CLIENT: Canadian Space Agency and BC Hydro

LOCATION: British Columbia, Canada

BC Hydro currently maintains 80 dams at 41 sites across British Columbia. To manage geotechnical risks, a comprehensive dam safety program based on inspections, independent expert reviews, and instrumentation data is maintained. An important component of the program is the continuous tracking of the stability of large landslides on the reservoir slopes. Recent advances in remote sensing technologies enable the monitoring of actively moving slopes in a repeatable, quantitative way. Timeseries interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) has advanced both in terms of satellite data availability and processing capabilities and has expanded the utility of satellite InSAR in traditionally difficult terrain.

To support BC Hydro’s geotechnical monitoring program, BGC obtained funding from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) through the smartEarth initiative. The project aims to further explore how the various types of InSAR data can be integrated with other monitoring technologies to evolve the approach to monitoring and risk management along reservoirs. The integration of InSAR and other remote sensing data has provided a more comprehensive view of the slopes of interest, thereby supporting the prioritization of risk management activities. The remote sensing data also provide the opportunity for a-priori warning of the development of previously unknown trends or accelerations of landslide activity. By integrating the various data sources into BGC’s Cambio Platform, seamless access to all relevant data and site information is available for proactive hazard risk management and risk-informed decision making.