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Inter- and Transdisciplinary Sessions
NH – Natural Hazards
Programme group chairs:
Application of remote sensing and Earth-observation data in natural hazard and risk studies
Remote sensing and Earth Observations (EO) are used increasingly in the different phases of the risk management and in development cooperation, due to the challenges posed by contemporary issues such as climate change, population pressure and increasingly complex social interactions. EO-based applications have a number of advantages over traditional fieldwork expeditions including safety, the provision a synoptic view of the region of interest, the availability of data extending back several years and, in many cases, cost savings. Fortunately, the advent of new, more powerful sensors and more finely tuned detection algorithms provide the opportunity to image, assess and quantify natural hazards, their consequences, and vulnerable regions, more comprehensively than ever before.
For these reasons, the civil protections, the development agencies and space agencies have now inserted permanently into their programs applications of EO data to risk management. In particular, the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) has a permanent working group on Disasters that supports and promotes the use of EO data for Disaster Risk management (DRM). During the preparedness and prevention phase EO revealed, especially in data scarce environments, fundamental for hazard, vulnerability and risk mapping. EO data intervenes both in the emergency forecast and early emergency response, thanks to the potential of rapid mapping. EO data is also increasingly being used for mapping useful information for planning interventions in the recovery phase, giving to managers and emergency officials a wealth of time-continuous information for assessment and analysis of natural hazards, from small to large regions around the globe. In this framework, CEOS has been working from several years on disasters management related to natural hazards (e.g., volcanic, seismic, landslide and flooding ones), including pilots, demonstrators, recovery observatory concepts, Geohazard Supersites and Natural Laboratory (GSNL) initiatives and multi-hazard management projects.
The session is dedicated to multidisciplinary contributions especially focused on the demonstration of the benefit of the use of EO for the risk management, with an operational user-oriented perspective.
The research presented might focus on:
- Addressed value of EO data in risk/hazard forecasting models (observation of possible precursory events and evaluation of potential predictive capabilities)
- Innovative applications of EO data for rapid mapping.
- Innovative applications of EO data for hazard, vulnerability and risk mapping.
- Innovative applications of EO data for the post-disaster recovery phase.
- Innovative applications in support to disaster risk reduction strategies (eg. landscape planning).
- Development of tools and platforms for assessment and validation of hazard/risk models
The use of different types of remote sensing (e.g. thermal, visual, radar, laser, and/or the fusion of these) might be considered, with an evaluation of their respective pros and cons. Evaluation of current sensors, data capabilities and algorithms will be welcomed, as will suggestions for future sensor considerations, algorithm developments and opportunities for emergency management agency buy-in.
Early stage researchers are strongly encouraged to present their research. Moreover, contributions from international cooperation, such as CEOS and GEO initiatives, are welcome.
Imaging geodesy using InSAR for Earth System Science and Engineering
The availability of high spatial resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data, the advances in SAR processing techniques (e.g. interferometric, polarimetric, and tomographic processing), and the fusion of SAR with optical imagery as well as geophysical modelling allow ever increasing use of Imaging Geodesy using SAR/InSAR as a geodetic method of choice for earth system monitoring and investigating geohazard, geodynamic and engineering processes. In particular, the exploitation of data from new generation SAR missions such as Sentinel-1 that provide near real-time measurements of deformation and changes in land cover/use has improved significantly our capabilities to understand natural and anthropogenic hazards and then helped us mitigate their impacts. The development of high-resolution X-band SAR sensors aboard missions such as Italian COSMO-SkyMed (CSK) and German TerraSAR-X (TSX) has also opened new opportunities over the last decade for very high-resolution radar imaging from space with centimetre geometric accuracy for detailed analysis of a variety of processes in the areas of the biosphere, geosphere, cryosphere and hydrosphere. All scientists exploiting radar data from spaceborne, airborne and/or ground-based SAR sensors are cordially invited to contribute to this session. The main objective of the session is to present and discuss the progress, state-of-the-art and future perspectives in scientific exploitation of SAR data, mitigating atmospheric effects and error sources, cloud computing, machine learning and big data analysis, and interpretation methods of results obtained from SAR data for various types of disasters and engineering applications such as earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides and erosion, infrastructure instability and anthropogenic activities in urban areas. Contributions addressing scientific applications of SAR/InSAR data in biosphere, cryosphere, and hydrosphere are also welcome.
