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Recent ARSF-supported Science: 2004

2004 UK flying

2004 eastern Mediterranean flying

04/01 Alastair Lewis: Spatial Distribution of Hydrocarbons and their Oxidation Products

Measurements of hydrocarbons and their oxidation products will be undertaken in the free troposphere and boundary layer around an urban area. A novel micro sampling and analysis technique will be used to give speciation of C2 - C10 VOCs and oVOCS. Tube sampling coupled to GC-TOF/MS enables both hydrocarbon and oxygenated compounds to be measured from one sample in a single desorption. The results will be validated with NMHC and limited oVOC measurements taken from whole air samples followed by GC-FID to ensure the quality of data produced. Measurements of two known atmospheric tracers, CO and ozone will aid the interpretation of results and help to distinguish between secondary oxidation products and uplifted primary pollutants in the free troposphere.

04/02 Dave Bowers: Interpreting the Colour of Estuaries

The colour of the water in an estuary depends upon the optical properties of the water itself and on the concentrations of the materials, both dissolved and suspended, near the water surface. Recent developments based on in situ radiometry have shown how measurements of estuarine colour can be interpreted in terms of the concentrations of dissolved organic material, and how, in turn, this can be related to salinity (Bowers et al., 2000, Binding and Bowers, 2003). The aim of this proposal is to apply this technique to airborne visible band remote sensing to produce synoptic, two-dimensional maps of surface salinity in an estuary. Such maps, which are not presently available, will, in turn be invaluable tools for providing new insights into mixing processes in estuaries.

04/03 Shelly Hinsley: Woodland bird habitat quality: The costs of living in fragmented habitat

In lowland Britain, deforestation was extensive as long ago as the 14th century. Many woodland bird species have adapted to use secondary habitats such as tree and hedgerow networks in farmland and woody vegetation in urban parks and gardens. Various studies have documented reduced breeding success in birds living in such secondary habitats, but the costs to adults, in terms of time and energy, have been little studied. Adult birds attempting to feed young in habitats where food supplies are patchily distributed will waste time and energy moving between patches and suffer increased exposure to adverse weather. We are currently measuring energy expenditure in free-living tits breeding in a number of secondary habitats. We propose to use LIDAR, ATM and CASI data to quantify habitat structure and composition to investigate how these features influence adult energy expenditure and overall reproductive success. Such remote-sensed data will be particularly valuable for these spatially complex habitats in which good foraging habitat is mixed with poor (e.g. exotic tree species) and nil (e.g. mown grass, open water) quality land uses. This work extends our current studies (published and on-going) using LIDAR, ATM and CASI data to quantify and model habitat quality for birds.

04/05 Matt Disney: Retrieval of structural and biochemical parameters from multiangle multispectral airborne data over conifer stands

The project aims to relate airborne reflectance data to canopy structural and biochemical parameters describing to canopy structure and productivity. In situ measurements of CO2 flux will be used to quantify net (daily and annual) fluxes of energy and carbon, which will in turn be compared to EO measures known to be related to vegetation productivity such as light-use-efficiency (LUE) and photochemical reflectance index (PRI). Canopy structural parameters will be extracted from airborne data using canopy scattering models driven by 3D models of canopy structure. This work will augment existing development of 3D forest modelling and reflectance simulation methods. Inversion of structural parameters will be carried out using look-up-table methods. Biochemical parameters of interest include leaf pigment concentration, photosynthetic activity, LUE and PRI; structural parameters include canopy height, leaf area index (LAI), standing biomass and canopy clumping. To obtain both biochemical and structural parameters, multispectral multiangular reflectance data are required. The results of this project will contribute to understanding how terrestrial carbon fluxes can be related to EO data and, in particular, how uncertainties in the calculation of such fluxes can be reduced.

