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 ∼21 mm/year, which decreases downslope to ∼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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)