World population growth combined with continuous climate changes increase the possibility of the human settles to be affected by landslides, earthquakes, floods and others natural and anthropogenic geohazards. As consequences, human settlements, structures and infrastructures can suffer important damage, casualties and injuries, and an enormous amount of resources are needed to restore direct and indirect costs. Furthermore, the social impact and the loss of cultural and historical heritage must be considered.
The International Disaster Database created by the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) states that more than 14,000 worldwide relevant natural disasters occurred during the last century, causing casualties or requiring of international assistance.
For this reason, the investigation, characterization and monitoring of geo-hazardous phenomena play a fundamental role in order to improve the knowledge for avoiding further recurrences with additional social, human and economic losses. The use of Earth Observation (EO) techniques for monitoring and characterizing geohazards is a well-known way to study these phenomena. The application of EO methods in this field has risen exponentially in the last decades yet nowadays is constantly evolving.
Remote sensing approaches allow to efficiently retrieve relevant information on geological processes at regional scale to investigate, characterize, monitor and model, as well as to prevent, geohazards. Satellites constellations, air and ground platforms equipped with different sensors, (e.g. optical camera, radar or LiDAR), coupled with advanced processing techniques and algorithms are one of the best ways to investigate geohazards. The possibility to combine different types of data allows to perform multi-sensor and multi-temporal analyses. In this way, the wide area coverage capabilities combined with high accuracy and precision play an important role in the widespread use for different applications.
Submissions are encouraged to cover a broad range of topics on the various applications of remote sensing techniques, which may include, but are not limited to, the following topics: i) innovative applications and methods on remote sensing, ii) significant cases of study, iii) applications and models concerning the use of satellite, iv) air and ground platform taking advantage of the use of different sensors for investigating a broad range of topic (e.g. landslide, subsidence, damage assessment, infrastructure stability).
Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) and geosciences: innovation in methodologies, sensors and activities
The use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) for geosciences applications has strongly increased in last years. Nowadays the massive diffusion of mini- and micro-RPAS is becoming a valuable alternative to the traditional monitoring and surveying applications, opening new interesting viewpoints. The advantages of the use of RPAS are particularly important in areas characterized by hazardous natural processes, where the acquisition of high resolution remotely sensed data could be a powerful instrument to quickly assess the damages and plan effective rescues without any risk for operators.
In general, the primary goal of these systems is the collection of different data (e.g., images, LiDAR point clouds, gas or radioactivity concentrations, etc.) and the delivery of various products (e.g., 3D models, hazard maps, high-resolution orthoimages, etc.).
The possible use of RPAS has promising perspectives not only for natural hazards, but also in the different field of geosciences, to support a high-resolution geological or geomorphological mapping, or to study the evolution of active processes. The high repeatability of RPAS flight and their limited costs allows the multi-temporal analysis of a studied area. However, methodologies, best practices, advantages and limitations of this kind of applications are yet unclear and/or poorly shared by the scientific community.
This session aims at exploring the open research issues and possible applications of RPAS in geosciences, collecting experiences, case studies, and results, as well as define methodologies and best practices for their practical use. The session will concern the contributions aiming at: i) describing the development of new methods for the acquisition and processing of RPAS dataset, ii) introducing the use of new sensors developed or adapted to RPAS, iii) reporting new data processing methods related to image or point cloud segmentation and classification and iv) presenting original case studies that can be considered an excellent example for the scientific community.
Hazard and risk assessment of climate related impacts on Agricultural and Forested Ecosystems using Remote Sensing and modelling
Significant recent changes in climate are linked to an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather and weather-related events such as heat and cold waves, floods, wind and snow storms, droughts, wildfires, tropical storms, dust storms, etc. This underscores the critical need for: (i) monitoring such events; (ii) evaluating the potential risks to the environment and to society, and; (iii) planning in terms of adaptation and/or mitigation of the potential impacts. The intensity and frequency of such extreme weather and climate events follow trends expected of a warming planet, and more importantly, such events will continue to occur with increased likelihood and severity.
Agricultural and forested areas cover large surfaces over many countries and are a very important resource that needs to be protected and managed correctly for both the environment and the local communities. Therefore, potential impacts deriving from a changing climate and from more frequent and intense extreme events can pose a serious threat to economic infrastructure and development in the coming decades, and also severely undermine food, fodder, water, and energy security for a growing global population.