04/06 Daniel Donoghue: Spectral and spatial analysis of woodland structure in plantation forestry in upland Britain using models that combine field and Earth observation data

NERC CASI, ATM and LiDAR data are requested in support of an established research project to develop models of woodland and canopy structure that combine ground and remotely sensed measurements. Combined estimate models address weaknesses in production forecast models that assume predictable and spatially uniform growth by adding information from Earth observation (EO) data about the rate and pattern of growth. On the other hand, structural parameters are very difficult to measure from any single source of EO data. The NERC ARSF data will be used in conjunction with a large amount of ground survey data (one hundred 0.01ha plots), including three large 0.1ha plots with very detailed biometric data, multi-date and multi resolution satellite data, and, very detailed aerial photography.

04/07 David Gilvear: Modelling relationships between channel change and riparian vegetation succession

We will focus on the interaction between channel evolution and riparian vegetation succession. In order to understand how flood driven channel migration and ecological succession interrelate to control vegetation and habitat diversity we have undertaken pilot work in to landform and habitat creation and destruction over the medium term (1900-1997; aided by NERC ARSF campaigns) and the controls of morphology/sedimentology on natural riparian plant diversity on a natural reach of the actively wandering River Tummel. (Gilvear and Willby, Submitted). The results of the later analysis show the over-riding control of elevation via fluvial processes. We wish now to (i) extend the timescale and temporal resolution of observations of landform development and ecological succession (ii) up-scale and test our field based models on other reaches by comparing Lidar derived elevation with vegetation data collected in the field and (iii) model, using Lidar-derived elevation data, natural habitat and vegetation diversity in areas of the floodplain that have been transformed by agricultural land uses. Development of a modelling approach that allows prediction of how floodplain vegetation would develop if river reaches were left to evolve via fluvial processes are needed to explore river and floodplain restoration scenarios.

04/09 Richard Harding: The impact of spatial variability in LAI and albedo on the uncertainty in estimates of evaporation

This proposal is part of a project, funded by the NERC LOCAR thematic programme, which is developing new methods of estimating evaporation at the catchment scale using numerical models. In terms of the land surface, one of the challenges lies in knowing what values to use for the model parameters that describe the vegetation. The uncertainties in these parameters manifest themselves in uncertainty in the estimates of evaporation. Three of the parameters: canopy height, the amount of leaves and the amount of the sun's energy reflected by the vegetation, can be measured using remotely sensed data. We will use airborne remotely sensed data to quantify the variability in these parameters, both across the landscape as a whole and within fields. Then we can use these measures of variability to investigate how much effect they have on the estimates of evaporation. The result will be more reliable estimates of evaporation for use in informing the balance between the supply of water to householders, industry and agriculture and its use to support the flora and fauna.

04/11 Samantha Lavender: Mapping of bio-geo-physical parameters in the coastal waters of Plymouth.

The proposal aims to further develop the CASI imagery processing, validate ocean colour satellite imagery and develop/validate a reflectance model. This will progress the fields of marine optics and earth observation by providing a greater understanding of bio-geophysical properties within the Plymouth coastal waters.

04/13 Gay Mitchelson Jacob: Remotely-sensed techniques for observing water quality in the Irish Sea

It is impossible to remotely (from satellite) observe ocean colour through cloud, and time on research vessels is limited and expensive. Mounting colour sensors on aircraft provides a means of avoiding some of the cloud and covering larger areas in shorter time periods and the airborne sensors, such as CASI, provide a valuable link between the sea surface measurements and satellite data (e.g. SeaWiFS and MERIS). Another method being trialled is by the installation of above-water radiometers on the ferries, such as the Ulysses, crossing from Dublin-Holyhead, providing regular temporal coverage, though restricted spatial coverage of the central Irish Sea. All methods provide measurements of surface colour signatures relating to water quality parameters, but need to be cross validated with in situ data to enable the derivation of algorithms and as validation for the atmospheric correction. This project proposes a combined approach using airborne, above-water and satellite radiometry to study the biogeochemical variability across the Irish Sea with in situ sampling providing validation data.

