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Bio-geophysical Variable Mapping

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Bio-geophysical parameters are biological, geological and physical terms that play a role in the Earth's land.

Amongst these are:

  • biological - plant species, interactions in the ecology, biotic productivity
  • geological - soil types, sediment, erosion
  • physical - light, heat, gravity

Variable mapping applications support studies into these parameters, and tracks how they change over time. The combined OLCI/SLSTR Synergy product (SYN) supports the mapping of biogeophysical variables as part of its support to Land Monitoring and Security.

Thematic Content

Poland's Biebrza National Park, protected by the Wetlands Convention, experiences certain disturbances in its water levels and water transfer, which could threaten its biodiversity.

The twin Sentinel-1 satellites have - for the first time - combined to show their capability for revealing even small deformations in Earth's surface.

With the new Earth observation satellites carrying a range of technologies such as radar and multispectral imaging instruments for land, ocean and atmospheric monitoring, data are available for the next 20-30 years. However, this means little unless there are capable people handling them.

The first satellite-based service for extensive and uninterrupted monitoring and mapping of land stability has won the top prize in the European Earth-monitoring competition.

Although it was only launched a few months ago and is still being commissioned, the new Sentinel-1A radar satellite has already shown that it can be used to generate 3D models of Earth's surface and will be able to closely monitor land and ice surface deformation.

Land surface dynamics is one of the key drivers for the assessment of global environmental change and remote sensing based methods are the most important tools for its accurate monitoring. Here, the scientists use an Envisat-MERIS full resolution time series for vegetation decline monitoring as an alternative to more commonly used MODIS data using as a case study irrigated croplands located in the lower Amu Darya River Basin in Northern Uzbekistan, Central Asia.

In this study the scientists use Envisast ASAR data to investigate coseismic and post-seismic surface deformation associated with the 2008 Mw 6.3 Damxung earthquake on the Tibetan Plateau.

The international body representing the oil and gas industry is promoting the use of satellite Earth observation as the industry explores new frontiers. The upcoming Sentinel suite of satellites will facilitate these new endeavours.

Remote sensing applications benefit from the use of data fusion approaches based on spectral unmixing, which have proven their value for delivering spectrally consistent fused images while reducing the mixed pixel problem. In this study the scientists propose a multi-temporal setting of the algorithm that is applied to full MERIS and Landsat TM time series. The final goal is to complete or fill gaps in the Landsat time series by using MERIS data with more frequent coverage. Hence obtaining consistent time series at high spatial resolution and with the enhanced spectral properties of MERIS.

Wetlands are havens of biodiversity, and have important ecological, hydrological and economic value, but their misuse can have devastating consequences. Satellite data are being used for wetland conservation and management.

The Rio+20 summit on promoting jobs, clean energy and a more sustainable use of our planet's resources closed today after three days of talks. During the summit, the role of Earth observation in sustainable development was highlighted.

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