Posted on September 13th, 2022

Our Changing Landscape – June 2022 Landslide in Peru


Click on the image above to see an animation of 3-meter natural color PlanetScope imagery collected over Cerro Azul de Shallapa, Peru on June 30 and July 1, 2022. Sometimes these animations really speak for themselves as does this two-image view of the landslide. On June 30th everything appears normal and then by the next day, there is literally a huge chunk of the mountain over Cerro Azul de Shallapa that is missing. You can even see dust and debris covering the homes and structure below the landslide! It is a miracle that only one life was lost in this landslide – our thoughts are with this family. (Images Courtesy: © Planet 2022)

In this monthly feature, we span the globe to examine Our Changing Landscape with a time series of medium-resolution PlanetScope satellite imagery. The PlanetScope constellation dates back to 2016 and collects hundreds of millions of square kilometers of four, five and eight-band 3-meter imagery daily! In August we checked out an oil spill close to the coastline of The Gambia, and for this month’s edition of Our Changing Landscape we head to a mountain town in rural Peru which was the site of a June 30th landslide.

The PlanetScope Microsat Constellation

PlanetScope is a constellation of more than 240 microsats (as of January 2022) referred to individually as Doves. Each Dove is able to collect up to 20,000 square kilometers (sq km) per day of 3-meter (m) 4-band multispectral (i.e. blue, green, red and near-infrared [NIR]) imagery; and newly launched SuperDoves collect 8-band multispectral adding in valuable red-edge spectral data. Across the constellation, PlanetScope is archiving more than 200 million sq km of medium-resolution imagery a day, making it the go to source for daily imagery over most locations. This massive archive dates back to 2016, offering the most complete and continuous record of spatial data on the planet since the start of the constellation’s ongoing launch schedule. Collecting 3-meter multispectral imagery is the equivalent of ‘high-resolution’ multispectral data imaged by a 75-centimer (cm) satellite (as this satellite would feature 75-cm panchromatic and 3-m multispectral), making PlanetScope an extremely competitively priced option at just $1.80 per sq km. With well registered images and nearly daily collections of most locations, PlanetScope is the ideal imagery source for this current-events focused series, Our Changing Landscape.

June 30, 2022 Landslide in Cerro Azul de Shallapa, Peru

Cerro Azul de Shallapa is small Peruvian town tucked away in a valley in the middle of the Andes Mountains. The town is located in the Chavín de Huántar district in the Áncash region about 165 miles (265 kilometers) north of Lima in the Cordillera Blanca mountain range. On the afternoon of June 30th, a landslide barreled into Cerro Azul impacting at least 150 homes – but what makes this landslide so unique is that it was captured on video. According to local reports, the landslide covered some 1.6 hectares with a total debris volume of 423,776 cubic feet (12,000 cubic meters). Tragically one life was lost in the disaster as well as 204 homes which were destroyed. Now it is time to turn to the PlanetScope archive to see if we can detect this relatively small landslide at 3-meter resolution.

If you would like to find out more about using 3-meter PlanetScope imagery for your academic studies, engineering projects or any landscape analysis, let us know at [email protected] or (303) 993-3863.

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