04/15 Tom Rippeth: Physical and biological mechanisms for patterning and productivity in mussel beds

Physical-biological and biological-biological interactions on different spatial scales create complex patterns, or bedforms, in mussel beds. The precise processes by which these patterns form and maintain themselves is not known, but there is evidence that they have major implications for mussel bed production and sustainability and influence physical processes such as turbulent mixing through modification of sea bed drag. We are using an interdisciplinary biological and oceanographic approach to i) test hypotheses about mechanisms for pattern formation in mussel beds at a small scale and ii) to scale up to enable examination of the physical, ecological and conservation implications of mussel bed production in the context of the Menai Straits, a candidate Special Area of Conservation. A key link in our ability to scale up from small scale field work to large scale analyses is a good knowledge of the extent, density and patterning in the mussel beds of the Menai Straits. Much of the intertidal is inaccessible from shore and from boats, and in any case, an assessment of patterning on a larger scale is most effectively done from the air. We therefore propose a pilot project to take aerial photographs of the intertidal mussel beds in the northeastern (upstream) part of the Menai Straits. These photographs will be analysed using spectral analysis techniques, and will be linked in with ground surveys and boat-based sidescan sonar and video surveys to give a clear picture of mussel cover and density at the beginning and end of the main growing.

04/16 Andrew Tyler: Characterising the photoautotrophic response to the spatiotemporal variability in underlying environmental conditions in shallow eutrophic lakes through airborne remote sensing

It is now recognised that shallow and eutrophic freshwater lakes have two possible alternative photoautotrophic dominant states: (1) domination by submerged vegetation and (2) domination by phytoplankton. The suggested mechanism(s) of alternation between these polar states is an intricate function of stochastic trophic disturbance allied to underlying changes in the bioavailability of nitrogen and phosphorus. Despite a clear conceptual appreciation of the mechanism of state alternation, concerted research on defining the spatial and temporal nature of the interrelationship between photoautotrophic community dynamics and the environmental controls that regulate state alternation has been limited. A fuller understanding of the diurnal and seasonal variability of the phytoplankton community and the possible impacts for aquatic vegetation arising from bloom development needs to be sought.

However, delineating spatial and temporal patterns in community ecology through single-point sampling methods is generally problematic. Phytoplankton and aquatic vegetation communities are typically heterogeneous in terms of distribution, composition and condition which, when allied to the inherently transient nature of aquatic systems, makes the acquisition of representative spatiotemporal data from in situ sampling campaigns unfeasible. Remote sensing can, however, provide an effective synoptic and multitemporal characterisation of environmental phenomena at a range of spatial scales. Potentially, remote sensing may be able to provide an improved insight into photoautotrophic response to changing environmental controls in shallow lakes.

04/17 Stephan Pauleit: Assessment of Thermal Conditions in Urban Morphology Types in Greater Manchester

The study aims to assess the ground thermal conditions in Greater Manchester within the context of an ongoing multidisciplinary research project Adaptation Strategies to Climate Change in the Urban Environment (ASCCUE). We will use a novel modelling approach developed by Whitford et al. (2001) to calculate minimum and maximum surface temperatures for a hot summer's day. Thermal data will allow us to validate our climate modelling approach with measured data and as an input into the human comfort study. Radiant surface temperatures will be estimated from data obtained with the Airborne Thematic Mapper (ATM). A north-south transect across Greater Manchester has been chosen for this purpose that includes a cross-section of urban morphology types. Thermal data will be input into a geographical information system to estimate mean radiant surface temperatures for morphology types and relate thermal conditions to their surface cover. Measured radiant temperatures will then be compared with the calculated surface temperatures to explore the predictive ability of the model. If systematic errors are detected, correction factors will be incorporated into our models, and used in later calculations of human comfort. We anticipate a range of downstream applications in particular within the frame of the Integrating Framework of Building Knowledge for a Changing Climate (BKCC).