Remote Sensing that includes the use of space, aerial and proximal sensors provide valuable tools to monitor, evaluate and understand ecosystem response and impacts at local, regional, and global scales based on spatio-temporal analysis of long-term imagery and related environmental data. Further, studies allowing the quantitative or qualitative evaluation of the risks, including integrating environmental and socio-economical components are particularly important for the stakeholders and decision-makers at all administrative levels. Thus, it is important to better understand links between climate change/extreme events in relation to associated risks for better planning and sustainable management of our resources in an effective and timely manner.
Relevant abstracts will be encouraged to submit a full paper to a related special issu in the journal NHESS (Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences - https://www.nat-hazards-earth-syst-sci.net/special_issue980.html).
We especially encourage, but not limit, the participation of Early Career Scientists interested in the field of Natural Hazards.
The session is organized in cooperation with NhET (Natural hazard Early career scientists Team).
Satellite observations for space weather and geo-hazards
The session aims to collect original or review contributions on the use of data from Low-Earth-Orbiting (LEO) satellites making measurements in the thermosphere-ionosphere to investigate ionospheric anomalies related to space weather, geophysical and artificial sources. In fact, data from LEO satellites can provide a global view of near-Earth space variability and are complementary to ground-based observations, which have limited global coverage. The AMPERE project and integration of the Swarm data into ESA’s Space Weather program are current examples of this. The availability of thermosphere and ionosphere data from the DEMETER satellite and the new operative CSES mission demonstrates that also satellites that have not been specifically designed for space weather studies can provide important contributions to this field. On the other hand, there are evidences that earthquakes can generate electromagnetic anomalies into the near Earth space. A multi-instrumental approach, by using ground observations (magnetometers, magnetotelluric stations, GNSS receivers, etc.) and LEO satellites (DEMETER, Swarm, CSES, etc.) measurements can help in clarifying the missing scientific knowledge of the lithosphere-atmosphere-ionosphere coupling (LAIC) mechanisms before, during and after large earthquakes. We also solicit contributions on studies about other phenomena, such as tropospheric and anthropogenic electromagnetic emissions, that influence the near-Earth electromagnetic and plasma environment on all relevant topics including data processing, data-assimilation in models, space weather case studies, superimposed epoch analyses, etc.
Validation of Satellite-Based Earth Observations and Earth System Models
Remote sensing techniques and earth system modelling have been widely used in earth science and environmental science. In particular, the world is suffering significant environmental changes such as hydro-climatic extremes, sea level rise, melting glaciers and ice caps and forest fires. The earth observations and earth system models provide valuable insight into climate variability and environmental change. Meanwhile, the question on how to derive and present uncertainties in earth observations and model simulations has gained enormous attention among communities in the earth sciences.
However, quantification of uncertainties in satellite-based data products and model simulations is still a challenging task. Various approaches have been proposed within the community to tackle the validation problem for satellite-based data products and model simulations. These progress include theory advancement, mathematics, methodologies, techniques, communication of uncertainty and traceability.
The aim of this session is to summarize current state-of-the-art in uncertainty quantification and utilization for satellite-based earth observations and earth system models.
Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) as a new, emerging instrument in Geosciences
An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), commonly known as a drone, is an aircraft without a human pilot aboard. Originating mostly from military applications, their use is rapidly expanding to commercial, recreational, agricultural, and scientific applications. Unlike manned aircraft, UAVs were initially used for missions too "dull, dirty, or dangerous" for humans. Nowadays however, many modern scientific experiments have begun to use UAVs as a tool to collect different types of data. Their flexibility and relatively simple usability now allow scientist to accomplish tasks that previously required expensive equipment like piloted aircrafts, gas, or hot air balloons. Even the industry has begun to adapt and offer extensive options in UAV characteristics and capabilities. At this session, we would like people to share their experience in using UAVs for scientific research. We are interested to hear about specific scientific tasks accomplished or attempted, types of UAVs used, and instruments deployed.
Ground Penetrating Radar: Technology, Methodology, Applications and Case Studies
Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is a safe, advanced, non-destructive and non-invasive imaging technique that can be effectively used for inspecting the subsurface as well as natural and man-made structures. During GPR surveys, a source is used to send high-frequency electromagnetic waves into the ground or structure under test; at the boundaries where the electromagnetic properties of media change, the electromagnetic waves may undergo transmission, reflection, refraction and diffraction; the radar sensors measure the amplitudes and travel times of signals returning to the surface.
