earth online


04-Aug - 14-Aug 2008

Frascati, Italy

Prizes from the European Meteorological Society (EMS) were awarded to the three best posters from EO Summer School 4. A further three prizes were awarded by ESA for fourth to sixth place:

  1. Rosemary Willat, University College London
  2. Christoph Aubrecht, Austrian Research Centers GmbH
  3. Christian Milzow, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
  4. Mehera Kidston, University of New South Wales & CSIRO
  5. Laia Romero, Starlab
  6. Xiaoying Cong, TU Munich


Discover the posters presented at the fourth EO Summer School in 2008:

  1. Rosemary Willatt: Field Investigations of Radar Penetration into Antarctic Snow Cover
  2. Gillian Whelan: Satellite Remote Sensing of Aircraft-induced Contrails and Investigation of their Potential Role in Regional Climate Change.
  3. Ingo Völksch: L-band Signatures Emitted from Soils with Orientated Surface Structures
  4. Michail Vrettas: Parameter Estimation in Dynamical Models Driven by Noise
  5. Rolf von Kuhlmann: German Research on Europe's Environmental Satellite Envisat
  6. Camille Viatte: A new spectroscopic observatory in Creteil to measure atmospheric trace gases in solar occultation geometry
  7. Vassilios Vervatis: Profiling Float Observations in the Aegean Sea
  8. Almudena Velazquez: GERB TOA radiances and fluxes validation over the Valencia Anchor Station during the IV GERB Ground Validation Campaign
  9. Juho Pekka Vehviläinen: Using SMOS satellite data as an input to hydrological models in the northern areas
  10. Gertjan van Zwieten: Towards better seismic hazard assessments using InSAR data.
  11. Francesca Ticconi: Land Use-Cover Classification and Forest Mapping in Sumatra using ALOS-PALSAR
  12. Sahil Suri: Automatic Image to Image Registration for Multimodal Remote Sensing Images
  13. Martin Stanchev: Aerospace Monitoring Center
  14. Stavros Stagakis: Forest ecosystem dynamics using SPOT and MODIS satellite images
  15. Serhiy Skakun: Application of EO Data for Flood Monitoring
  16. Felix Seidel: Aerosol Retrieval by Airborne Hyperspectral Remote Sensing and the required Sensor Performance
  17. Susanne Schweitzer: The ACCURATE Mission: Measuring Profiles of Greenhouse Gases, Isotopes and Thermodynamic Variables from Space
  18. Nora Jennifer Schneevoigt: Mapping glacial and periglacial environments with optical and radar data
  19. Siegfried Schmuck: ESA EO Data Access
  20. Laia Romero: Jellyfish Detection and Forecast in Northwestern Mediterranean from Earth Observation Data
  21. Lucie Rolland: Seismic source characterization by ionospheric sounding from GPS data
  22. Karl Rittger: Historical Analysis of Remotely Sensed Snow Properties’ Relation to Streamflow
  23. Celia Rico: Characterization of Land Uses Applying Multi-Sensor Data Within the Mercury Mining Area of Almadén, Spain
  24. Simone Placidi: Synergistic retrievals of stratocumulus cloud properties
  25. Praveen Pandey: Processing SEVIRI images for estimation of vertically integrated cloud liquid water or ice water content
  26. Steven Palmer: Seasonal ice velocity variations linked to surface hydrology in West Greenland
  27. Armel Oumbe: New earth observation capabilities for solar radiation assessment
  28. Antonio Olita: Marine modelling and operational oceanography as tools of environmental management
  29. Ibrahim Muhammed: Seasonal Variability of the Atlantic Marine ITCZ
  30. Antonios Mouratidis: Contribution of -GPS and GIS-assisted Spaceborne Remote Sensing in Satellite Geodesy and in the Morpho-Seismotectonic research around the city of Thessaloniki (N. Greece).
  31. Aurelie Moulin: 3D Modeling of Central East Florida Currents over the Continental Shelf
  32. Christian Milzow: A hydrological model supporting water resources management in the Okavango Delta
  33. Eskil Mattsson: Deforestation and forest degradation in Sri Lanka a pilot project of a potential REDD mechanism
  34. Giorgia Macchiavello: Thematic mapping of snow covered areas from the analysis of remotely sensed images for application to hydrological modeling
  35. Catherine Luke: The Effect of Biochemical Energy Release on Soil
  36. Longhui Li: Present and Future Crop Production in the North China Plain
  37. Sabine Leroch: Advances in weather forecast by assimilation of surface observations and GPS data
  38. Panu Lahtinen: Snow remote sensing at Finnish Meteorological Institute
  39. Emmanouil Lagoudakis: Assessing combusted biomass from African savana wildfires using SEVIRI geostationary imagery. Comparison with the preburned biomass availability derived from the SPOT - VGT NPP product.
  40. Oleksiy Kravchenko: Data assimilation in NWP and land surface model for drought monitoring
  41. Diane Knappett: Observing the global distribution of atmospheric CH4 from space
  42. Lars Klüser: Satellite observations of aerosol-cloud interactions
  43. Christina Klose: Science Education through Earth Observation for High Schools - Teaching Marine Pollution via the Internet
  44. Mehera Kidston: Data Assimilation Into Marine Ecosystem Models
  45. Anna Kaczmarska: Seasonal and interannual variability of the surface circulation in the Nordic Seas.
  46. Are Charles Jensen: Hyperspectral image analysis and classification
  47. Natalia Ivanova: Oil spills on the surface of northern seas: Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) investigation
  48. Maya Ilieva: Analysis of the deformations of Western Corinth Rift by satellite geodesy
  49. Steffen Grünler: Satellite-Based Estimates of River Runoff
  50. Nicoline Groot: Atmospheric Data Access for the Geospatial User Community
  51. Petar Glisovic: Numerical Modelling of Time-Dependent Thermal Convection in Earth's Mantle
  52. Artur Gil: Using Remote Sensing Imagery for Azores Islands Natural Resources Characterization
  53. Georgia Galidaki: Satellite Hyperspectral Remote Sensing for Forest Species Mapping and Landscape Analysis
  54. Alison Fowler: Assimilation of low-level cloud
  55. Anna Foks-Ryznar: Interpretation of ASAR and MERIS images for the purpose of validating SMOS data
  56. Ana Rita Ferreira: Database of satellite information for the Northern Atlantic
  57. Sandra Efigénio: GeoSat - Methodologies to extract large scale GEOgraphical information from very high resolution SATtellite images
  58. Marcela Doubkova: Medium resolution soil moisture dataset over Europe
  59. Manuela Dominguez: Spectral reflectance of inland sebkhas in NE Spain
  60. Annalisa Di Cicco: Bio-optical Characterization of the Arctic Ocean by Lidar Fluorosensor
  61. Giovanna De Chiara: Quality Improvement of ERS Scatterometer Data for Soil Moisture Retrieval
  62. Linda Corucci: Pattern Oil Spills Characterization in Optical Satellite Images
  63. Xiaoying Cong: Application of deformation monitoring by using differential SAR interferometry in case of volcanology
  64. Enrico Cadau: Satellite Remote Sensing for Natural Disasters Mitigation
  65. Ludovic Brucker: Modeling timeseries of microwave brightness temperature at Dome-C, Antarctica.
  66. Robert Brewin: The influence of phytoplankton functional types in air sea CO2 flux variability
  67. Brian Barrett: Surface Soil Moisture Retrieval in Southern Ireland using Envisat ASAR and ALOS PALSAR data.
  68. Nicolas Barre: Satellite data versus in situ data in Drake Passage
  69. Christoph Aubrecht: Spatial and functional urban system modeling by integrated analysis of remote sensing data and socioeconomic information
  70. Christoff Andermann: Geodynamic processes in the Himalayas. Inverse calibration of Remote Sensing data by in-situ determination, numerical- and analog modelling
  71. Ahmed Amir: ASAR Interferometry at Karthala Volcano
  72. Daniel Koenig: Station Coordinates, Low Degree Harmonics, and Earth Rotation Parameters from an Integrated GPS/CHAMP/GRACE Processing



Field Investigations of Radar Penetration into Antarctic Snow Cover

Rosemary Willatt
University College London

The motivation for this study was to improve the understanding of radar return echoes seen in satellite radar altimetry, used to calculate the Antarctic sea ice thickness. Radar penetration into Antarctic snow cover was investigated using a sledge-based radar on a six-week Antarctic voyage. The scattering surfaces seen and the effect of changing the radar frequency on the appearance of these surfaces in the return echo are discussed.

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Satellite Remote Sensing of Aircraft-induced Contrails and Investigation of their Potential Role in Regional Climate Change.

Gillian Whelan
University College Cork

Condensation-trails, or 'contrails', are found to have a net warming effect on the climate system. They are formed in the wake of jet aircraft, as exhaust-gases mix with cold and humid ambient air. Depending on ambient atmospheric conditions, contrails can; persist for several hours; grow to several kilometres in length; and trigger additional cirrus-cloud formation as they spread. Cirrus-cloud cover is increasing in flight corridors as they become increasingly congested. A statistically significant increase in cirrus coverage of +2.6% (from 1984 and 1998) is observed for the North Atlantic Flight Corridor; in contrast to small negative trends in cirrus elsewhere. However, large uncertainties in directly attributing cirrus-cover increases to aircraft-induced contrails still remain.

Presently, a complete set of validation data for model studies of contrail-cirrus is missing. By building upon existing automated-contrail-detection techniques, a satellite-derived cloud-and-contrail climatology for Ireland will be compiled based on more than two decades of archived high-resolution visible and thermal satellite imagery. Combining meteorological measurements concurrent with satellite overpasses, the optimal meteorological conditions for contrail formation and persistence will be investigated. The radiative effects of contrails and contrail-cirrus on the atmospheric column radiation budget, and their contribution to regional atmospheric warming, will then be assessed.

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L-band Signatures Emitted from Soils with Orientated Surface Structures

Ingo Völksch
Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research

Emissivities of soils with periodic surface structures (such as e.g. irrigation furrows) differ from the emissivities of soils with the same permittivity but with specular or random rough surfaces. This has to be taken into account when interpreting passive microwave measurements such as from the upcoming SMOS mission.

In this poster, a set of experiments is described aiming at a better understanding of the influence of straightened surface structures on L-band signatures. Polarisation effects of diverse artificially prepared striped surface patterns were investigated. The configuration of the  footprint area was varied from highly synthetic to more natural surfaces.  Experimental results show a distinct influence of surface structures on polarisation ratios. These effects are currently further investigated by comparing measurements with model results of a physical surface emission model.