04/18 Sandra Winterbottom: Airborne remote sensing of wetland vegetation: a contribution to the understanding of the spatial and temporal dynamics of heterogeneous vegetation

There is widespread demand for the interpretation of remotely sensed data into ecologically meaningful classes and in particular, for a greater understanding of the temporal and spatial dynamics of wetland vegetation. This process becomes complex when classification techniques are applied to heterogenous vegetation with no clear boundaries between habitat types. As these fuzzy boundaries, or 'ecotones', may serve as environmental indicators in their own right, the development of techniques to analyse the nature and distribution of these becomes an objective in itself. Airborne RS data will be combined with intensive field spectrometry in order to gain a greater understanding of the effects of species composition and within habitat variation, as well as underlying hydrological regimes, on spectral response. Multitemporal and multispectral datasets are employed to determine the most accurate classification techniques. Quantitative approaches to determine the nature of boundary pixels and transitional zones and the utilisation of change detection techniques with previously acquired imagery, are proposed. Two flights at Insh Marshes are to be used in combination with one from the end of the growing season 2003 to assess phytophenological changes in spectral response. Data acquired at a similar site (Achanalt) will be used to assess the wider applicability of the techniques developed.

04/19 Sandra Winterbottom: The impact of managed retreat for inter-tidal habitat restoration

Managed retreat (or re-alignment) is becoming increasingly used as an alternative to 'hard' coastal defence and provides the opportunity to restore or create inter-tidal habitats from agricultural land. However, little is known about the rates and spatial variability of habitat restoration, the quality of restored habitats and the factors that affect re-colonisation by invertebrate and avian species. The aim of this project is to use a combination of field and airborne data to assess these key factors at two sites in Scotland. Nigg Bay on the Cromarty Firth is in the very early stages of re-alignment, while the Kincardine and Skinflats mud flats on the Forth Estuary are due to be re-aligned in 2003/2004. The collection of airborne data at such a crucial and early stage of re-alignment will provide a rare opportunity to study the effects of managed retreat in detail. This research is essential for informing future policy and for the management of re-aligned sites so that the best possible quality of restored habitats is achieved.

04/20 Andrew Large: Airborne LiDAR as a tool for modelling linkages between patch dynamics and community response to system change

Previous studies by the applicants have quantified the applicability of LiDAR data for reach-scale topographic mapping of gravel-bed channel systems. To model interactions between the macro-scale system drivers (hydrology, sediment movement) and the biotic communities on the meso-scale (geomorphological unit, response to individual events) the requirement is for an integrated mapping approach by augmenting LiDAR using appropriately georeferenced ground survey. The Coquet research has as its central focus better determination of the 'properties of patchiness' and how these influence river corridor processes and habitat availability and biodiversity. Earlier approaches have focused on attributes such as patch geometry and sediment accrual, but have ignored the influence of this on habitat change. Research objectives include elucidating temporal aspects of patch formation, persistence and function, determining feedback mechanisms between patchiness, instream processes and biotic diversity and linking hydrological processes with 'ex-channel habitat' including the wider floodplain. A detailed baseline exists for the study area as a result of acquisition of the 1998 LiDAR dataset. Updating the elevation models by a new LiDAR survey, along with ground-truth validation will allow spatial up-scaling from the site to an extended (5.5 km) reach scale, an exercise that will also benefit management approaches for these systems.

04/21 James McQuaid: Airborne Ozone LIDAR Validation Study

Ozone is a major participant in many atmospheric phenomena. It occurs as a natural component in the atmosphere. High levels of ozone in the troposphere are undesirable, as ozone is toxic to virtually all life on earth including man (WMO, 1992). Ozone advected to the troposphere is a potent greenhouse gas and may have a significant impact on these areas with enhanced response to climate change. Ozone abundance in the troposphere is thought to have increased by in excess of 100% in the last 100 years (Wayne, 1991). Although tropospheric ozone accounts for only ~10% of the total ozone present in the atmosphere, it is vital for the primary initiation of many oxidation chains that occur in the natural atmosphere. There is a clear increase in ozone abundance with increasing altitude (figure 1), and over the past 30 years ozone (both photochemical and background) has shown a significant increase in both the boundary layer and free troposphere (figure 2).

