Keywords: Marmara, Turkey earthquake, August 17, 1999. Damage detection. Buildings. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). Optical remote sensing. Recovery. Remote sensing technology. Disaster risk reduction.
Abstract: Representing the culmination of several years of research, this report addresses the broad objective to identify ways in which post-earthquake response and recovery activities can be improved through the integration of remote sensing technology –specifically, the 1999 Marmara, Turkey earthquake is used as a test bed for addressing this aim. In addition to extreme urban damage across an extensive geographic area, Marmara was one of the first earthquakes where a temporal sequence of high resolution optical and radar imagery was available. The research presented in this report is concerned with short-term response, more specifically rapid damage assessment in urban environments, where the human and economic costs are particularly high. Exploratory studies suggest that satellite remote sensing is an alternative approach to traditional damage assessment. The research documented in this report bridges the gap between theory and practice of integrating remote sensing into response and recovery activities, and addresses two objectives: (1) to develop methodological procedures for characterizing the (a) location; (b) severity, and (c) extent of urban building damage, using remote sensing imagery; and (2) to determine whether multi-sensor data fusion improves the performance of building damage detection methods. A CD-ROM accompanies the report.