Application of Persistent Scatterer Interferometry (PSI) in monitoring slope movements in Nainital, Uttarakhand Lesser Himalaya, India

  • Akano Yhokha
  • Pradeep K Goswami
  • Chung-Pai Chang
  • Jiun-Yee Yen
  • Kuo-En Ching
  • K Manini Aruche


Orogenic movements and sub-tropical climate have rendered the slopes of the Himalayan region intensely deformed and weathered. As a result, the incidences of slope failure are quite common all along the Himalayan region. The Lesser Himalayan terrane is particularly vulnerable to mass-movements owing to geological fragility, and many parts of it are bearing a high-risk of associated disaster owing to the high population density. An important step towards mitigation of such disasters is the monitoring of slope movement. Towards this, the Persistent Scatterer Interferometry (PSI) technique can be applied. In the present study, the PSI technique is employed in Lesser Himalayan town of Nainital in Uttarakhand state of India to decipher and monitor slope movements. A total of 15 multi-date ENVISAT ASAR satellite images, acquired during August 2008 to August 2010 period, were subjected to PSI, which revealed a continuous creep movement along the hillslopes located towards the eastern side of the Nainital lake. The higher reaches of the hill seem to be experiencing accelerated creep of \({\sim }21\) mm/year, which decreases downslope to \({\sim }5\) mm/year. Based on spatial pattern of varying PSI Mean LOS Velocity (MLV) values, high (H), moderate (M), low (L) and very low (S) creeping zones have been delineated in the hillslopes. Given the long history of mass movements and continuously increasing anthropogenic activities in Nainital, these results call for immediate measures to avert any future disaster in the town.


Slope instability landslide Lesser Himalaya remote sensing radar interferometry 



The authors are thankful to the Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India and Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Taiwan for funding the present work as a part of Indo-Taiwan Joint Research Program (Grant No. NSC 10102923-M-008-002) and other individual project with MOST (Project No. MOST103-2116-M-259-002). The ENVISAT satellite data was provided by ESA under the Earth Observation project (Project No. CIP. 9519). The Global Innovation and Technology Alliance (GITA), Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), New Delhi, India is thankfully acknowledged for the active cooperation in implementing the Indo-Taiwan Joint Research Program. The authors are also thankful to the Director, CSRSR, NCU, Taiwan; Head of the Department of Geology, KU, India for providing supports in many ways. Constructive comments from Dr. Navin Juyal, Associate Editor and two anonymous reviewers are acknowledged, which drastically improved the quality of the paper.


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Akano Yhokha
    • 1
  • Pradeep K Goswami
    • 2
  • Chung-Pai Chang
    • 1
    • 3
  • Jiun-Yee Yen
    • 4
  • Kuo-En Ching
    • 5
  • K Manini Aruche
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Earth Sciences and Institute of GeophysicsNational Central UniversityTaoyuanTaiwan
  2. 2.Centre of Advanced Study, Department of GeologyKumaun UniversityNainitalIndia
  3. 3.Centre for Space and Remote Sensing ResearchNational Central UniversityTaoyuanTaiwan
  4. 4.Department of Natural Resource and Environment StudiesNational Dong Hwa UniversityHualienTaiwan
  5. 5.Department of GeomaticsNational Cheng-Kung UniversityTainanTaiwan

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