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Parameter Estimation in Dynamical Models Driven by Noise

Michail Vrettas
University of Aston

Estimating parameters in dynamical systems has many applications, yet remains a very challenging and  relatively unexplored task. The problem becomes even more difficult if the system under consideration is  non-linear and large in size. Recent attempts have been based mainly on variations of Monte Carlo methods  or extensions to the well known Kalman filter.

In this poster we present the results of estimating parameters  in stochastic dynamical models with a variational approximation method, which is currently under  development within the VISDEM (Variational Inference in Stochastic Dynamic Environmental Models) project.

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German Research on Europe's Environmental Satellite Envisat

Rolf von Kuhlmann
DLR - Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt

The largest environmental satellite yet built in Europe, Envisat, has been circling around our Earth since 2002. German scientists made a major contribution to the success of this ambitious mission.

Recently results from German Scientists based on Envisat data have been collected and presented to the general public in a brochure edited and published by the German Space Agency DLR. Highlights of these results will be presented in the poster. The results span a broad range of Earth Science disciplines: atmospheric chemistry, upper atmospheric dynamics, solar influence on the atmosphere, hydrology, agriculture, forestry, and oceanography.


A new spectroscopic observatory in Creteil to measure atmospheric trace gases in solar occultation geometry

Camille Viatte
University of Paris XII

C. Viatte, P. Chelin, M. Eremenko, J.-M. Flaud, J. Orphal, M. Ray 
Laboratoire Inter-Universitaire des Systèmes Atmosphériques (LISA), CNRS, Universités de Paris 12 (Paris-Est) et Paris 7, 61 Av. du Général de Gaulle, 94010 Créteil, France. 

Ground-based Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) and Ultraviolet (UV) spectroscopy based on solar occultation is a powerful remote sensing technique to determine vertical distribution of various constituents in the atmosphere [1]. In this context, a new spectroscopic observatory (with motorised dome rotation) was installed on the roof of the University of Paris 12 in Créteil. It comprises a solar tracker (Bruker Ltd.) coupled with two spectrometers operating in different spectral regions, to obtain information on various atmospheric target species such as H2O, O3, CO, CH4, N2O, NO2, HNO3, H2CO, C2H6, PAN etc. and the most abundant isotopic species.

A Fourier Transform spectrometer (Bruker Vertex 80) is used for the infrared region 370¿ 7500 cm-1 with a maximum spectral resolution of about 0.05 cm-1. This instrument is equipped with a KBr or CaF2 beamsplitter, and a DTGS detector.

Concerning the UV spectral range, a grating spectrometer with a CDD array (Ocean Optics, HR 2000+) is used with 1.1 nm resolution (FWHM, sampling 0.035 nm) and covers the spectral range of 190¿1100 nm.

We have first characterised the ILS (Instrumental Line Shape) of the FTIR in order to use a radiative transfer model and retrieval code dedicated to ground-based spectroscopy (PROFFIT 9.5) [2]. The ILS width was observed to about 0.06cm-1 using OCS absorption lines in a low pressure cell.

The second step was to determine a set of micro-windows in the infrared region that are appropriate for retrievals of vertical concentration profiles taking into account the limited spectral resolution of our instrument.

The experimental data, in particular concerning the free troposphere, will be compared to predictions from an atmospheric chemistry model (CHIMERE) developed at LISA in order to improve its results, and also to satellite observations (IASI in particular) for validation. In addition, retrievals of the same trace gases combining data in different spectral regions will be attempted.

[1] C. Senten, M. De Mazière, B. Dils, C. Hermans, M. Kruglanski, E. Neefs, F. Scolas, A. C. Vandaele, G. Vanhaelewyn, C. Vigouroux, M. Carleer, P. F. Coheur, S. Fally, B. Barret, J. L. Barray, R. Delmas, J. Leveau, J. M. Metzger, E. Mahieu, C. Boone, K.A. Walker, P. F. Bernath, and K. Strong, Technical Note: New ground-Based FTIR measurements at Ile de La Réunion : observations, error analysis, and comparisons with independent data, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss. 8, 827-891, 2008

[2] F. Hase, J. W. Hannigan, M. T. Coffrey, A. Goldman, M. Höpfner, N. B. Jones, C. P. Rinsland, S. W. Wood: Intercomparison of retrieval codes used for the analysis of high-resolution, ground-based FTIR measurements, J. Quant. Spectrosc. Rad. Transf. 87, 25-52, 2004

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Profiling Float Observations in the Aegean Sea

Vassilios Vervatis
University Of Athens

Aiming at gaining a better understanding of the dynamics and variability of the Aegean Sea, a series of CTD surveys and profiling float deployments was conducted in various Aegean Sea basins and the adjacent west Levantine region. The observations are supplemented by numerical modelling experiments. There is a remarkable difference of the temperature/salinity characteristics between the North and South Aegean. At the surface layers the large differences can attributed to the presence of Black Sea origin in the northern basin, while in the Cretan Sea surface waters are influenced by the warmer and more saline waters of Levantine origin. The deep-water temperature/salinity differences are also important, indicating a possible decoupling of the two sub-basins.

The Cretan Sea profiles reveal important changes in the regional stratification, related to the regional abrupt climatic event of the early 90s known as Eastern Mediterranean Transient.

Comparison with older observations indicates important mixing processes and a possible evolution of the exchange between the Cretan Sea and the Levantine basin. The Aegean outflow that contributed to the Eastern Mediterranean has been minimised and the waters just outside the Eastern Cretan Straits, below 1000m, are a mixture of deep water of Adriatic and Aegean origin.  

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GERB TOA radiances and fluxes validation over the Valencia Anchor Station during the IV GERB Ground Validation Campaign

Almudena Velazquez
University of Valencia

The aim of the study is to validate radiances and fluxes at the TOA measured by the Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget (GERB) instrument, on board Meteosat-8 and 9 during the IV GERB Ground Validation Campaign at the Valencia Anchor Station (VAS) area (31 July – 6 August 2006). In the study, GERB enhanced spatial resolution data (GERB High Resolution) is used, where the resolution of the computed fluxes is improved through the combination of well-calibrated GERB broadband data with SEVIRI narrow-band high-sampling-rate data. Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) Terra FM2 data is also used from dedicated PAPS (Programmable Azimuth Plane Scanning) observations over the study area during the campaign. 

The validation capabilities of the VAS have previously been assessed by successfully reproducing CERES TOA radiances and fluxes with the occasion of different ground validation campaigns. The methodology consists of performing radiative transfer simulations of CERES and GERB TOA radiances and fluxes from independent ground measurements of surface and atmospheric parameters (such as derived precipitable water vapour content from CIMEL sunphotometer and GPS (Global Positioning System) instruments, aerosol optical thickness also from CIMEL, broadband albedo and temperature over shrubs, bare soil and vineyards in the study area) in conjunction with other satellite products such as TOMS (Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer) ozone, CERES/SARB emissivity and MODIS BRDF (Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function). The latter allows us to analyze the contribution of each land use to the anisotropy of the shortwave radiation field and constitutes a good improvement of the methodology that had been tested for the case of CERES in previous campaigns. The comparison between simulations and CERES calibrated and validated data provides a good indicator of the reliability of the methodology to be applied as a validation tool for GERB. 

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Using SMOS satellite data as an input to hydrological models in the northern areas

Juho Pekka Vehviläinen
Finnish Environment Institute, Hydrological Division

Soil moisture is the most important storage in hydrological forecasting at summer due to the strong effect of soil moisture deficit on runoff. It is also difficult to observe and update in hydrological model in catchments scale. The Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) is in a joint project SMOS-Nora with other research institutes. The project is connected to ESA. The project objectives are to assimilate SMOS soil moisture data to the operational hydrological forecasting model and validate the SMOS soil moisture data with in-situ observations in the northern areas. 

The ground truth measurements are made within different depths to get a profile of the sub-surface soil moisture as well. The measurement is based on the difference of dielectric properties between free water and soil. The data is collected all year round and transferred automatically in real time to SYKE's database and forecasting system WSFS ( 

The aim is to use the soil moisture satellite data as an input to the hydrological forecasting model covering all Finland. Three different approaches concerning soil moisture modelling are developed. These include conceptual one storage, multi-layer models and also a more physical model based on the CLM from the USA.

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Towards better seismic hazard assessments using InSAR data

Gertjan van Zwieten
Delft University of Technology

The recent earthquake in Chengdu, China, demonstrates that seismic hazard is still number one of nature's threats. The ongoing search for reliable warning systems has - so far - been to no avail, and research efforts are therefore turning to risk assessment, rather than prediction. Key input is the effect of past earthquakes on nearby tectonic systems. Classically the main source of information has been seismology, but with the advent of spaceborne SAR a method has come available that works with static rather than transient deformation. As with seismology, the main two aspects of this method are 1. the forward model for static deformation, and 2. the inverse problem of matching model and measurements.

Current practice is amenable to improvement; the forward problem because of limiting assumptions and simplifications, the inverse problem because of uniqueness problems of the generally adopted least-squares approach. Driven by the idea that more accurate information can be obtained from InSAR measurements, this work suggests an approach to improve these issues by combining discontinuity-enhanced stochastic FEM with Bayesian type inversion.  

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Land Use-Cover Classification and Forest Mapping in Sumatra using ALOS-PALSAR

Francesca Ticconi
University of Sheffield

Deforestation and changes in land use play a significant role in global climate change. In Indonesia the deforestation rate has been high over the last 23 years, more than 3 million hectares of forest have been lost. This study aims to investigate the potential of ALOS-PALSAR L-band radar sensor to monitor land cover changes and forest recovery.

The Riau region in Sumatra has been chosen as a study area because it has excellent supporting ground data and forest maps made available by the Indonesian WWF.

Several images acquired in FBD (HH, HV) mode over the period July - August 2007 that cover part of the Riau region have been processed. The processing methodology includes co-registration and multi-channel filtering and forms a set of speckle-reduced images. The HH and HV backscattering coefficients have been compared and also the ratio HH/HV has been considered in the investigation. The results show the ability of PALSAR to distinguish forest from non-forest and to detect regrowing areas. In addition, the analysis of eight ScanSAR images acquired over the region in the whole of 2007 is still in progress. The aim is to compare the information content of multi-temporal HH backscatter with that of dual-polarisation data.  

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Automatic Image to Image Registration for Multimodal Remote Sensing Images

Sahil Suri
German Aerospace Center

Enormous increase in different characteristic remote sensing sensors and the prerequisite requiring fine registered multimodal images for applications like fusion, change detection and GIS overlay operations make automated multimodal image registration an important area of research.