04/23 Jon Mills: Integrated remote monitoring techniques for coastal geohazards and heritage sites

In the dynamic and complex coastal environment, numerous factors interact to shape the terrain. On some coastlines these interactions combine with local morphology to result in geohazards, such as landslides. Undoubtedly, such events pose a significant threat to human interests, and there is an obvious requirement for monitoring, in order to evaluate and mitigate any risk. However, the nature of these coastal environments can cause major difficulties in selecting a monitoring technique applicable to all terrain components. Consequently, current approaches are often crude and inefficient. This research aims to address such issues by integrating remote sensing technologies which individually may be inadequate, but when combined have the potential to offer a flexible and effective monitoring solution. In-situ site monitoring will be incorporated into the research to evaluate its potential as a geohazard early warning system. Combined remote and in-situ monitoring results will be modelled alongside other relevant variables, such as geology and sediment transport, in order to produce a fully-integrated strategy for the monitoring and predictive modelling of geohazards.

04/26 Meredith Williams: Detecting hydrocarbon induced geobotanical anomalies using hyperspectral imagery in Aberdeenshire

An investigation into the capability of hyperspectral remote sensing to detect potential sites of vulnerability was conducted along an 8km stretch of buried gas pipeline in Aberdeenshire, which traverses a range of arable crop types. Ultimately, it is intended that an algorithm will be developed to aid the detection of vulnerable sites in the vicinity of buried gas pipelines.

CASI-2 Enhanced Spectral Mode (72 band configuration) and Spatial Mode, employing the default VEGETATION bandset, imagery will be required for the 8 km long stretch of pipeline, covering a strip 200 metres either side of the pipe. Ground calibration will be conducted simultaneously with the overflight, using an ASD field spectroradiometer and dGPS equipment belonging to Newcastle University.

04/29 Mark Cutler: Glen Ogle and Glen Ample landslides and flood deposits

On 18th August 2004, heavy rainfall in the afternoon (approximately 25-30 mm h-1) triggered a series of landslides and floods across Stirlingshire (from Killin in the north to Callendar in the south). A detailed reconstruction of the floods and resulting debris flows which occurred in Glen Ogle and Glen Ample will enable the current landslide and flood hazard to be better characterised. Such a reconstruction, when combined with modelling the susceptibility of these slopes to further failure, will assist in recalibrating these environmental hazards for given projected climate change.

MC04/01 Ann Webb: Profiles of the single scattering albedo in the visible and UV part of the solar spectrum over Crete and Thessaloniki.

The proposed study will evaluate estimates of profiles of the single scattering albedo (SSA) in the visible and UV part of the solar spectrum. SSA is of primary importance for radiative transfer calculations, and usually assumed constant with height. Current methods involving ground-based radiometric measurements (e.g. CIMEL sunphotometers, spectroradimeters) can provide effective columnar values of SSA. The existence of collocated observations of raman lidar provides information on the vertical variability of the aerosol type. It is proposed to combine ground-based measurements of UV spectral irradiance with lidar measurements of the vertical profile of the extinction-to-backscatter ratio in order to estimate the vertical distribution of SSA. An experimental flight campaign over Crete and Thessaloniki, Greece, two places with distinct aerosol environments, will provide aerosol measurements in the vertical, enabling evaluation of the ground based measurement procedure under different conditions. The measurements on-board the aircraft will include measurements of the aerosol scattering coefficient with a nephelometer, aerosol extinction measurements with a PSAP, meteorological measurements, chemical composition and size distribution measurements, as well as broadband measurements of the solar irradiance. The necessary ground based facilities are available at Iraklion, Crete and Thessaloniki.

