This paper takes the 2015 Nepal earthquake as a case study to explore the use of post-event dual polarimetric synthetic aperture radar images for earthquake damage assessment. The radar scattering characteristics of damaged and undamaged urban areas were compared by using polarimetric features derived from PALSAR-2 and Sentinel-1 images, and the results showed that distinguishing between damaged and undamaged urban areas with a single polarimetric feature is challenging. A split-based image analysis, feature selection, and supervised classification were employed on a PALSAR-2 image. The texture features derived from the intensity of cross-polarization show higher correlations with the damage class. Additionally, feature selection revealed a positive influence on the overall performance. Employing 70% of the data for training and 30% data for testing, the support vector machine classifier achieved an accuracy of 80.5% compared with the reference data generated from the damage map that was provided by the United Nations Operational Satellite Applications Programme.
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