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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 11, issue 10 | Copyright
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 11, 2715-2726, 2011
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-11-2715-2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 10 Oct 2011

Research article | 10 Oct 2011

Landslide mapping with multi-scale object-based image analysis – a case study in the Baichi watershed, Taiwan

T. Lahousse1, K. T. Chang2, and Y. H. Lin3 T. Lahousse et al.
  • 1Department of Geography, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
  • 2Kainan University, Luzhu, Taoyuan, Taiwan
  • 3Geotechnical Engineering Research Center, Sinotech Engineering Consults Inc., Taipei, Taiwan

Abstract. We developed a multi-scale OBIA (object-based image analysis) landslide detection technique to map shallow landslides in the Baichi watershed, Taiwan, after the 2004 Typhoon Aere event. Our semi-automated detection method selected multiple scales through landslide size statistics analysis for successive classification rounds. The detection performance achieved a modified success rate (MSR) of 86.5% with the training dataset and 86% with the validation dataset. This performance level was due to the multi-scale aspect of our methodology, as the MSR for single scale classification was substantially lower, even after spectral difference segmentation, with a maximum of 74%. Our multi-scale technique was capable of detecting landslides of varying sizes, including very small landslides, up to 95 m2. The method presented certain limitations: the thresholds we established for classification were specific to the study area, to the landslide type in the study area, and to the spectral characteristics of the satellite image. Because updating site-specific and image-specific classification thresholds is easy with OBIA software, our multi-scale technique is expected to be useful for mapping shallow landslides at watershed level.

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