MC04/03 Harriet Allen: 3-D structural characteristics and biological evalutation of Cretan olive groves (Olea europaea) using airborne LiDAR and VIS/NIR imaging

Olives have been cultivated in the Mediterranean for millennia and traditional methods of cultivation have created a stable, sustainable ecosystem. In Crete, traditionally managed olive groves are internationally recognised as being of key significance in the island's landscape ecology. The trees provide a shaded under-story supporting limited cultivation and rich assemblages of perennial plants of considerable ecological/conservation significance.Unfortunately, recent changes (abandonment; replanting; mechanised cultivation; fertilizers/herbicide and irrigation) threaten these communities. Cumulatively these changes threaten the quality, diversity and sustainability of the ecosystem.Hitherto, remote sensing has enabled accurate delineation of olive extent but has offered no possibility of evaluating age, species, under-storey properties and diversity. Although sensors suitable for wide area mapping exhibit distinct variability in olive signatures the properties they represent have proved too complex to map.This study will exploit the potential of high resolution Airborne LiDAR and CASI to characterise distinct olive typologies (young/old, replanted/wild, (un)irrigated, (un)terraced. It will examine the unique potential of LiDAR for describing canopy vertical structure/properties and use ATM/CASI for classification of cover and productivity. The results will be scaled up using existing (E)TM, DEM and classification data to map the status of this important landscape system.

MC04/07 Alan Blackburn: Quantifying canopy biophysical variables related to vegetation stress from airborne remotely-sensed data in Mediterranean ecosystems.

This project will develop robust and extendible approaches for the remote sensing of vegetation biophysical parameters diagnostic of vegetation stress: pigment composition, leaf area index and canopy structure, and changes in surface (stomatal) conductance and evapo-transpiration rate. The project brings together several leading groups specialising in different approaches to vegetation characterisation and aims to test these simultaneously over a range of contrasting common vegetation types, allowing for intercomparison and fusion of the different techniques. This integrated experiment is only possible because of the unique operational and sensing capabilities of the ARSF. Comprehensive validation will be possible based on the extensive data sets already available for the field sites, which will be supplemented by an intensive ground campaign coinciding with the ARSF overflights.

MC04/09 Dickson Cunningham: LiDAR Mapping of Seismogenic Faults in NW Slovenia

LiDAR has been demonstrated to be an excellent mapping tool for identifying faults in forested terrain that pose a potential earthquake hazard. As part of an ongoing geophysical and geological investigation into earthquake hazards in Slovenia and the southeastern Alps region, we propose a LiDAR survey along two major fault systems in NW Slovenia to better document their geometry and recent activity. The Ravne Fault ruptured in 1998 (M=5.6) causing local landsliding and extensive damage and appears to be an active propagating fault, although its exact trace, length, and linkage with other faults is uncertain. The Idrija Fault forms a major topographic lineament and is believed to have ruptured in 1511 producing the largest historical earthquake (M=6.8) in the region. Both faults are believed to pose a major seismic hazard to large cities in the region where over 5 million people live including Trieste, Udine, Ljubljana, Villach, Klagenfurt, Rijeka, and Zagreb. LiDAR data should reveal the locations of paleaoseismic surface rupturing which will allow geologists to trench the sites, date previous events and most importantly, establish the earthquake recurrence interval.

