Dear Dr Lazecky,
I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to be part of United Nations as an expert of the week. If I come to your question, let me say many thanks for a very fundamental question in need of answering and for the very important and wide-reaching question.
You are absolutely right that The World Conference in Sendai and the other international agendas in 2015 (especially climate change and sustainable development goals) included satellite remote sensing for disaster mitigation. For understanding disaster risk, policies and practices for disaster risk management should be based on an understanding of disaster risk in all its dimensions of vulnerability, capacity, exposure of persons and assets, hazard characteristics and the environment. To achieve this over Global and regional levels, it is important to promote and enhance, through international cooperation, including technology transfer, geospatial and space – based technologies and related services.
In terms of implementation, there are some good examples where the people who are exposed to disaster risks are often in the best place to manage and reduce their impact.
There are also examples where we expect disaster such landslide, land subsidence before occurrence by means of Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) Technique. To explain the simplest form, thus the field under probable risk is monitored using SAR satellites with different SAR images which acquire different time interval. The disaster area like landslide which is known to be active can be examined in detail by remote sensing and the results can be compared with the results of the previous studies. In addition, after the remote sensing work, detailed field observations can be done to get the relationship between structural elements (faults, cracks, etc.) and landslide.
The results are interpreted and compared by experienced staff, then the risk area declared “Exposed to Disaster Zone" by General Directorate of the Council of Ministers. So we can directly say that using satellite based technologies are very helpful for detecting ground deformations and thanks to this technologies also help to improve the capacity of quick and early decision for disaster risk reduction and management.
For giving more examples in real-life especially in my area, there should be more applications which can be evaluated by Government. But for now, the studies are more academic and we try to lead our results conventionality. We have two examples which are waiting for acceptance by government. One of this study is about land subsidence detection over a huge closed basin in Turkey which is called Konya closed basin is located in a 55 000 km2 area of Anatolian peninsula, is the biggest closed basin of Turkey involving four big city (Konya, Karaman, Nigde and Aksaray provinces). In this study we compare the InSAR results with interpolated GPS (Global Positioning System) velocities results. As a result we detect subsidence rates approximately 7 cm/yr especially in Konya city center. With this significant results we can help city planning by indicate subsidence risk field. Our other study is about landslide detection. In this research, we investigated Babadağ landslide (Denizli in western Turkey) by using the InSAR techniques. An active landslide in Babadağ County has been issued in the study by using DInSAR (Differential InSAR) to monitor the vertical deformation amount. We focused on the analyses of Babadağ landslide by using the InSAR technique and compared to our earlier research in which PSInSAR technique had been used. Even Babadağ landslide analyses have representative good results for the amount of vertical deformation. The area indicated by InSAR map that is previously declared dangerous for landslide. So, all the houses and shops were evacuated and were carried out demolitions of old houses and work places.
As I clearly understand from your question, you expect may be more real-life examples, but this techniques are very new and it will take some time to seen it is helpful sight by Government. We should increase such studies and I hope it will work.
Many thanks again for your interesting question.