analysis


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