EGU22-1104, updated on 27 Mar 2022
EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

UAV applications to assess short-term dynamics of slow-moving landslides under dense forest cover

Viorel Ilinca1,2, Ionuț Șandric2,3, Zenaida Chițu2,4,5, Radu Irimia2,3, and Ion Gheuca1
Viorel Ilinca et al.
  • 1Geological Institute of Romania, Bucharest, Romania
  • 2University of Bucharest, Institute for Research (ICUB), Bucharest, Romania
  • 3University of Bucharest, Faculty of Geography, Nicolae Bălcescu, Bucharest, Romania
  • 4National Meteorological Administration, Bucharest, Romania
  • 5National Institute of Hydrology and Water Management, Bucharest, Romania

The paper focuses on presenting a methodology that can be used to rapidly assess and map kinematics of landslides when these occur in areas with dense vegetation cover. The method is based on using aerial imagery collected with UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) and their derived products obtained by applying the Structure from Motion (SfM) technique. The landslide occurred on May 3, 2021, and is located in the Livadea village, Curvature Subcarpathians (Romania). It affected several houses from the vicinity, and the people were relocated because of the high probability of landslide reactivation. To mitigate the consequences of this landslide, a preliminary investigation, based on three UAV surveys and field geological-geomorphological surveys, was carried out to delineate active parts of the landslide and to define evacuation measures. Three UAV flights (May 6, May 25 and July 10) were performed using DJI Phantom 4 and Phantom 4 RTK drones. Because it is a heavily forested area, a semi-automated processing of the landslide kinematics and change detection analysis were not possible. The landslide displacement rates and the changes in terrain morphology between flights were assessed by manual interpolating of collected landmarks on all three UAV flights. Tilted trees were used to estimate the landslide direction and evolution. The results show an average displacement of 9.55 m (minimum 1.2 m, maximum 20.6 m) between the first and the second flight and an average of 19.27 m (minimum 1.98 m and maximum 46.3 m) between the second and the third flight, respectively. This approach proved quick and efficient for rapid landslide investigations when fast response and measures are necessary to reduce landslide consequences.


This work was supported by a grant of the Romanian Ministry of Education and Research, CCCDI - UEFISCDI, project number PN-III-P2-2.1-PED-2019-5152, within PNCDI III (project coordinator Ionuț Șandric, and by the project PN19450103 / Core Program (project coordinator Viorel Ilinca).

How to cite: Ilinca, V., Șandric, I., Chițu, Z., Irimia, R., and Gheuca, I.: UAV applications to assess short-term dynamics of slow-moving landslides under dense forest cover, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1104,, 2022.