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InSAR and the Pipeline Geohazards Toolbox: Instructions for Use As of 2018

[+] Author Affiliations
Richard Guthrie

Stantec Consulting, Ltd., Calgary, AB, Canada

Emma Reid

Stantec Consulting, Ltd., Burnaby, BC, Canada

John Richmond

Enbridge Pipelines, Inc., Edmonton, AB, Canada

Parwant Ghuman

3vGeomatics, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Yves Cormier

Stantec Consulting, Ltd., Edmonton, AB, Canada

Paper No. IPC2018-78571, pp. V003T04A035; 8 pages
  • 2018 12th International Pipeline Conference
  • Volume 3: Operations, Monitoring, and Maintenance; Materials and Joining
  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada, September 24–28, 2018
  • Conference Sponsors: Pipeline Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5188-3
  • Copyright © 2018 by ASME


Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) is a type of active remote sensing whereby a satellite transmits electromagnetic radiation (microwaves) at the ground and measures the differential phase of the reflected signal over multiple images (or multiple antennas on a single satellite). InSAR has the potential to provide centimeter and even millimeter-scale measurements of displacement over time, but is sensitive to vegetation, topography, and atmospheric effects. We consider herein, the application of InSAR at two known landslides on the Enbridge pipeline system, and discuss the strengths, weaknesses, values, and limitations of its application in the Geohazard Management of landslides impacting pipeline ROW’s. We compare information provided at each site by InSAR (both L-band and X-band) to data derived by mapping using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) or air photographs, to differential LiDAR techniques, and to data derived from subsurface measurements (slope inclinometers). In doing so we find that L-Band data can be an effective tool to establish the extent or footprint of movement (or lack of movement) at known landslide locations, extending the interpretive power of a specialist and the understanding of event magnitude, and potentially affecting the mitigation options. Further, L-Band InSAR can be used in a supporting role to pre-screen areas for active landslides along the right of way (ROW), however, data gaps, a lack of explanatory power, and considerable noise in the results mean that a user step that further considers the terrain, other sources of data, and the identified magnitude, is essential. X-Band InSAR appeared impractical for ROW monitoring where vegetation prevented coherence between images, however, X-Band InSAR was able to detect small displacements at above ground infrastructures.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME
Topics: Pipelines



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