A Method for Detecting Buildings Destroyed by the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami Using Multitemporal TerraSAR-X Data

Hideomi Gokon, Joachim Post, Enrico Stein, Sandro Martinis, André Twele, Matthias Mück, Christian Geiß, Shunichi Koshimura, Masashi Matsuoka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this letter, a new approach is proposed to classify tsunami-induced building damage into multiple classes using pre- and post-event high-resolution radar (TerraSAR-X) data. Buildings affected by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami were the focus in developing this method. In synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data, buildings exhibit high backscattering caused by double-bounce reflection and layover. However, if the buildings are completely washed away or structurally destroyed by the tsunami, then this high backscattering might be reduced, and the post-event SAR data will show a lower sigma nought value than the pre-event SAR data. To exploit these relationships, a rapid method for classifying tsunami-induced building damage into multiple classes was developed by analyzing the statistical relationship between the change ratios in areas with high backscattering and in areas with building damage. The method was developed for the affected city of Sendai, Japan, based on the decision tree application of a machine learning algorithm. The results provided an overall accuracy of 67.4% and a kappa statistic of 0.47. To validate its transferability, the method was applied to the town of Watari, and an overall accuracy of 58.7% and a kappa statistic of 0.38 were obtained.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7042770
Pages (from-to)1277-1281
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters
Volume12
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jun

Keywords

  • Building damage
  • TerraSAR-X
  • change detection
  • tsunami

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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