New Orleans Levee Monitoring via Remote Sensing and in Situ Instrumentation

Dang Dinh Chung Nguyen, Victoria Bennett, Cathleen Jones, Tarek Abdoun, Mourad Zeghal, Kathleen O'Meara

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The failure of flood-control infrastructure, such as levees, due to a natural or manmade hazard can have significant repercussions, sometimes with dramatic and unanticipated consequences on human life, property, and the country's economy. Thus, the integrity of a levee is an important issue that needs to be checked frequently. This can be achieved by long-term monitoring of the subsidence of the levee to identify potential weak sections and prioritize maintenance efforts. This paper presents the use of affordable sensing technologies, such as satellite-based interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR), to monitor the settlement of the New Orleans area. Data from TerraSAR-X, the German Space Agency's X-band satellite, was processed with the interferometric point target analysis technique in the gamma remote sensing software for widespread settlement monitoring. The time frame of the data is from 2009 to 2014. In situ measurements from GPS and extensometers are used to verify the remote sensing results, and a good agreement of displacement trends between the two methods was obtained. The favorable comparison increases confidence in the suitability of remote sensing techniques to monitor the long-term displacement of entire levee systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)516-525
Number of pages10
JournalGeotechnical Special Publication
Issue numberGSP 295
StatePublished - 2018
Event3rd International Foundation Congress and Equipment Expo 2018: Advances in Geomaterial Modeling and Site Characterization, IFCEE 2018 - Orlando, United States
Duration: Mar 5 2018Mar 10 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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