To achieve the task, a number of feature and intensity based image registration techniques are in vogue. Thanks to advancements in research, a basic framework for both the mentioned techniques has been established but still there is no conclusive research drawing guidelines for fine registration amongst remote sensing images acquired over various land cover classes. In area of feature based registration, there is still no established technique to guarantee conjugate features amongst images with different characteristics. On the other side, in intensity based registration, similarity metrics like mutual information and cluster reward algorithm have proven their effectiveness to align multimodal images automatically but still a practical registration application to account for local deformations remains an open problem.

This poster intends to review multimodal remote sensing image registration in context of latest and successful feature and intensity based registration approaches, related challenges and limitations to overcome in near future.  

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Aerospace Monitoring Center

Martin Stanchev
Aerospace Monitoring Center at Ministry of State Policy for Disasters and Accident

Working in the Aerospace Monitoring Center (ASMC) at the Ministry of Emergency Situation, it is a first satellite data receiving center built up in Bulgaria and its main aims and tasks are related to monitoring, risk and disaster analysis as well as damage assessment.

The center is equipped with two receiving satellite ground stations for real time data receiving and processing - one of them is the for meteorological satellites NOAA (AVHRR) and Feng-Yun (MVISR) with 1 km ground resolution, and second for Earth Observing Satellites TERRA and Aqua (MODIS) with 250, 500 and 1000 m. ground resolution. In addition, satellite images from Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC) with 32 meters ground resolution are delivered to ASMC by Internet after downlink and processing.


Forest ecosystem dynamics using SPOT and MODIS satellite images

Stavros Stagakis
University of Ioannina

A nine-year time series of the SPOT NDVI for two deciduous (Fagus sylvatica, Quercus cerris/Quercus frainetto) and one evergreen conifer (Pinus nigra) forest was constructed in order to perform a dynamics analysis.

The deciduous species show similar response to precipitation and temperature. Their productivity depends on winter precipitation and spring temperature. The conifer seems to be unaffected by precipitation variations and is dependent on winter temperature. 

Images from MODIS sensor are used for extracting indices correlated with major parameters of productivity, for the two deciduous forests. Ground ecophysiological measurements were conducted for two growing periods (2005-2006) and are used for indices evaluation as well as input parameters for an ecosystem productivity model. NDVI and EVI are strongly correlated with LAI and NDWI with leaf water potential.  An empirical model for the estimation of Gross Primary Productivity (GPP) – based on field measured data – was constructed and used as a reference in order to evaluate the MODIS GPP product. It seems that MODIS algorithm underestimates productivity and does not closely follow its seasonal fluctuations.

In an attempt for a more precise productivity product a new light-use efficiency model based on satellite and meteorological data is designed and seem to have a significantly good covariance with the reference GPP.   


Application of EO Data for Flood Monitoring

Serhiy Skakun
Space Research Institute NASU-NSAU

A new neural network approach to flood monitoring has been proposed. Traditionally, threshold methods and multi-temporal techniques are applied to flood extent mapping from SAR images. But they are not robust and require manual threshold selection. To overcome this weakness and provide automatic product generation we have developed a new method to flood extent extraction based on self-organising Kohonen maps (SOMs). SOMs provide efficient tool for discovering of statistically salient features of pattern vectors in data set, and make possible to find clusters in training data pattern space.

The workflow for flood extent extraction from SAR data consists of the following tasks: (1) Transformation of raw data to lat/long projection; (2) Image calibration; (3) Co-registration; (4) Image segmentation using SOMs. (5) Flood extent extraction. (6) Topographic correction - shadowing removal using DEM.

Within the 5th step each neuron (cluster) is assigned either "flood extent" or "not flood extent" class using additional data from Landsat-7 and Corine 2000 Land Cover.

Developed method has been successfully tested for different case-study areas, in particular, for flooding on Tisza river, Ukraine in 2001, Huaihe river, China in 2007 and Zambezi river, Mozambique in 2008, using data acquired from ERS-2, Envisat/ASAR and RADARSAT-1 satellites.  

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Aerosol Retrieval by Airborne Hyperspectral Remote Sensing and the required Sensor Performance

Felix Seidel
Swiss National Point of Contact for Satellite Images

The overall aim of this study is to develop a tropospheric aerosol retrieval algorithm, which is designed to exploit the assets of airborne hyperspectral sensors.

The high spatial and spectral resolution along with optimal calibration and high signal-to-noise ratios (SNR) allow determining the aerosol optical depth (AOD) with unprecedented accuracy. 

The presented research is focusing on the sensor performance requirements to be capable of resolving transmittance differences according to the demands of atmospheric corrections for remote sensing applications. Radiation transfer equations are used therefore to simulate the atmospheric and surface effects on the signal at the sensor level. This at-sensor radiance (Ls) is converted into the AOD retrieval sensitivity (delta AOD), which is governed by the available measuring sensitivity of the sensor (Noise Equivalent delta Ls).  It is shown for typical remote sensing conditions and a surface reflectance of <30% that a SNR of circa 300 is sufficient for the required delta AOD at 550nm. The AOD retrieval sensitivity is further analysed within the visual spectral range for a changing solar geometry and different aerosol characteristics.  Finally, the AOD retrieval feasibility is proven in general for the analysed cases under simulated conditions for the upcoming ESA's hyperspectral airborne Earth observing instrument - APEX.  

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The ACCURATE Mission: Measuring Profiles of Greenhouse Gases, Isotopes and Thermodynamic Variables from Space

Susanne Schweitzer
Wegener Center for Climate and Global Change, University of Graz

The ACCURATE (Atmospheric Climate and Chemistry in the UTLS Region And climate Trends Explorer) mission, which was conceived at the Wegener Center/Uni Graz in late 2004, enables simultaneous measurements of profiles of greenhouse gases, isotopes and thermodynamic variables (i.e. temperature, pressure/geopotential height, humidity, line-of-sight wind) from space. In addition, information on cloud layering, aerosol concentration and turbulence strength can be derived.

The applied measurement principle is a combination of the novel infrared laser occultation (ILO) technique and the well-studied but not yet implemented microwave occultation (MWO) technique. Thus, as intrinsic to the occultation technique, the measured data are evenly distributed around the Earth and have high vertical resolution and high accuracy. Additionally, the measurement is stable over long time periods. 

The poster will present the characteristics of the ACCURATE mission, the measuring principle applied with focus on the ILO technique, its capabilities and first performance simulation results. 

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Mapping glacial and periglacial environments with optical and radar data

Nora Jennifer Schneevoigt
Institute for Geosciences, University of Oslo

Field research in (peri-)glacial regions encounters limitations in terms of accessibility, expenses and repeatability. Remote sensing can provide additional, continuous and intercomparable series of measurements, operating at global scales with uniform data sets and measuring methods. Two approaches are presented, an object-oriented, alpine landform detection method and a combination of optical and radar data for subpolar glacier mapping. 

Using the object-oriented approach on four scales, geomorphological landforms are mapped in the Bavarian Alps. An ASTER satellite scene and an elevation model are classified with fuzzy membership functions. The result depicts the entire valley up to its inaccessible upper regions. Working in the visible spectral range represents an important asset for methods to be widely disseminated.

Conversely, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery delivers a range of information beyond the visible. Backscatter, polarisation and interferometric phase coherence permit inferences on and below the surface, as shown on Svalbard. The spectral analysis of combined optical and SAR data utilises that the spectral glacier mass balance correlates with the volumetric mass balance.

This indicates that optical and radar analyses complement one another with their respective strengths, leading to a gain of information. Further research is needed to confirm these first results. 

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ESA EO Data Access

Siegfried Schmuck

The poster shall explain how the data dissemination of ESA's EO data products is organised and especially highlight the online ordering process, data delivery and cost of the data products. The poster is focusing on Category 1 users, concerning therefore all data for the exclusive use in research and applications.

The EOLISA online portal serves as ESA's primary access point for multi-mission catalogue and ordering service. This catalogue accommodates the archived data of ESA's own satellites like ERS and Envisat, as well as data of the Third Party Missions, e.g. SPOT and Terra/Aqua data. With EOLISA the user can anonymously search through the archived satellite images, but for ordering them a registration is obligatory. After the quick registration process there are four different ways for scientists to obtain data from ESA, via fast registration, a proposal, an ESA announcement of Opportunity or the ESA EO campaigns datasets, all depending on the data type and if the requested data is available in archive or need future acquisition.  

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Jellyfish Detection and Forecast in Northwestern Mediterranean from Earth Observation Data

Laia Romero

Unexpected blooms of jellyfish are increasingly taking place along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Jellyfish populations tend to drift towards the shoreline with repercussions on coastal related activities. Potential causes to this rising number of blooms at a global scale can range from overfishing of top-predators to climate change.

The objective of this work is to determine the density and probability of occurrence of gelatinous zooplankton aggregations along northwestern Mediterranean coasts. For this purpose, physical-biological interactions that trigger the development of aggregations at local scales will be evaluated with the use of machine learning techniques. Although salinity and temperature appear to be the most determinant factors influencing jellyfish habitat (Decker et al. 2007), other parameters such as chlorophyll-a concentration, suspended matter, prevailing winds, and surface currents will be taken into account as they seem to strongly influence jellyfish blooms occurring in surface waters along coastal margins (Graham et al. 2001).

Sea Surface Temperature (SST) data used will be acquired by the Advanced Along-Track Scanning Radiometer (AATSR) on board of Envisat, which is able to acquire SST with an accuracy of 0.3 Cº. Sea Surface Salinity (SSS) data, wind forcing, and currents will be simulated using ROMS model. Chlorophyll-a and Total Suspended Matter (TSM) will be acquired by processing MERIS data with known techniques proposed by Ruddick et al. (2003). A national survey of jellyfish along the Spanish Mediterranean coast will be used as ground truth for aggregation appearance.

Earth observation (EO) and ROMS data is being validated with in-situ measurements in the area of study in order to assess data quality for forecasting purposes. Secondly, EO and ROMS data will be correlated with jellyfish appearance in a feature relevance and selection process. Finally, machine-learning classifiers will determine appearance of jellyfish blooms according to physical-biological interactions.


[1] Decker, M. B.; Brown, C. W.; Hood, R. R.; Purcell, J. E., Gross, T. F.; Matanoski, J. C.; Bannon, R. O.; Setzler-Hamilton, E. M. 2007. Predicting the distribution of the scyphomedusa Chrysaora quinquecirrha in Chesapeake Bay. Marine Ecology Progress Series 329: 99–113. 

[2] Graham, W. M.; Pagès, F.; Hamner, W. M. 2001. A physical context for gelatinous zooplankton aggregations: A review. Hydrobiologia 451: 199 –212.