This session aims at bringing together scientists, engineers, industrial delegates and end-users working in all GPR areas, ranging from fundamental electromagnetics to the numerous fields of applications. With this session, we wish to provide a supportive framework for (1) the delivery of critical updates on the ongoing research activities, (2) fruitful discussions and development of new ideas, (3) community-building through the identification of skill sets and collaboration opportunities, (4) vital exposure of early-career scientists to the GPR research community.
We have identified a series of topics of interest for this session, listed below.
1. Ground Penetrating Radar instrumentation
- Innovative GPR equipment
- Design, realization and optimization of GPR antennas
- Equipment testing and calibration procedures
2. Ground Penetrating Radar methodology
- Survey planning and data acquisition strategies
- Methods and tools for data analysis and interpretation
- Data processing algorithms, electromagnetic modelling, imaging and inversion techniques
- Studying the relationship between GPR sensed quantities and physical properties of inspected subsurface/structures useful for application needs
- Advanced data visualization methods to clearly and efficiently communicate the significance of GPR data
3. Ground Penetrating Radar applications and case studies
- Earth sciences
- Civil engineering
- Environmental engineering
- Archaeology and cultural heritage
- Management of water resources
- Humanitarian mine clearance
- Vital signs detection of trapped people in natural and man-made disasters
- Planetary exploration
4. Contributions on the combined use of Ground Penetrating Radar and other geoscience instrumentation, in all applications fields
5. Communication and education initiatives and methods
This session is organized by Members of TU1208 GPR Association (www.gpradar.eu/tu1208); the association is a follow-up initiative of COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) Action TU1208 “Civil engineering applications of Ground Penetrating Radar”.
High Resolution Topography in the Geosciences: Methods and Applications (including Arne Richter Award for Outstanding ECS Lecture by Giulia Sofia) (co-sponsored by JpGU)
Topographic data are fundamental to landscape characterization across the geosciences, for monitoring change and supporting process modelling. Over the last decade, the dominance of laser-based instruments for high resolution data collection has been challenged by advances in digital photogrammetry and computer vision, particularly in ‘structure from motion’ (SfM) algorithms, which offer a new paradigm to geoscientists.
High resolution topographic (HiRT) data are now obtained over spatial scales from millimetres to kilometres, and over durations of single events to lasting time series (e.g. from sub-second to decadal-duration time-lapse), allowing evaluation of dependencies between event magnitudes and frequencies. Such 4D-reconstruction capabilities enable new insight in diverse fields such as soil erosion, micro-topography reconstruction, volcanology, glaciology, landslide monitoring, and coastal and fluvial geomorphology. Furthermore, broad data integration from multiple sensors offers increasingly exciting opportunities.
This session will evaluate the advances in techniques to model topography and to study patterns of topographic change at multiple temporal and spatial scales. We invite contributions covering all aspects of HiRT reconstruction in the geosciences, and particularly those which transfer traditional expertise or demonstrate a significant advance enabled by novel datasets. We encourage contributions describing workflows that optimize data acquisition and post-processing to guarantee acceptable accuracies and to automate data application (e.g. geomorphic feature detection and tracking), and field-based experimental studies using novel multi-instrument and multi-scale methodologies. A major goal is to provide a cross-disciplinary exchange of experiences with modern technologies and data processing tools, to highlight their potentials, limitations and challenges in different environments.
Solicited speaker: Kuo-Jen Chang (National Taipei University of Technology) - UAS LiDAR data processing, quality assessment and geosciences prospects
This session invites contributions on the latest developments and results in lidar remote sensing of the atmosphere, covering
• new lidar techniques as well as applications of lidar data for model verification and assimilation,
• ground-based, airborne, and space-borne lidar systems,
• unique research systems as well as networks of instruments,
• lidar observations of aerosols and clouds, thermodynamic parameters and wind, and trace-gases.
