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  • JD Dianala

Mapping earthquake damage and landslides using radar satellite observations



Remote sensing specialist Dr. Eleanor Ainscoe visited NIGS to give a lecture on "Mapping earthquake damage and landslides using radar satellite observations" at the NIGS Audio-Visual Room last 24th November 2023. She is a Research Fellow at the Earth Observatory of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University.


Dr. Ainscoe introduced the audience to the science of using radar to create damage proxy maps that can highlight built-up areas that have been damaged by strong ground shaking in earthquakes. Additionally, similar principles can be used to identify exposure of bare soil due when numerous landslides happen in a region. Radar, when mounted on satellites hundreds of kilometers above in space, can image wide areas of Earth even if there is cloud cover. Such technology becomes useful for quickly identifying areas severely devastated by disastrous events, especially in hard-to-reach areas of the Philippines. The talk also provided insight in the ongoing efforts to improve accuracy of change detection for landslides in thickly vegetated areas.


Dr. Ainscoe holds BA and MSci degrees in Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge, and a DPhil in Earth Sciences at the University of Oxford. Her research experience in the academe and industry has spanned topics that combine geological and InSAR observations of earthquakes and active tectonics, to remote sensing of flood and landslide impact, dam monitoring, and dengue forecasting.


More than 30 people attended the talk despite the ongoing transport strike. The audience included students, researchers, and faculty from NIGS and other departments at UP, including the geodetic engineering department.


The event was co-organized with the Iuvenis Orbis Geological Fraternity in celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the National Institute of Geological Sciences.

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