MC04/10 Paul Dando: Hydrothermal vent activity from airborne remotely-sensed data

The Aegean Volcanic Arc currently has active hydrothermal activity in the regions of Euboea Island, Susaki, Methana, Milos, Santorini, Kos Nisiros and Yali. The island of Milos, where the volcanic system has been stable since 205 AD, probably has the greatest area of active submarine hydrothermalism with an estimated 34 km2 of active sea-bed. This venting inputs nutrients (ammonia, phosphate, silicate and iron) and carbon dioxide into an sea. The venting areas may be detected by increased temperatures, water turbidity and bubble plumes. Maps of these areas can be compared with chlorophyll concentrations to ascertain how they affect the biological productivity of the region. Photography of the shallow water areas should also show changes in the sea grass and minero-bacterial mat distribution since ground surveys were last undertaken in 1997. In contrast, a similar area of previously stable venting activity off Panarea, in the Tyrrhenian Sea, had a volcanic eruption, creating a tsunami, in December 2002. A similar aerial survey will provide data on how activity has changed and productivity affected since the eruption. This is an unparalleled opportunity to compare the effects of shallow water venting between "active" and "stable" venting sites in the Mediterranean.

MC04/11 Bernard Devereux: Post fire pinus brutia forest regeneration: an investigation using high resolution airborne remote sensing on the island of Thasos, Greece.

Forest fires are an inherent and important feature of Mediterranean ecosystems with many species being adapted to fire and relying on it for germination and reproduction. With increasing incidence of fires occurring against a background of hotter, drier summers and less frequent but more extreme rainfall events there is an urgent need to understand more fully the factors which best promote effective, post fire forest regeneration. At present this understanding is based on laborious and expensive field survey techniques which are often lacking in terms of key parameter measurements. This project will examine a site of Pinus Brutia forest in Thasos which is undergoing post fire regeneration. It will use LiDAR derived canopy variables and classified ATM data to map structure and LiDAR/CASI data to investigate health and vigour. Airborne Remote measurements will be compared to traditional field observation data collected by the Greek Forest Service to evaluate the potential of remotely sensed data as a more effective approach to monitoring and management. The work will contribute to understanding of factors which control regeneration performance and be of interest to both environmental scientists and conservation/forest management agencies.

MC04/12 Bernard Devereux: High resolution remote sensing of NDVI gradients on the slopes of Mt. Psiloritis in South Central Crete

Mount Psiloritis forms part of the backbone of Crete rising to 2,500 metres within 15 km. of the sea. Its semi-natural garrigue communities are of world significance for endemism and biodiversity. Its headwater streams feed the adjacent Messara rift valley which has seen intensive irrigation and farming since 1985. Hydrological studies have shown that ground water levels have dropped systematically and streams are drying out seasonally. Serious concern surrounds the impact on vegetation communities.

Previous work by the applicants has enabled creation of a GIS containing ortho-corrected TM/ERS satellite imagery, land cover maps and a 10 metre, stereo-matched DEM. NDVI analysis has revealed a strong relationship between garrigue biomass and altitude over 1200 metres but this breaks down completely at lower altitudes. It is hypothesised that this is caused by disturbance. Despite extensive floristic and hydrological studies no detailed mapping of the vegetation structure is yet available.

This study seeks to use high resolution LiDAR, CASI and ATM data to characterise the 3d structure and biomass of the vegetation at strategic locations on the mountain. It will use LiDAR derived measures of vegetation quantity and classified ATM data to calibrate the NDVI profiles. CASI will be used for examination of vegetation health. By comparison of survey sites it is hoped to explain the observed, macro patterns in NDVI and to further test the hypothesis that lowering of ground water levels is a threat to ecosystem sustainability.

MC04/14 Daniel Donoghue: Airborne thermography and spectral sensitivity analysis of the soil and soil-vegetation interface for archaeological prospection

The aim of this proposal is to build upon our understanding of Apparent Thermal Inertia and VNIR spectral sensitivity models by testing these at sites with contrasting soil moisture and texture characteristics where buried archaeology has been mapped over large areas in detail by non-invasive high spatial resolution geophysical survey. At both these sites, one in the UK and in southern Italy and Crete, the archaeology is of outstanding quality as well as international importance and at both sites previous daytime thermal survey with airborne scanners (ATM and MIVIS) has shown up features not easily identified at other wavelengths. The results will provide an unparalleled opportunity to compare and contrast thermography (ATM) and VNIR high spectral resolution data (CASI) with more established landscape prospection tools such as oblique and vertical aerial photography, multi-spectral imagery and detailed topographical (from LiDAR) survey. Both test sites have a large spatial coverage of geophysical survey and the possibility of follow-up excavation.

