Monitoring of Sobradinho landslide (Brasília, Brazil) and a prototype vertical slope by time-lapse interferometry

Abstract The application of geophysical monitoring technologies may offer an opportunity to understand the dynamic of slopes in response to factors triggering their instability. In this study, Ambient Noise Interferometry was used as a monitoring approach on a man-made reduced-scale vertical slope and on a natural-scale landslide in Sobradinho (Brazil), under the influence of mechanical stress and rainfall, respectively. For both experiments, we adopted similar data acquisition system and processing workflow. After preprocessing of ambient seismic noise, the time-lapse changes were determined in terms of relative velocity changes using the moving window cross spectral technique. For the vertical slope, terrestrial laser scanning was also performed to detect crack or fissure generation. The prototype experiment results showed a decreasing trend of relative velocity changes and reached a minimum value of -0.6% at the end of the experiment. No change was detected on the digital elevation model that was computed from terrestrial laser scanning images, due to the absence of centimeter scale superficial fissures. At natural scale (Sobradinho landslide), no significant variation in relative velocity changes was detected for the rainy and non-rainy days, mainly because of the inadequate change in the degree of saturation, which was found within a relatively short period of data acquisition.