Atmospheric lidar technologies have shown significant progress in recent years. While, some years ago, there were only a few research systems, mostly quite complex and difficult to operate on a longer-term basis because a team of experts was continuously required for their operation, advancements in laser transmitter and receiver technologies have resulted in much more rugged systems nowadays, many of which are already operated routinely in networks and some even being automated and commercially available. Consequently, also more and more data sets with very high resolution in range and time are becoming available for atmospheric science, which makes it attractive to consider lidar data not only for case studies but also for extended model comparison statistics and data assimilation. Here, ceilometers provide not only information on the cloud bottom height but also profiles of aerosol and cloud backscatter signals. Scanning Doppler lidars extend the data to horizontal and vertical wind profiles. Raman lidars and high-spectral resolution lidars provide more details than ceilometers and measure particle extinction and backscatter coefficients at multiple wavelengths. Other Raman lidars measure water vapor mixing ratio and temperature profiles. Differential absorption lidars give profiles of absolute humidity or other trace gases (like ozone, NOx, SO2, CO2, methane etc.). Depolarization lidars provide information on the shapes of aerosol and cloud particles. In addition to instruments on the ground, lidars are operated from airborne platforms in different altitudes. Even the first space-borne missions are now in orbit while more are currently in preparation. All these aspects of lidar remote sensing in the atmosphere will be part of this session.
LWIR and MWIR thermal sensing for retrieving Earth surface variables, analysing thermal anomalies, land cover and supporting the ecosystem management
The IR (MWIR 3-5micron and LWIR 7-12micron) sensing technologies have reached a significant level of maturity and has become a powerful method of Earth surface sensing.
Thermal sensing is currently used for characterize land surface Temperature (LST) and Land Surface Emissivity (LSE) and many other environmental proxy variables, which part of them can have a further relevance when assimilated into hydrological and climatological models.
The usefulness of IR sensing has been experimented in many environmental applications and also in the spatio-temporal domain for spatial patterns identification.
The session welcomes communications based on the actual of next future IR imagery from broadband to multi/hyperspectral applied to proximal or remote sensing (ECOSTRESS, ASTER, Sentinel3, Landsat etc. and airborne sensors) in the following specific objectives:
- IR instruments solution
- Instrument radiometric calibration procedures
- Algorithms retrieval for Temperature and Emissivity
- Soil properties characterization
- Evapo-Transpiration, water plants stress and drought
- IR targets identification
- Archaeological prospection
- Urban areas and infrastructure investigation
- Geophysical phenomena characterization
- IR synergy with optical imagery
LINKED TO THIS SESSION IS A REMOTE SENSING JOURNAL SPECIAL ISSUE "Proximal and Remote Sensing in the MWIR and LWIR Spectral Range" WITH DEADLINE DECEMBER 2019.
Remote Sensing for Flood Dynamics Monitoring, Water Level, Storage and Discharge
The monitoring of river water levels, river discharges, water bodies extent, storage in lakes and reservoirs, flooding and floodplain dynamics plays a key role in assessing water resources, understanding surface water dynamics, characterizing and mitigating water related risks and enabling integrated management of water resources and aquatic ecosystems.
While in situ measurement networks play a central role in the monitoring effort, remote sensing techniques are expected to contribute in an increasing way, as they can provide homogeneous and near real time measurements over large areas, from local to basin wide, regional and global.
In this context, remote sensing represents a value source of data and observations that may alleviate the decline in field surveys and gauging stations, especially in remote areas and developing countries. The implementation of remotely-sensed variables (such as digital elevation model, river width, flood extent, water level, land cover, etc.) in hydraulic modelling promises to considerably improve our process understanding and prediction and during the last decades, an increasing amount of research has been undertaken to better exploit the potential of current and future satellite observations. In particular, in recent years, the scientific community has shown how remotely sensed variables have the potential to play a key role in the calibration and validation of hydraulic models, as well as provide a breakthrough in real-time monitoring applications. However, except for a few pioneering studies, the potential of remotely sensed data to enhance water-related modelling and applications has not yet been fully enough explored, and the use of such data for operational decision-making is far from being consolidated. In this scenario, the forthcoming satellite missions dedicated to global water surfaces monitoring will enhance the quality, as well as the spatial and temporal coverage, of remotely sensed data, thus offering new frontiers and opportunities to enhance the understanding of flood dynamics and our capability to map their extents.
We encourage presentations related to flood monitoring, water level, storage and discharge etc through remotely sensed data including:
- Remote sensing data for flood hazard and risk mapping;
- Remote sensing techniques to monitor flood dynamics;
- The use of remotely sensed data for the calibration, or validation, of hydrological or hydraulic models;
- Data assimilation of remotely sensed data into hydrological and hydraulic models;
- Improvement of river discretization and monitoring by means of satellite based observations;
- River flows estimation by means of remote sensed observations;
- River and flood dynamics estimation from satellite (especially time lag, flow velocity, etc.)