[3] Ruddick , K.; Park, Y.; Nechad, B. 2003. MERIS imagery of Belgian Coastal Waters: Mapping Suspended Matter and Chlorophyll-a, MERIS Users Workshop held in Frascati, 10-13 November 2003.  

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Seismic source characterization by ionospheric sounding from GPS data

Lucie Rolland
Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris

Imaging the terrestrial ionosphere is becoming possible since the installation of dense GPS networks, with a temporal and spatial resolution allowing the detection of ionospheric seismic waves.

Since the 1960s, ionospheric seismic waves are detectable almost punctually after large shallow earthquakes, with current minimum magnitude of 6.5. Most recently, the use of dense networks gave the way to a global visualisation of the horizontal propagation of co-seismic ionospheric disturbances.  From now on, after imaging seismic waves in the ionosphere, the challenge is the characterisation of the seismic source.

The study presented here is based on the Total Electronic Content variations mapped close to the source and shortly after the Tokachi-Oki earthquake (M=8.3) of 25 September 2003, in Japan. The rupture process is then pre-modelled in reference to the co-seismic displacements estimated by other techniques. Therefore, a modelling of the horizontal propagation of acoustic waves generated by three aligned separated sources is developed. Finally, for physical modelling of the vertical propagation, we used ray tracing in the atmosphere, in order to study the effects of the near-field pulse spreading in acoustic domain as well as the redistribution of the charged particles under geomagnetic dependency. 

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Historical Analysis of Remotely Sensed Snow Properties' Relation to Streamflow

Karl Rittger
Institute for Computational Earth System Science

In snowmelt dominated river basins, snow properties near peak accumulation are used to assess spring and summer runoff. We can measure snow-covered area and albedo from available satellite sources such as MODIS, which provides daily imagery at 500 m spatial resolution, and Landsat, which provides imagery every 16 days at 30 m.

In California's Sierra Nevada, daily snow pillow measurements of snow water equivalent are the main source of in situ information. We investigate the relationship of snow-covered area to snow water equivalent in Sierra Nevada watersheds with varying latitudes, orientations, and elevations. Based on monthly unimpaired runoff volumes, we selected a set of years during the Landsat historical record (1985-2007) that encompass 80% of the range of variability in runoff during the last century. We use multiple endmember spectral unmixing to estimate the fraction of snow in each 30 m pixel and the albedo of that fractional snow cover for the American, San Joaquin and Kern watersheds for five years that represent the minimum, quartiles and maximum April, May, and June unimpaired runoff. Recent years have produced similar variability in runoff, and daily fractional snow cover is estimated from MODIS for these years at 500 m resolution. In addition to snow-covered area and albedo, we estimate the spatial distribution of snow water equivalent by blending a hypsometric method with snow-covered area. The correlations of these estimates with streamflow are evaluated for each of the watersheds.  


Characterization of Land Uses Applying Multi-Sensor Data Within the Mercury Mining Area of Almadén, Spain

Celia Rico
Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas

The most important mercury concentration in the world is located in Almadén, Spain. Cinnabar is the predominant mineral and a history of mining activities within the region spans over a time period of more than two thousand years till the closure of the mines in 2002. Further land uses of the area are pasture land for livestock and cultivation of legumes and cereal crops in dryland farming which have gained importance after the mining activities ceased.

As a result of social and economical decline, the rehabilitation of areas affected by the mining has become a central priority within the region. The main objective is to identify and monitor abiotic and biotic characteristics of the region affected by mining activities as well as alternative human-induced activities. Spectral characteristics of land cover components are identified applying hyperspectral data. This detailed information is implemented in a time series of multispectral data to monitor the different land uses. GIS management and analyses makes it possible to integrate data from numerous sources and at different spatial scales and time periods. Monitoring results show that the distribution of areas affected by mining activities is rapidly diminishing in the most recent years.  


Synergistic retrievals of stratocumulus cloud properties

Simone Placidi
IRCTR - TU Delft

Clouds are major scattering agents of incoming solar radiation and absorbers/emitters of thermal radiation. They play a major role in determining the surface and lower atmospheric heating/cooling rates. However, even in modern sophisticated meteorological and climate models the treatment of clouds is overly simplistic, mainly due to the wide degree of variability in relevant water cloud properties and the lack of representative observations. Synergy of satellite observations with ground-based anchor stations is required to improve cloud representations. 

This research develops and validates a new method to derive the number concentration and thickness of water clouds from Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) observations, by incorporating detailed measurements at advanced ground-based observatories with a large suite of active and passive sensors. The ground-based observations are used to develop generic parameterizations of the cloud structure, which can be implemented in the satellite retrievals, and finally lead to space-based observations of the cloud structure. Moreover, the data collected from CloudSat will be ingested to have large spatial scale representations and include the detailed spaceborne cloud profiling radar observations.  The retrievals will also be simulated with ECSIM, the ESA EarthCARE mission simulator, for validation purposes.  

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Processing SEVIRI images for estimation of vertically integrated cloud liquid water or ice water content

Praveen Pandey

The geostationary satellite, Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) has onboard the Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI) imaging radiometer. SEVIRI is a 12- channel imager, with 11 channels observing the Earth's full disk with a temporal resolution of 15 min and spatial resolution of 3 km at nadir, and a high resolution visible (HRV) channel. The visible and thermal channels of SEVIRI are being used to retrieve the cloud physical properties (CPP).

The study domain is over Europe covering the region between 35°N - 70°N and 10°W - 30°E. SEVIRI level 1.5 images over this domain are being acquired from the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) archive. The processing of this imagery, involves a number of steps before estimating the CPP, viz. cloud optical depth, cloud effective radius.

The steps involved in pre-processing are as follows. First, the digital count number is acquired from the imagery. The step of image geocoding is performed in order to relate the pixel positions to the corresponding longitude and latitude. Solar zenith angle is determined as a function of latitude and time. The radiometric conversion is done using the values of offsets and slopes of respective band. The values of radiance obtained are then used to calculate the reflectance for channels in the visible spectrum using the information of solar zenith angle. For the thermal channels, the radiances are converted to brightness temperature using Planck's law.

A scheme will be used for cloud detection in order to have the information about the type and/ or the height of cloud. The values of reflectance and brightness temperature in different channels along with the knowledge of the cloud type, will be used in the estimation of CPP. Henceforth, vertically integrated liquid water (w) or ice water content will be retrieved. This w obtained from SEVIRI will be used to estimate the solar radiation flux at the surface and will be validated with in situ measurements.  

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Seasonal ice velocity variations linked to surface hydrology in West Greenland

Steven Palmer
The University of Edinburgh

An improved understanding of the interaction between surface hydrology and ice dynamics is needed to make meaningful predictions of the response of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) to anticipated climate change. Here we present a detailed study of the link between surface hydrology and seasonal velocity variations for ~7000 km2 of the Western margin of the GIS. We have processed interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) data acquired near Isunguata Sermia (67N, 49W) during the period August 1995 to May 1996. By differencing long- and short-baseline winter interferograms we derived a new 100 m resolution InSAR elevation model of the region which we used to investigate surface hydrology and map ice velocity over the study period.

In contrast to a recent study, the data reveal a non-uniform pattern of summer velocity increase extending over 100 km inland, which is intimately linked to supraglacial hydrology. Speedup is positively correlated with potential supraglacial lake area and surface catchment area, which is a proxy for melt volume. Because melt is expected to increase, these findings have implications for the likely dynamic response of the GIS in response to a warmer climate over the next 100 years.  


New Earth observation capabilities for solar radiation assessment

Armel Oumbe
Ecole des Mines de Paris

An accurate estimation of the surface solar irradiance is important for assessing the radiative forcing of the climate system and also necessary for an efficient planning and operation of harnessing solar energy to produce electricity or heat. A wealth of methods has been developed in the past years to assess solar radiation at ground level from images taken by satellites. Current methods are inverse, i.e., the inputs are satellite images whose digital counts result from the ensemble of interactions of radiation with the atmosphere and the ground and that the method deducts the radiation. 

This poster presents a new method, based on radiative transfer model. Such models require inputs describing the optical properties of the atmosphere, together with the sun position and the ground albedo. The most important properties are the optical depth and type of the aerosols, the water vapor and ozone content, the presence of cloud and if any, the cloud optical depth and type or vertical location. Such properties were not available in an operational and accurate mode till recently. Nowadays, the exploitation of recent sensors and satellite data such as MSG, Envisat and MetOp offers a favourable context for the design and exploitation of a method based on direct modelling.  

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Marine modelling and operational oceanography as tools of environmental management

Antonio Olita
Università della Tuscia , Viterbo ; IAMC - CNR

The marine modelling activity of IAMC-CNR of Oristano, in the framework of the Mediterranean Operational Oceanography Network (MOON), is conducted over several domains and at various scales through a series of high resolution 3D nested models.  The activities include the simulation of the main oceanographic parameters, the calibration/validation of the models, their interpretation, the dissemination of the products in near real time, the production of scientific papers.  Complementary activities are the collection and the analysis of remotely-sensed and in situ data, mainly used for the calibration/validation of the numerical models. 

Forecasts/hindcast of hydrodynamics and waves over the Central-Western Mediterranean sea, the Sicily Channel and the Gulf of Oristano (Western Sardinia) are provided daily through two web portals. Other tools, like ecological modelling and sediment transport, are not implemented yet in the operational systems.  Possible applications are: marine forecasting; decision support for emergency management (Oil spill); impacts of marine infrastructures; rescue and recovery; coastal erosion.  Next steps will include the development of the ecological and oil-spill modelling, and the implementation of data assimilation (SST, SSH) tools in regional models for initial conditions optimisation.  

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Seasonal Variability of the Atlantic Marine ITCZ

Ibrahim Muhammed
University of Southampton

The most notable variability in the tropical Atlantic is the migration of the Atlantic Marine ITCZ (Intertropical Convergence Zone, AMI). This controls the year-round rainfall over the ocean and the adjacent land regions. In order to evaluate the link between surface and near-surface circulation with the atmosphere, near real-time Argo floats and Pilot Research Moored Array in the Tropical Atlantic (PIRATA) moorings will be used to provide time series of seasonal variability in the region. In addition, Sea Surface Temperature from Tropical Rain Measuring Mission (TRMM), Sea Surface Height (SSH) and Geostrophic Currents from Maps of Sea Level Anomaly (MSLA) will be used to observed surface circulation. The interaction with atmospheric forcing will be evaluated using QuikScat scatterometer wind fields.  

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Contribution of -GPS and GIS-assisted Spaceborne Remote Sensing in Satellite Geodesy and in the Morpho-Seismotectonic research around the city of Thessaloniki (N. Greece).

