Natural Hazards

, Volume 70, Issue 1, pp 485–499 | Cite as

Spectral discrimination of Recent sediments around Bhuj, India, using Landsat-TM data and assessment of their vulnerability to seismicity-related failures

  • D. Ramakrishnan
Original Paper


Kachchh region of India is a rift basin filled with sediments from Jurassic to Quaternary ages. This area is tectonically active and witnessed several major earthquakes since the recent historical past. During an earthquake event, the water-laden foundation soil liquefies and causes damage to buildings and other civil engineering structures. The January 26, 2001, Bhuj earthquake demonstrated extensive liquefaction-related damages in entire Kachchh Peninsula. Therefore, evaluation of liquefaction susceptibility of unconsolidated sediments is a vital requirement for developing seismic microzonation maps. In this paper, a new approach involving remote sensing techniques and geotechnical procedures is demonstrated for effective mapping of liquefaction-susceptible areas. The present and paleo-alluvial areas representing unconsolidated sediments were mapped using Landsat-TM data and field reflectance spectra. Spectral discrimination of alluvial area was made using the feature-oriented principal component selection and spectral angle mapping techniques. Subsequently, field geotechnical investigations were carried out in these areas. It is evident from the results that the alluvial soils are predominantly sandy loam with very low (7–28) standard penetration test values. The evaluated factor of safety for these soils varies from 0.43 to 1.7 for a peak ground acceleration of 0.38. Finally, a liquefaction susceptibility map is prepared by integrating results on alluvium distribution, factor of safety, and depth to water table.


Ground deformation Seismicity Factor of safety Hazard vulnerability Spectral remote sensing GIS 



The author acknowledges the critical and positive comments from unknown reviewers.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesIndian Institute of Technology BombayMumbaiIndia

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