Metasensing in Landslide Monitoring: The Encardio Edge

Landslide monitoring is essential to regional safety and disaster management, pivotal in disaster risk mitigation and environmental management. With the increasing frequency of natural disasters exacerbated by climate change, the need for advanced and reliable landslide monitoring systems has never been more urgent. This article will explore the importance of landslide monitoring, the technologies and methods involved, and how these contribute to predicting and mitigating the impact of landslides.

Landslides, often triggered by natural events such as heavy rainfall, earthquakes, or human activities, pose a significant threat to life, property, and the environment. The urgency of landslide monitoring lies in its ability to provide early warnings and facilitate timely evacuation and response measures, thus saving lives and minimizing property damage.

Advancements in technology have revolutionized landslide monitoring. Techniques like satellite monitoring via InSAR, LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), and various ground-based sensors provide detailed and real-time data on soil movement, moisture levels, and other critical parameters. These technologies enable precise mapping and analysis of landslide-prone areas, enhancing the accuracy of risk assessments.

Landslide monitoring is essential for ensuring the safety of infrastructure and communities. Encardio Rite's comprehensive approach gives you assurance about your infrastructure and community safety, converging data acquisition technologies, services, support & software, and includes a five-step process: Data CollectionData IntegrationData Analysis and Understanding, Risk Assessment and Early Warning Systems and Continuous Monitoring and Predictive Intelligence.

Encardio Rite offers turnkey project management solutions encompassing installation, supply, surveying, local engineer support, and software services in partnership with Proqio. Our expertise lies in manufacturing geotechnical, environmental sensors, and dataloggers, making them a comprehensive solution provider in landslide monitoring.


Data Collection via Metasensing

The first step in landslide monitoring is data collection. Data is the key to monitoring. We acquire data from sub-surface, surface, and remote sources using various measurement technologies in this foundation step. These technologies are designed to capture detailed images, scientific parameters, and topographical data of slope areas, which is crucial for accurate monitoring and analysis.

Remote Sensing Techniques include InSAR mapping ground deformations using satellite radar images, with InSAR offering enhanced analysis through machine learning algorithms. Optical and thermal imagery provide land cover mapping and environmental analysis, while radar data measures surface deformation and soil moisture.

Advanced Surveying and 3D Modeling: UAVs with high-definition and infrared cameras gather high-resolution data. LiDAR, scanners, and radar surveying yield detailed topographical and environmental data, complemented by Automatic Total Stations and GNSS/GPS for precise location and movement analysis.


Comprehensive Instrumentation System:

  • Geotechnical and Structural Health Monitoring Sensors: Developed with Electron Beam welding for robust performance.
  • Fiber Optics: Distributed Fiber Optics (DFOS) and Fiber Bragg sensors are used for detailed environmental sensing.
  • Environmental Sensors: Like weather stations for monitoring atmospheric conditions and climate impact on landslides.
  • Subsurface Measuring Tools: Multi-sensor approach to monitor conditions affecting structural integrity. In one borehole, we can install a piezometer in-place inclinometer with settlement.

Read more: Guardians of Integrity: Hermetic Sealed “Electron Beam Welded” Sensors


Key Monitoring Parameters for Sensors:

  1. Water Level and Pressure: Using Piezometers.
  2. Lateral Movement and Inclination: Monitored with In-place inclinometers (with Settlement) and Tilt Meters.
  3. Deformation and Settlement: Tracked using Extensometers, Crack and Joint meters, and Creep Meters.
  4. Load/Force: Measured by Center Hole Load Cells.
  5. Rainfall and Weather: Monitored through Rain Gages and Weather Stations.


NexaWave IoT Integration:


Data Loggers and Communication Systems: Compatible with various sensors for comprehensive data collection and transmission, including RF LoRa nodes and gateways.


Visual Inspection and Area Analysis:


Regular visual inspections are conducted to identify geomorphological features indicative of landslide risks, such as scarps, lobate surfaces, and cracks. These inspections also identify human activities that might trigger landslides, such as uncontrolled water discharges and construction activities. Consistent visual inspections are crucial, even after the installation of monitoring systems, to ensure ongoing accuracy and effectiveness.


Data Integration via Proqio

Effective data Integration enables critical asset intelligence. In this process, Infinitus ensures integration, resulting in user-friendly and customizable reporting and AI algorithms that prompt timely action using Proqio, our data intelligence platform.


Cross-platform data Integration of Diverse Data Sources is a big benefit of having all the different data types in one place. Proqio combines data from ground sensors, surveying equipment, satellite data, and GIS layers. This integration facilitates a holistic view of the infrastructure's status. Ensures seamless data merging from multiple platforms, enhancing monitoring accuracy and efficiency in decision-making processes. In addition, another key aspect is customizable Data Representation, where the platform offers various data visualization options, including digital twins, 3D maps, BIM Integration, GIS layers, trend lines, graphs, and more, catering to different stakeholder needs.


Data Analysis & Understanding

In the critical phase of data analysis and understanding for landslide monitoring, the focus is on meticulously analyzing the collected data to inform decision-making and risk management strategies.

Key Components of Data Analysis and Understanding:

  1. Movement/Change Detection: This involves monitoring changes over time to detect any movement in slopes using data from sensors, surveying, and remote sensing techniques.
  2. Data Reporting and Understanding: Systematic reporting ensures stakeholders are informed of up-to-date data analysis findings. An in-depth analysis helps understand the underlying patterns and implications, such as identifying minute changes in land surfaces, analyzing vegetation cover, and pinpointing slope cracks or movements.
  3. GIS Integration and Digital Twins: Integrating data with Geographic Information Systems enhances spatial analysis and visualization, providing a better geographical context. Creating digital twins offers a virtual representation of monitored areas, enabling interactive and detailed examination.