Antonios Mouratidis
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

This study mainly focuses on two scientifically intriguing areas in the vicinity of the city of Thessaloniki, Northern Greece. The first region is Mygdonia Basin, which is located approximately 30 km east of Thessaloniki. It is a basin of tectonic origin that constitutes the most seismically active region in Northern Greece. This combination of high seismicity and population concentration make the continuous study and monitoring of this area imperative. The second area, near the rivers of Gallikos and Axios, concerns the extension of the western end of the city, where known subsidence in the order of a few cm/yr occurs.

Remote Sensing data used include ERS, Envisat/ASAR, SPOT 5, Landsat-5/TM, Landsat-7/ETM+ and TerraSAR-X, for purposes such as (a) InSAR processing, (b) extraction of high-resolution Digital Elevation Model (DEM) from stereo images, (c) implementation of data fusion techniques of SAR and multispectral images. Additionally, extensive kinematic GPS measurements have been carried out, whereas G.I.S. are being used for the collection, synthesis, correlation, analysis and visualisation of all data and results.

Preliminary results from C-band SAR interferometry and experience gained from the use of extensive kinematic GPS measurements for supporting and validating remote sensing techniques are primarily discussed here.  

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3D Modeling of Central East Florida Currents over the Continental Shelf

Aurelie Moulin
Florida Institute of Technology

The central east Florida region is poorly sampled and current patterns over the Oculina Bank region are poorly known. The area is an essential habitat for many commercial fish species and is critical to Florida tourism. The Oculina Bank is designated as a Habitat Area of Particular Concern (HAPC) because of its role in fisheries recruitment.

An array composed of three bottom-mounted ADCPs was deployed for one month taking current, bottom pressure and temperature measurements. The data could provide information about the importance of tides and eddies shed from the Florida Current, and provide a baseline for kinetic behavior of the water column. This data set will be fed into the predictive Florida Tech Ocean Model (FOM). This model provides time-dependent, three-dimensional results using primitive equations to predict circulation and transport with the following characteristics: 1) sigma coordinate terrain following; 2) momentum equations include nonlinear horizontal advection; and 3) modification of the momentum equations that reduces the amplification of truncation errors in the baroclinic force terms. FOM resolves sharp topography changes, making it well-suited for the central east Florida Shelf and Oculina Bank.


A hydrological model supporting water resources management in the Okavango Delta

Christian Milzow
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

Botswana's Okavango Delta is a vast wetland situated in the mostly arid southern Africa. It is protected by the Ramsar convention but economic growth of the tributary countries (Angola, Namibia and Botswana) will lead to increased pressure on its feeding river, the Okavango, for agricultural water abstractions and production of electrical energy. Global warming and related changes in precipitation and evapotranspiration are expected to strongly affect the wetland. 

A distributed coupled surface water-groundwater model of the Okavango Delta has been developed based on the software MODFLOW 2000. It accounts for groundwater flow, slow overland flow in the swamps and fast channel flow. The objective of the model is to better understand the hydrological and hydraulic aspects of this complex ecosystem and eventually predict the impact of human interventions on the flooding patterns. It will provide a tool for decision makers involved to assess the impact of possible upstream dams and water abstractions under different scenarios for climate change.  The size and limited accessibility of the wetland make direct data acquisition on the ground difficult. Remote sensing methods are the most promising source of acquiring geographically distributed data for both, model input and calibration.  

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Deforestation and forest degradation in Sri Lanka a pilot project of a potential REDD mechanism

Eskil Mattsson
University of Gothenburg

Optical remote sensing is used in an integrated assessment of feasibility of estimating historic carbon in forest ecosystems on Sri Lanka. This project is closely linked to the ongoing mitigation option suggested as reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries - REDD. This is at present one of the most central issues within the international climate change negotiations.

Pilot projects as in this case, are crucial for supporting decision-making procedures since many developing countries (including Sri Lanka) still lack updated information that explicitly assess carbon content. Here we test the feasibility of measuring changes in forest and hence its carbon content using Landsat TM/ETM+ combined with ground truthing verification to retrieve data on past land-use and forest changes from 1990 to 2005. Land cover classification is performed using a standard pixel-based approach as well an object-based approach to reach an improved result. Mosaic development will be carried out when possible to make a wall-to-wall coverage.

Results are evaluated separately as well as in combination in nesting approaches to increase interpretation accuracy. Visual interpretation of the result will be carried out in collaboration with Sri Lankan colleagues, who are familiar with the region which will increase the accuracy of the interpretation.  

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Thematic mapping of snow covered areas from the analysis of remotely sensed images for application to hydrological modeling

Giorgia Macchiavello
Environmental Monitoring Centre

Snow plays an important roles in mountain regions hydrology, such as Alpine and Appennines regions, not only for water supply recharge but for flooding too. The availability of remotely sensed images and then analysis can provide information as snow cover, fundamental for calibration and validation of snow models.

This work proposes a method to automatically map the snow cover from multispectral images. Given a classification problem, effectiveness of a Decision Tree Classifier (DTC) has been verified. The DTC approach decomposes the problem in a suitable tree-structured set of binary classification sub-problems, for which simple (threshold-based) decision rules were defined. A drawback of the method is the presence of internal threshold parameters to be empirically set by the user or by means of a wide set of training samples. During the calibration of the tree structure, DTC was combined with an unsupervised technique to automatically select optimal values for thresholds. A Bayesian approach was adopted to express the problem of threshold selection as the minimization of a functional related to the probability of classification error.

In addition, an evaluation of the results was carried out by comparing results with higher resolution supervised classification maps. 

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The Effect of Biochemical Energy Release on Soil

Catherine Luke
University of Exeter

Heat energy is released into the soil through microbial respiration. The aim of this study is to consider the effect of this energy upon soil temperature and carbon.  

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Present and Future Crop Production in the North China Plain

Longhui Li
Department of Water Resources, ITC

Agroecosystem model could be potentially used for predicting crop yield in both site and regional scales. However, crop yield forecasts with agroecosystem model over large areas are typically confronted with large uncertainties. In order to improve regional crop yield forecasts over regional scales, data assimilation technique is used through updating modelled state variables with remote sensed (RS) data. 

This research will assimilate RS derived soil moisture and leaf area index (LAI) into an agroecosystem model (RZWQM-DSSAT) with Ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF). Agroecosystem model simulations with EnKF for winter wheat and summer maize were carried out for the North China Plain for the period 1999-2005. Agricultural water scanty will be evaluated by exploring RZWQM-DSSAT model in the North China Plain (NCP).  Another challenge in the proposed project will assess the potential impacts of future climate change on the crop yields of the major crops in the NCP. Output climatic data derived from PRECIS (Providing Regional Climate for Impacts Studies) based on the IPCC climate change scenarios are used to force the RZWQM-DSSAT hybrid model. The changes in crop yield and agricultural water supply-and-demand in the NCP will be assessed.  

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Advances in weather forecast by assimilation of surface observations and GPS data

Sabine Leroch
Center of Meteorology and Geophysics

An analysis at a certain time, as close as possible to the real atmospheric state, requires the assimilation of a vast number of observation data into the numerical weather model. The basic equation in variational data-assimilation can be deduced by minimization of an appropriate cost function which is a measure for the variance from the true state in dependence of background and observation errors. One of the simplest methods to analyze surface fields provides the optimal interpolation. In a first step towards full data assimilation additional SYNOP data are assimilated into the ALADIN operational weather model to improve the analysis of 2m and soil fields. The effect on the weather forecast is investigated and in a further step the calculated 2m fields will be used in the framework of 3DVar to correct the upper-air fields.

As a second approach the assimilation of GPS data into the nowcasting tool INCA (Integrated Nowcasting through Comprehensive Analysis) is presented. Applying a simple Cressman algorithm satellite precipitable water values are assimilated and used to correct the first guess humidity profiles of the numerical weather model. It turned out that the GPS profiles agree rather well with radiosonde ones. Moreover the time evolution of the precipitable water is in strong correlation to the current weather situation: Highly changeable weather situations like frontal passages can be recognised from GPS data up to three hours earlier than in the model. So the GPS data can contribute to improve precipitation forecast. 

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Snow remote sensing at Finnish Meteorological Institute

Panu Lahtinen
Finnish Meteorological Institute

Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) participates in several projects involving remote sensing of snow.

In these projects research are done in snow detection (H-SAF, Land-SAF), fractional snow cover (H-SAF), snow dry/wet classification (H-SAF), snow freeze/thaw cycle (Snowclim), and Snow depth and water equivalent (H-SAF, Polarview, Snowclim). The projects are funded by Eumetsat, Academy of Finland and European Space Agency.

Some of the projects aim at operational services (HSAF, Land-SAF) and the rest are more focused on pure research. The data used for the studies range from optical and microwave remote sensing instruments to in situ observations of snow, for example snow course measurements. Also wide snow and albedo experiments are ongoing (SNORTEX), which give valuable information for validation purposes.

FMI does close co-operation with Helsinki University of Technology and Finnish Environment Institute in developing methods for snow remote sensing.

This poster presents examples on products in which the author has been involved either in development or implementation. Some further ideas for development are also disgussed.

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Assessing combusted biomass from African savana wildfires using SEVIRI geostationary imagery. Comparison with the preburned biomass availability derived from the SPOT - VGT NPP product.

Emmanouil Lagoudakis
King's College London, London

We examined the relationship between the combusted biomass and the pre-burn biomass availability for 18 burned grassland savanna areas in Southern Africa. We used SEVIRI FRP data to assess the combusted biomass and the SPOT VGT NPP product to estimate the pre-burn biomass availability. MODIS Level 1b imagery was used for the burned area detection and mapping. A strong linear and highly significant relationship was found (r2 = 0.94, n = 14, p < 0.0001) between the two variables. For the 18 processed fires, FRE ranged from 0.04 to 23.2 Tjoules combusting 15.5 and 8531.3 tones of biomass respectively. All the fires combusted a total of 38240 tones in a burned area of 270.06 km2. 

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Data assimilation in NWP and land surface model for drought monitoring

Oleksiy Kravchenko
Space Research Institute of NASU-NSAU

To detect drought condition, estimate drought extent and assess damage such as crop yield losses it is necessary to consider several key parameters of coupled soil-canopy system such as soil temperature and moisture profiles, vegetation water content and pigments concentrations. Modern remote sensing sensors such as MODIS, MERIS, ASAR can provide estimates of some of these variables with sufficient spatial and temporal resolution. However soil moisture estimates and especially soil temperature and moisture profiles remain challenging for current remote sensing. To overcome these deficiencies modern Land Surface Models (LSM) with proper data assimilation procedures can be used. 

