Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Geology (PhD)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences

Advisor 1

Thomas Oommen

Committee Member 1

Stanley Vitton

Committee Member 2

Rudiger Escobar-Wolf

Committee Member 3

Donald Atwood


An asset management framework provides a methodology for monitoring and maintaining assets, which include anthropogenic infrastructure (e.g., dams, embankments, and retaining structures) and natural geological features (e.g., soil and rock slopes). It is imperative that these assets operate efficiently, effectively, safely, and at a high standard since many assets are located along transportation corridors (highways, railways, and waterways) and can cause severe damage if compromised. Assets built on or around regions prone to natural hazards are at an increased risk of deterioration and failure. The objective of this study is to utilize remote sensing techniques such as InSAR, LiDAR, and optical photogrammetry to identify assets, assess past and current conditions, and perform long-term monitoring in transportation corridors and urbanized areas prone to natural hazards. Provided are examples of remote sensing techniques successfully applied to various asset management procedures: the characterization of rock slopes (Chapter 2), identification of potentially hazardous slopes along a railroad corridor (Chapter 3), monitoring subsidence rates of buildings in San Pedro, California (Chapter 4), and mapping displacement rates on dams in India (Chapter 5) and California (Chapter 6). A demonstration of how InSAR can be used to map slow landslides (those with a displacement rate < 16 mm/year and may be undetectable without sensitive instrumentation) and update the California Landslide Inventory on the Palos Verdes Peninsula is provided in Chapter 7. Long-term landslide monitoring using optical photogrammetry, GPS, and InSAR measurements is also used to map landslide activity at three orders of magnitude (meter to millimeter scales) in Chapter 8. Remote sensing has proven to be an effective tool at measuring ground deformation, which is an implicit indicator of how geotechnical asset condition changes (e.g., deteriorates) over time. Incorporating these techniques into a geotechnical asset management framework will provide greater spatial and temporal data for preventative approaches towards natural hazards.