This phase is pivotal in translating raw data into actionable intelligence, helping preemptively identify potential landslide areas and implement necessary precautions. It combines various sophisticated techniques and technologies to understand landslide risks comprehensively.

Read more: Landslide Monitoring: Methods, Instrumentation & Techniques


Risk Assessment and Alarm Management System


In this critical phase of landslide monitoring, comprehensive risk assessments are conducted alongside an effective alarm management system, which is key for identifying high-risk areas and developing preventive strategies. The process involves analyzing data collected from previous steps to assess landslide risks and identify susceptible areas. The Proqio Warning System, integrated within the Proqio platform, plays a key role by providing timely alerts based on these assessments. Collaboration with government/ asset risk assessment systems enhances the effectiveness of this approach, aligning with broader disaster management initiatives. The alarm management system ensures control, safety, and flexibility, adapting to different risk scenarios. Based on the assessments, preventive measures, and real-time communication protocols are planned in coordination with local authorities and emergency services. This step is vital in transitioning from monitoring and analysis to actionable responses, enabling preemptive alerts and mobilization of response teams, potentially saving lives and reducing property damage.

Continuous Monitoring

The final stage in the Infinitus approach to landslide monitoring, emphasizes continuous vigilance and predictive intelligence. This phase ensures up-to-date awareness of slope conditions and proactive risk management. Continuous monitoring involves ongoing surveillance, regular updates to risk assessments, and maintaining the accuracy and relevance of the monitoring system. Predictive intelligence leverages data for forecasting potential landslide scenarios, aiding in preparedness. Proqio facilitates comprehensive reporting and real-time dashboards for stakeholders, while advanced visualization techniques enhance understanding and decision-making. This step is critical for maintaining a dynamic monitoring system, enabling proactive risk management, and ensuring the reliability and accuracy of the monitoring process through regular calibration and AI model refinement.


Case Studies: Learning from Past Disasters

Case Study 1: Baden Slide Monitoring

Background: The Southwestern region of Pennsylvania is characterized by a terrain that is highly susceptible to landslides, posing significant risks to road safety and infrastructure. The state initiated a slide remediation program to address this issue, and the Baden Slide was identified as a critical site for intervention.

Challenge: A slowly moving landslide adjacent to a road was causing pavement cracking and displacement, necessitating immediate attention. The key challenge was to design and implement cost-effective repairs, which required a thorough understanding of the slide's characteristics and ongoing monitoring.


Rite Geosystems Inc. an Encardio was selected to provide specialized instrumentation and real-time monitoring services. The installed system included:

  • In-place inclinometers for measuring slope movements.
  • Remote, real-time data loggers for continuous data collection.
  • Cloud-based data transmission for easy access to information.
  • Threshold limit alerts to provide immediate warnings of significant changes.

Outcome: The monitoring system provided crucial data on slide dynamics, enabling the design of effective remediation measures. The real-time nature of the data collection ensured timely interventions, significantly reducing the risk of road damage and enhancing traveler safety.


Case Study 2: Narendra Nagar Landslide

Background: The Narendra Nagar Landslide project encompassed an area of approximately 0.25 km² and aimed to establish an Early Warning System (EWS) for landslides through comprehensive geotechnical monitoring.

Challenge: The project required a detailed monitoring plan that would not only offer immediate landslide warnings but also enhance the understanding of slope failure dynamics. The key challenges included the installation of monitoring instruments in difficult terrain and the need for real-time data analysis.


Encardio-rite was awarded the contract for the monitoring works, which included:

  • Installing geotechnical instruments such as inclinometers, piezometers, extensometers, crack meters, creep meters, and rain gauges.
  • Commissioning a wireless data transfer network (GSM/GPRS) for seamless data collection.
  • Drilling boreholes at various locations, including challenging spots at the toe of the slope.
  • Developing and managing a real-time database system.

The instruments were strategically placed at the crown, mid-level, and toe of the mountain, ensuring comprehensive coverage.

Outcome: The successful installation of the monitoring system led to reliable data collection at preset frequencies. The data was made available online through Encardio-rite’s DRISHTI, a web-based data management system, allowing stakeholders to access information in near real-time on various devices. This system significantly enhanced the region's ability to predict and respond to landslide occurrences, thereby improving public safety and infrastructure resilience.

Read more: [Case Study] Monitoring of Narendra Nagar Uttarakhand Landslide


Success Stories in Monitoring

Projects like the El Espígol Rock Stability Monitoring in Catalonia and the Highland Park Reservoir project in Pittsburgh demonstrate the efficacy of advanced monitoring systems. Encardio-rite’s solutions provided real-time data crucial for informed decision-making and ensuring community safety.


Read more: Securing El Espígol: Monitoring Rock Stability


The journey through the realms of landslide monitoring, from advanced data collection to proactive risk management, underscores its pivotal role in safeguarding lives, infrastructure, and the environment. Encardio Rite's comprehensive approach, enriched with meta-sensing technologies and cross-platform data integration, showcases a commitment to precision and effectiveness. As we draw inspiration from successful case studies like Baden Slide and Narendra Nagar, it becomes evident that the synergy of cutting-edge technology and vigilant monitoring is our key ally in the relentless pursuit of disaster resilience. In the continuum of Infinitus, continuous vigilance and predictive intelligence stand as the guardians of safety, assuring not just the present, but a more resilient and prepared future against the formidable challenges posed by landslides.

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