In this study the cascade of WRF Numerical Weather Prediction and Noah Land Surface Model were used. The results of WRF simulations are used to provide meteorological forcing data for Noah model. The performance of the models was examined on exceptional drought in Southern Ukraine in 2007. Several long-term continuous run experiments for April-August 2007 with different parametrization options were conducted. To ensure stability of the models analysis nudging was used, which is simple but efficient four-dimensional data assimilation scheme available in WRF modelling system. Model's results were validated against SYNOP observations and MODIS based Land Surface Temperatures estimates.  

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Observing the global distribution of atmospheric CH4 from space

Diane Knappett
University of Leicester

Atmospheric methane (CH4) plays a significant role in global warming despite being present in the atmosphere in smaller quantities than carbon dioxide (CO2) and has a radiative forcing efficiency or 'global warming potential' of 21 times greater than that of CO2. The annual global source strength of CH4 is fairly well constrained to 550 (±50) Tg from the study of tropospheric OH which is the dominant sink for atmospheric CH4. However, there is a distinct lack of knowledge surrounding individual sources and sinks of methane and their variability with time which has resulted in the recent decline in the growth rate of CH4 remaining unexplained.

The FSI WFM-DOAS retrieval algorithm, previously applied to CO2 data from SCIAMACHY (Barkley et al., 2006), has been adapted to perform retrievals of CH4 and produced encouraging first results. After sensitivity tests have been carried out the FSI algorithm will be used to generate a new global multi-year CH4 dataset. The aim of this work is to investigate recent controversial findings such as observations of elevated CH4 abundances over the tropics (which may be linked to reported in-situ emission of CH4 from plants) and the possibility of large scale CH4 emissions from permafrost regions.


Satellite observations of aerosol-cloud interactions

Lars Klüser
German Aerospace Center (DLR), German Remote Sensing Data Center

Through aerosol-cloud-interactions both, macrophysical (e.g. cloud cover, precipitation) and microphysical (e.g. cloud optical depth, cloud top temperature) properties of clouds can be modified. On the other hand, clouds do also influence the aerosol concentrations, mainly by wet deposition, but also e.g. by mobilisation of mineral dust due to strong surface winds associated to convective cloud systems.

Cloud and aerosol observations from the geostationary Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) and the polar-orbiting Envisat satellites are analysed to detect type-dependent aerosol-cloud interactions in different analysis regions such as the West-African Monsoon region, the Namib and Kalahri region or the tropical Atlantic Ocean. The analysis does not only incorporate aerosol optical depth (AOD) as an estimation of aerosol concentrations, but also information of the aerosol type observed, which is especially important to the understanding of aerosol-cloud interactions. 

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Science Education through Earth Observation for High Schools - Teaching Marine Pollution via the Internet

Christina Klose
University of Oldenburg, Institute of Physics

The aim of the eLearning tutorial is to increase awareness among high school students of the damage done by marine pollution, and what may be done by individuals and society to protect valuable marine environments. Through carefully selected examples, students will understand how the state of the oceans may impact their everyday lives, even if they live many hundred kilometres away from the coasts and don't eat fish. The tutorial covers the main sources of marine pollution, the impact of different pollutants, methods to detect pollution, and ways in which pollution may be prevented and environmental damage minimised. There are sections on oil pollution, harmful algal blooms, litter, invasive species, and invisible pollutants such as chemicals, heavy metals, thermal and noise pollution.

Throughout the main focus is on the monitoring of different types of marine pollution using a range of remote sensing techniques, each with their own strengths and limitations.  Carefully selected case studies demonstrate how the different sensors are used, individually and in synergy, to provide a thoroughly modern system for monitoring pollution and its impacts on the marine environment.   


Data Assimilation Into Marine Ecosystem Models

Mehera Kidston
University of New South Wales & CSIRO

An optimisation experiment is performed with a nitrogen based ecosystem model compeosed of four state variables; dissolved inorganic nitrogen, phytoplankton, zooplankton and detritus in the upper mixed layer calibrated for the Sub-Antarctic Zone of the Southern Ocean. Stochastic methods of Simulated Annealing and the Metropolis-Hastings algorithm are formulated to directly determine the model parameters required to reproduce the observable data.  


Seasonal and interannual variability of the surface circulation in the Nordic Seas.

Anna Kaczmarska
National Oceanography Centre

The Nordic Seas are the regions of exchanges between the Arctic and the Atlantic oceans. Furthermore, they are the regions of deep-water formation. By providing a substantial part of the source waters for North Atlantic Deep Water the Nordic Seas influence the global thermohaline circulation. Therefore, an understanding of the Nordic Seas circulation and its variability is needed to determine how changes in the high latitude climate affect the global thermohaline circulation and the regional climate.

Although, the summer circulation in the region is known from in-situ and other measurements, knowledge about the winter circulation is limited because of the unavailability of data from the ice-covered seas. However, Peacock and Laxon (2004, J Geophys Res, 109, C07001) showed that it is possible to derive sea surface height anomaly from satellite altimeter data in ice-covered seas.

The aim of this talk is to analyse variability of the surface circulation in the Nordic Seas. The study presents novel satellite-altimeter data derived from ice-covered seas combined with altimeter records from the open ocean. Envisat altimeter data for a four-year period, beginning in October 2002, has been used and corrected by applying a set of relevant geophysical corrections. Seasonal and interannual variability of the sea surface height anomaly and circulation is discussed. 

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Hyperspectral image analysis and classification

Are Charles Jensen
University of Oslo

Classification of remotely sensed hyperspectral images calls for a classifier that gracefully handles high dimensional data, where the amount of samples available for training might be very low relative to the dimension. Even when using simple parametric classifiers such as the Gaussian Maximum Likelihood rule, the large number of bands leads to copious amounts of parameters, and thereby unstable estimates and classifiers prone to overfitting.

To alleviate these problems one can reduce the dimensionality by feature reduction, or try to regularize parameters by biasing them towards simpler and more stable estimates. In both of these approaches, an important a-priori knowledge of the data is that it consists of samples from a continuous curve.

This information is implicitly included in our simple, intuitive and fast dimensionality reduction approach, in which we average contiguous spectral bands in a way that optimally preserves the data in the mean square sense.

In trying to build a full-dimensional classifier, we have focused on recasting the estimation of the precision matrix in a regression setting where incorporating our a-priori knowledge might be less difficult.   


Oil spills on the surface of northern seas: Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) investigation

Natalia Ivanova
Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center

Last years oil production and transportation by tankers in the northern seas region are intensively developing. Therefore satellite detection of the contaminations becomes of great importance. This detection is possible if relation between satellite signal and oil spill characteristics is properly determined. It was done before but existing model could be improved.

Ways of improvement of existing method for oil spills detection are presented here. One step is description of wind field in specific conditions of northern seas. This is presence of ice and therefore of leads/polynias and ice edges, which makes underlying surface inhomogeneous. The second step is introduction of oil film approximation. It was used to consider contamination film as monomolecular that is very thin (typical for natural films), but in fact oil film is of finite thickness what is taken into account in the present investigation as well as some additional parameters of oil film. Accent of investigation is made on Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) because this instrument can operate independently on daytime, weather conditions and has wide coverage and high resolution.  

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Analysis of the deformations of Western Corinth Rift by satellite geodesy

Maya Ilieva
Ecole Normale Supérieure

The target of this study is a particular zone within the borders of Eastern Mediterranean on the boundary of the African plate subduction beneath the Eurasia plate and the collision of the latter with the Apulian plate. The investigation covers the Gulf of Patras and Central Ionian Islands. The area of Patras is a transition zone between the Corinth rift and the northwestern end of the Hellenic arc, while the area of the Central Ionian Islands of transition between the West Hellenic arc and the Apulian plate is recognised as Kephalonia Fault Zone (KFZ) with strike-slip faulting.

These zones are characterised by high seismicity and natural hazard potential. One of the most significant recent events (M = 6.3) there occurred on 14 August 2003, northwest of the Lefkada island.  In this study, the InSAR technique is applied to detect the ground displacements caused by this strong earthquake. A set of Envisat images provided by ESA are being used and all possible interferograms are processed with the ROI_PAC software. Additionally, a synthetic model of the earthquake, based on the ascending and descending acquisition geometry has been generated. The aim is to constrain the location of the KFZ in the section of Lefkada Island as part of the western boundary of the studied block.  

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Satellite-Based Estimates of River Runoff

Steffen Grünler
University of Hamburg

One promising technique for river runoff estimates from space is the retrieval of surface currents on the basis of synthetic aperture radar along-track interferometry (ATI). The German satellite TerraSAR-X, which was launched in June 2007, will permit ATI measurements.

Based on numerical simulations, Grünler will present findings of a research project in which the potential of satellite measurements of various parameters with different temporal (aliasing effects) and spatial sampling characteristics is evaluated and a dedicated data synthesis system for river runoff estimates is developed. Grünler will address the achievable accuracy and limitations of such estimates for different local flow conditions at selected test sites. High-resolution three-dimensional current fields in the Elbe river (Germany) from a numerical model are used as reference data set and input for simulations of a variety of possible measuring and data interpretation strategies to be evaluated. For example, discharge estimates on the basis of measured surface current fields and river widths from TerraSAR-X and water levels from radar altimetry are simulated. Using the known Manning equation discharge can be directly retrieved.

Grünler will discuss the applicability of the measuring strategies to a number of major rivers around the world.  

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Atmospheric Data Access for the Geospatial User Community

Nicoline Groot
Wageningen University and Research Center

As the atmospheric and meteorological communities have their own data formats and tools for data handling, sharing these data with the geospatial communities is difficult. They are becoming of increasing interest outside of these communities though, due to the continuously improving spatial and temporal resolution of e.g. model and satellite data and the interest in historical datasets.

Geopgraphically based datasets are now increasingly being used in a cross-domain manner. This development is supported by the progress made in Geographical Information System (GIS) software. Though current GIS software can not yet handle atmospheric data, hints of new software are already visible through e.g. support of HDF, NetCDF and an increased understanding of temporal issues. To aid in this trend, the ADAGUC project aims to reduce the need for scientists to invent their own conversion tools. Selected space borne atmospheric datasets will be made accessible for GIS software. Both the geospatial and the atmospheric user communities are intensively involved in the project for a high fitness for use.

The deliverables of this project are: Open Source conversion tools, selected atmospheric datasets in a GIS-friendly format and a web service to demonstrate the usability of the above to the geospatial and atmospheric community.  

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Numerical Modelling of Time-Dependent Thermal Convection in Earth's Mantle

Petar Glisovic
Université du Québec à Montreal

Our goal is to establish a global model of the dynamics of the solid Earth which will provide a spatial-temporal description of the thermodynamic evolution of Earth's mantle in the geologic past.

The basic physical process we wish to model is thermal convective transport of heat and mass in Earth's interior. For the thermal convection is used a numerical model of mantle convection in 3-D spherical geometry. A pseudo-spectral method is used for the time-integration of the temperature while the equations of conservation of mass and momentum are solved only once in terms of spectral Green functions. The model incorporates surface plates and variations of viscosity with depth were obtained in a recent joint inversion of convection-related geodynamic data and shorter time scale post-glacial rebound data. Estimates of the thermal heterogeneity of the mantle which were derived on the basis of global seismic-geodynamic models are used as starting points for numerical simulations of the mantle thermal evolution. Improved efficiency in the numerical simulations is obtained by using a parallelized C++ code.

We wish to investigate an outstanding issue in mantle convection dynamics, namely how to carry out "weather hindcasting" of the past dynamical states of the Earth's interior using the principles of Data Assimilation.  

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Using Remote Sensing Imagery for Azores Islands Natural Resources Characterization

Artur Gil
University of Azores

This poster shows the main strategy designed to develop the Phd project started in 2008: "Using Remote Sensing Imagery for Azores Islands Natural Resources Characterization".

This research is focused on the use of passive remote sensing imagery to characterise the Azores Islands territory at three different levels:

- Land Cover and Biological Resources
- Geological Resources;
- Hydrological Resources.

This PhD project is funded by the Azores Regional Research & Development Secretary.  

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Satellite Hyperspectral Remote Sensing for Forest Species Mapping and Landscape Analysis

Georgia Galidaki
University of Trieste

Information on species distribution is a key forest-ecological inventory objective which hasn't been able to be met with the use of multispectral data. The use of hyperspectral imagery, which is a relatively recent and novel data source, is being investigated and has shown some very interesting primary results. However, because of the limited number of studies only a narrow combination of sensors and environments has been tested.

The aim of this study is to determine whether satellite hyperspectral imagery (Hyperion, CHRIS) is a useful tool for forest species distribution mapping and landscape analysis in a Mediterranean forest (Thasos island, Greece), mostly dominated by Pinus sp. The performance of the two sensors is going to be compared, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of a summer and an autumn Hyperion image. At a later stage, the produced maps are going to be used for monitoring the ecological succession between 1984, when a major fire disturbance occurred, and 2003, date of imagery acquisition. If hyperspectral imagery proves to be adequate for mapping forest species, it would provide a new framework for conducting qualitative/quantitative ecological analysis on a landscape level, based on information derived from satellite remotely sensed data.  

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Assimilation of low-level cloud

Alison Fowler
University of Reading

A major hurdle for operational numerical weather prediction is the assimilation of 'cloudy' observations. It is thought that this data is particularly valuable to the forecast due to its sensitivity to regions of cloud. A large wealth of data observing clouds is available from remote sensors on board satellites. However it is difficult to retrieve information about temperature and humidity from these sources due to the complicated manner in which clouds affect the propagation of infrared radiation and the inadequate way that clouds are represented in models. This results in a large amount of this data being discarded.  Even if in-situ observations of cloud are used, problems with assimilating clouds still occur. This is primarily due to the difficulty in modelling cloud variables' errors as Gaussian which is an important assumption for variational data assimilation, and their nonlinear relationship with other atmospheric state variables. Difficulty also arises in prescribing a static covariance matrix for the background errors in cloudy conditions.

This poster investigates possible methods for the improvement of the background error covariance matrix for the assimilation of cloudy data. Particular emphasis is given to atmospheric boundary layer cloud which has a large impact on surface maximum and minimum temperatures. 

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Interpretation of ASAR and MERIS images for the purpose of validating SMOS data

Anna Foks-Ryznar
Space Research Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences

From 2009 the ESA Mission SMOS will observe the Earth by capturing images of emitted microwave radiation (1.4 GHz) in order to provide the spatial distribution of soil moisture (SM) over the landmasses and sea surface salinity (SSS) over the oceans. The objective is to observe these ECVs (SM and SSS) strongly related to the water cycle, for the purpose of research on global climate change.  In order to prepare ourselves to validate SMOS, we use the data available from other missions - Envisat ASAR and MERIS.  As the wetlands have a significant influence on the hydrological cycle, we are focused on Polesie, one of the largest European swampy areas, located within Belarus, Ukraine and Poland. The results of ASAR images supervised classification and NDVI or fAPAR calculation based on MERIS data will be compared with ground-based measurements.  


Database of satellite information for the Northern Atlantic

Ana Rita Ferreira
Faculty of Sciences- University of Porto, Maths. Dept.

In the current work, a database of oceanographic information is presented, based in remote sensing sensors, for the region of Northern Atlantic surrounding the Iberian Peninsula. These results were obtained through a collaboration of two different projects, sponsored by Foundation of Science and Technology: "Study the Portuguese Oceanic Coastal zone Using remote Sensing data" (POCUS) and Northwest Iberian Coastal Current (NICC).

In this database information from different parameters can be found, such as radar Altimetry, Sea Surface Temperature and Ocean colour. The current work, in particular, will focus on the last two parameters.  In a briefly way, the process how this database is being build and its structure will be described, presenting some examples of applications far from those that are contemplated in the referred projects.  


GeoSat - Methodologies to extract large scale GEOgraphical information from very high resolution SATtellite images

Sandra Efigénio
Lisbon City Council

Keywords: Very High Resolution satellite image, Base and thematic carthography, Municipal Plans (Master Plans), Updating Geographical Data Bases

The GeoSAT is a joint Project, recently accepted for founding by the Foundation for Science and Technology witch general goal is to study the viability of very high resolution (VHR) satellite images to produce and update geographic information for the Lisbon Municipality, to be used in the processing chain of municipal plans.  The scientific and technical goals of this project are the definition of optimal methods to improve geographic information extraction from VHR satellite images for municipal applications, based on innovative processing techniques and the production of intermediate cartographic products regularly updated with satellite images.

The implementation of these methodologies in City council of Lisbon's workflow, will act as a test and will allow the validation of a replicable protocol for other City councils of the country, namely the ones that manage territories with great land of use changes: cities from regions of Lisbon and Tagus Vale (where Lisbon Metropolitan Area is located), North (where Oporto Metropolitan Area is located), Center and Algarve 

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Medium resolution soil moisture dataset over Europe

Marcela Doubkova
Institute of Photogrametry and Remote Sensing, Vienna University of Technology

Soil moisture (SM) is an important parameter for hydrological modelling and crop yield prediction. The ability of radar sensors to monitor soil moisture has been demonstrated in numerous studies. Yet, only coarse resolution (>25km) soil moisture products are available over the European continent.

In this work, the soil moisture product derived from the ERS scatterometer data at 50 km spatial resolution is presented and a downscaling technique is evaluated that provides soil moisture at 1 km scale. The presented downscaling technique stands upon the concept of temporal stability of soil moisture.  Despite the high heterogeneity of the study area, additional SM information to that demonstrated by the ERS data could be retrieved from the downscaled product at 1 km spatial resolution. The SM patterns of the downscaled product correlated to the 1 km SM data from the Envisat Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) Global Mode (GM). While these findings are preliminary, they provide promising results for the hydrological and meteorological community operating at spatial scales of 5 km and higher. 

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Spectral reflectance of inland sebkhas in NE Spain

Manuela Dominguez
Aragon Government

Saline wetlands are ecological systems of great complexity, in continuous change, and especially vulnerable to alteration processes. The aim of this study is to develop an integrated methodology to know the spectral responses of different states of soil and vegetation to monitor changes in these environments.

The most representative sites of soils and vegetation have been selected taking into account differences in soil humidity, superficial aspect, colour, and density of vegetation cover. Radiometric and field measurements of these sites were collected. Field spectroscopy provides the advantage of allowing to establish a relation between the spectral characteristics of these environments and biophisical attributes of interest.  Both high spatial and spectral resolution are important factors for the scale of our study, and specially to know the variability of the conditions of soil surface. Spectral field information was related to Quickbird bands providing enough resolution to discriminate covers and helped to know the spectral characteristics of semiarid environments. 

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Bio-optical Characterization of the Arctic Ocean by Lidar Fluorosensor

Annalisa Di Cicco

Arctic Ocean is probably the water body more affected by global warming. In the framework of a collaboration with the Institute of Oceanology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Laser Applications Section (FIM-FISLAS) of the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and the Environment (ENEA) deployed the ENEA Lidar Fluorosensor (ELF) on-board the research vessel Oceania during the AREX 2007 oceanographic campaigns off the Svalbard Islands from 6 to 23 July 2007.

The main parts of the system are a frequency tripled Nd:YAG and a telescope detecting Raman scattering by water and laser-induced fluorescence by chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) and algal pigments (chlorophyll-a, phycoerythrin and phycocyanin). ELF sounded remotely the water surface operating H24. As a result, it provided a spatio-temporal picture of CDOM and algal pigments in a wide oceanic region. That information can be used for cal/val of ocean colour satellite radiometers and, together with the temperature, salinity and water speed profiles measured by Polish researchers, can improve our understanding of the biogeochemical cycles taking place in the oceanic stream east of the Svalbard Islands. 

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Quality Improvement of ERS Scatterometer Data for Soil Moisture Retrieval

Giovanna De Chiara
University of Salerno

Soil moisture is recognised as a key variable in different hydrological and ecological processes as it controls the exchange of water and heat energy between land surface and the atmosphere. Long-term homogeneous datasets with global coverage are essential to assimilate soil moisture information into hydrological and climatic models.

Different studies have been demonstrated that both active and passive microwave satellite sensors are able to retrieve soil moisture of the surface layer at a global scale.  The scatterometer has been originally designed for wind retrieval over the ocean but now it is proved that scatterometer data may be also useful for other applications such as soil moisture which requires global coverage products and long term backscatter information.

In this poster we present the new ERS Scatterometer products, reprocessed within the ASPS (Advanced Scatterometer Processing System) project. This project is aimed to reprocess the entire ERS1-2 Scatterometer mission and provide data with improved radiometric quality and products with enhanced resolution (25km). The proposed approach based on these ASPS products is also presented in the poster: comparison of the sigma nought and SWI retrieved with the algorithm developed by TU Wien with the available soil moisture data from other satellite instruments. 

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Pattern Oil Spills Characterization in Optical Satellite Images

Linda Corucci
University of Pisa

Oil spills are causing serious damage to marine and coastal ecosystem. The detection of oil spills can be efficiently improved by the use of satellite images since they offer an economical and easy way of large areas monitoring. SAR images have been widely used for oil spill detection, as they are not affected by local weather conditions and cloudiness. Anyway, radar backscatter values for oil spills are similar to backscatter values for very calm sea areas because the presence of an oil spill dampens capillary and short gravity waves. This causes a high number of false alarms.

Oil spills detection using optical images is more difficult because good weather conditions and day light are needed. However these weather conditions are likely for instance in the Mediterranean area and the high rate of optical sensor images availability make this approach worth of interest.

Up to date the scientific literature is poor of contribution in this field. The aim of this work is to study the possible advantages of an optical investigation. In particular, a statistical analysis of the spectral signature of some oil spills cases is presented. Moreover, the development of a detection algorithm based on computational intelligence techniques, such as neural networks, is considered using optical satellite images. 

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Application of deformation monitoring by using differential SAR interferometry in case of volcanology

Xiaoying Cong
Technische Universität München

DInSAR has nowadays become an important means for measuring and monitoring surface displacements of various types. As recently launched SAR systems like TerraSAR-X, Cosmo-Skymed, RADARSAT-2 and ALOS-PALSAR are characterised especially by improved spatial resolution and greatly reduced repeat orbit cycle. Adapted and new methods are therefore necessary.

The presented work is embedded into the framework of the Exupéry project, which is a multidisciplinary project aiming at setting-up an Early Response System for Volcanic Activity. Multi-frequency SAR data, respectively, X-, C- and L-Band, were used for test sites. The characteristics of using different wavelengths will be compared, analysed and modelled.  Azores (Portugal) and Stromboli (Italy) were chosen for the test sites. The volcano Stromboli is very active and poses challenges for side-looking SAR images because of its mountainous slopes and its unrest causing temporal decorrelation.

In the project Exupéry, different acquisition geometries were used with different incidence angles, descending and ascending orbits. The volcanic movements were measured with differential phases and measurement accuracy will be compared with on site measurements like GPS and ground based DInSAR later for field campaign in Azores. The estimated deformation will be then incorporated into geophysical stress models to initialise, calibrate and, ultimately, improve the models.  

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Satellite Remote Sensing for Natural Disasters Mitigation

Enrico Cadau
University of Rome, Sapienza

Advanced data collection is closely linked to space-based EO activities, relying increasingly on remote sensing satellite systems, in addition to Earth-based in situ monitoring facilities. Very recently in fact satellite systems for remote sensing are required to provide images with a spatial and temporal resolution suitable to be applied for the management of disasters like earthquakes, floods, forest fires, volcanic eruptions and humanitarian crisis.

High resolution (HR) satellite imagery can provide a good insight into the magnitude of a disaster and a detailed assessment of the damage but usually they are not immediately available. Low Resolution images instead are more suitable to provide a prompt but general information just after the disaster and to monitor continuously the area of interest. The synergetic use of both imagery can help the decision makers in order to prevent or to contrast such crisis situations.  

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Modeling timeseries of microwave brightness temperature at Dome-C, Antarctica.

Ludovic Brucker
Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Géophysique de l'Environnement

Over ice-sheet, space-borne microwave radiometers routinely measure snow thermal emission that depends mostly on snow temperature, density and grain size profiles. Passive remote sensing could therefore be used to retrieve surface temperature at large scale over Antarctica with application to climate studies.  The present work aims at explaining the observed timeseries of brightness temperature (Tb) over a year at Dome C, a typical site of the High Antarctic Plateau, using a microwave emission model MEMLS, measured snowpack properties and a Bayesian approach (used to estimate some grain size profiles).

The originality of these measurements is mainly about the grain size parameter. The new method uses near infra-red photographies to measure the reflected light in the range 850-1000~nm. The optical diameter (or equivalently the Specific Surface Area, SSA) is calculated from the calibrated reflectance. This repeatable, accurate and high vertical resolution method was applied in Antarctica for the first time.

The modeled timeseries of Tb are analysed and compared to the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-EOS (AMSR-E).  

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The influence of phytoplankton functional types in air sea CO2 flux variability

Robert Brewin
University of Plymouth

Satellite remote sensing of ocean colour is currently the only way of measuring synoptically wide-area ocean properties such as phytoplankton abundance (Lavender et al. 2005). Recent bio-optical methods have been established that use satellite data to differentiate between certain phytoplankton functional types (PFTs) e.g. Ciotti et al (2002); Sathyendranath et al (2004); Alvain et al (2005); and Hirata et al (accepted). Furthermore, Raitsos et al (2008) developed an ecological approach which incorporates ecological and geographical knowledge, together with ocean colour, bio-optical characteristics and remotely sensed physical parameters. We apply these techniques to a long-term ocean colour merged data set from the GlobColour project, and validate the results using a composite in situ dataset.

For future work we intend to compare the results to CO2 flux variation hindcasts developed within the FOAM-HadOCC system, in order to better understand the contribution of different PFTs to global CO2 flux variability. This will ultimately result in a better understanding of how the oceans influence CO2 fluxes and how this is likely to change in the future. 

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Surface Soil Moisture Retrieval in Southern Ireland using Envisat ASAR and ALOS PALSAR data.

Brian Barrett
University College Cork (UCC)

The importance of land surface–atmosphere interactions, principally soil moisture, on hydrological, meteorological, and ecological processes has gained widespread recognition over the past decades. Its high spatial and temporal variability though, makes it difficult to monitor effectively and thus introduces inaccuracy into the modelling of these processes where it is implicated. There is a need, therefore, for an efficient and comprehensive approach to reliably estimating spatially distributed near surface soil moisture, wherein spaceborne microwave remote sensing offers a prime solution.

The purpose of this research is to addresses the potential of Envisat ASAR and ALOS PALSAR Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) in extracting information on surface soil moisture content over different land covers in southern Ireland using different sensor configurations. The applied technique is based on deriving the relative changes in soil moisture between different SAR acquisitions using a multi-temporal analysis. Simultaneous with each data acquisition, ground measurements of soil and vegetation parameters are being taken within the study sites. Experiments and their analysis are still on-going; however some preliminary results are presented. 

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Satellite data versus in situ data in Drake Passage

Nicolas Barre

The Southern Ocean, the only ocean that circles the globe without being blocked by land, is home to the largest of the world's ocean currents, the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC). While the ACC is the major inter-ocean link, our understanding of the variability of the ACC and the impact of such variability on the climate system is rudimentary.

Monitoring the ACC transport is essential for understanding the coupling of this major current with climate change. It is not an easy matter since the current is concentrated in highly variable narrow bands of swifts currents and since energetic eddies of all sizes are numerous.  Our experimental set up is designed to use the complementarity between satellite and in situ observations. In January 2006, 10 currentmeter moorings were deployed in the Drake Passage below track 104 of the altimetric satellite JASON-1 and two high-resolution full depth hydrological sections were carried out along this track.

We use satellite data (ocean colour, sea surface temperature, altimetry) to describe the mesoscale activity during the cruise. Then, we place the cruise in the climatic context derived from analyzing years of satellite data. Finally, we carry out a Jason-1 data validation along track 104.

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Spatial and functional urban system modeling by integrated analysis of remote sensing data and socioeconomic information

Christoph Aubrecht
Austrian Research Centers GmbH

Integrative analysis of Earth observation data and socioeconomic information enables the transition of land cover and urban structures to a functional urban system model.

Object based image analysis is used to identify urban structures. The implementation of LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) significantly enhances the classification of optical imagery both in terms of accuracy as well as automation.

Land cover types are additionally differentiated based on the relative height above ground enabling the derivation of a 3D building model. After enhancing visualization aspects by contour generalization this model forms the basis for integration of socioeconomic data to identify urban functions. Buildings are split into building parts by creating Thiessen polygons based on geocoded address point data. Company data is linked to this address information resulting in significant refinement of the functional classification and concrete identification of building use. By means of spatial disaggregation raster population data is distributed to potential residential buildings. Building use and height information are considered for assessing the relevant potential residential capacity. A high accuracy of disaggregation is guaranteed using these additional information sources. Quantitative accuracy assessment by Statistik Austria independently confirms the further refinement and the high overall quality of the functional 3D city model.  

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Geodynamic processes in the Himalayas. Inverse calibration of Remote Sensing data by in-situ determination, numerical- and analog modelling

Christoff Andermann
Géosciences, Univ de Rennes 1

Extreme and hardly accessible terrain in the High Himalayas make field studies on a large scale impossible. Yet, an integrative approach of several remote sensing techniques in combination with field studies, task oriented experimental simulation and numeric modelling provides the necessary tools to understand the coupling between climate, landscape, erosion and tectonic processes.

New remote sensing technologies have the capability of measuring physical parameters, such as precipitation, land use, vegetation coverage, soil moisture and tectonic uplift estimates within a wide area and with a high spatial resolution. Integrated experimental simulations can provide insights into relationships between erosional processes and landscape morphologies and on landscape dynamics related to climate and tectonics. These information can be used to validate and calibrate numerical models, that are mainly based on intuitive assumptions concerning geomorphological processes. Together, numerical and experimental modellings provide complementary data to interpret natural data acquired through remote sensing techniques and to understand erosional processes in the Himalayas. 

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ASAR Interferometry at Karthala Volcano

Ahmed Amir
Université de Marne-La-Vallée

The Karthala volcano is located on the archipelago of Comoros.After 14 years of lull, the volcano has entered a more active phase since November 2005. We used radar interferometry to monitoring the surface deformation of the last eruption of 13 january 2007. ASAR Envisat data were used for the study.  


Station Coordinates, Low Degree Harmonics, and Earth Rotation Parameters from an Integrated GPS/CHAMP/GRACE Processing

Daniel Koenig
GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam

Time series of geodetic Earth system parameters as part of a global geodetic reference system have been derived for the year 2004 by means of dynamic satellite orbit adjustment. The procedure applied is the integrated approach where the GPS satellites and the Low Earth Orbiters (LEOs) CHAMP and GRACE are processed simultaneously with common standards.

The set of estimated Earth system parameters includes coordinates of ground stations, low degree harmonic coefficients of the Earth's gravity field, and Earth rotation parameters. Selected parameter time series are presented and compared to external series and products for  validation.

The particular advantage of the integrated approach is the high sensitivity of the LEOs to the geocenter in combination with the stability from the GPS constellation geometry. Also, the dense tracking coverage by GPS measurements allows for a high temporal resolution of the parameters solved for. In order to demonstrate the superior performance of the integrated approach, comparisons to the commonly applied two-step processing (where firstly the GPS orbits and clocks  are determined and then fixed for a subsequent treatment of the LEOs) are presented.  

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