MC04/15 Graham Ferrier: Coastal Marine Habitat Differentiation using Hyperspectral Remote Sensing Data

The aim of this research is to investigate the capability of hyperspectral data in the identification of seagrass distribution and biomass compared to the present system of boat-mounted sonar systems. The current approach is very expensive and time-consuming and produces only sparse coverage of seagrass distributions. The first objective of this project is to obtain measurements of the nature and intensity of upwelling and downwelling radiation at different depths in the water column under a range of different water quality conditions. These measurements will be correlated with contemporaneous measurements of downwelling and upwelling radiation at the sea surface and at the aircraft sensor. The underwater spectral measurements will be used to develop and validate underwater radiative transfer models e.g. Hydrolight (Mobley, 1994) under a number of different illumination and observation configurations and over a range of representative homogeneous and heterogeneous substrate types. In support of the CASI acquisition surface and underwater spectroscopy measurements (Wettle et al, 2003) and a range of water quality measuring instruments will be deployed coincident with the CASI data acquisition. A coastal area of Crete selected as one of the Greek NATURA areas under the EC habitats directive has been identified as an excellent test site.

MC04/16 Graham Ferrier: Unravelling Long-term Deposition upon a tectonically active coastal piedmont at Sfakion in Southern Crete

This project has two main aims : (i) to unravel the late Quaternary depositional history of the piedmont zone and (ii) to derive a physical model of fan development for the western portion of the coastal plain. This project will utilise the diagnostic spectral response of iron species in the visible to VNIR waverange combined with mineral magnetic and extractable (Fed) analysis of the fan surfaces. This will allow the identification and differentiation of the different fan segments on the basis of the relative proportions and concentrations of the different iron species in the soils which is a function of the length of time the soils have been exposed to weathering processes. Acquisition of LiDAR would allow a detailed DEM of the alluvial fan and the adjacent fault zone to be derived. Available topographic maps are not accurate enough to enable the contact zones between the different fan segments and the uplifted fault terraces to be resolved. A high resolution DEM would allow accurate calculations of fan segment volumes and uplift rates to be derived and subsequently enable a model of fan development on the piedmont to be derived.

MC04/18 Andrew Gize: Adsorption of organic compounds on volcanic ash: a pilot study

Analyses of gases emitted from the Vulcano fumeroles over the past 6 years have shown the unequivocal presence of volatile hydrocarbons (short chain and aromatic hydrocarbons, some with varied degrees of halogenation), which are volcano-sourced, and not derived from anthropogenic, marine, or terrestrial vegetation sources. This pilot scale study seeks atmospheric particulate sampling from the vicinities of Vulcano, and the active Mt Etna and Stromboli volcanoes. Analyses will be by microscale sealed vessel pyrolysis gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, a novel technique which has been successfully applied to urban atmospheric particulates. Knowing now the organic species and fluxes from the Vulcano fumeroles, the objective is to identify and quantify the transport of volcanogenic organic compounds by atmospheric particulates.

MC04/19 Niels Hovius: A study of landslide failure mechanisms and their relationship to topography: Collazzone, central Umbria, Italy

Landslides are an abundant feature of the Italian landscape, where they present both a major natural hazard and a rich source of data for the study of geomorphic processes. We have the Collazzone region of central Umbria as the focus for a study of landslide mechanisms. We propose to combine high resolution (1m) LIDAR terrain data with existing multitemporal maps of landslides to investigate the following: (1) the relationships among the surface morphology, the pattern of past and present landslides, and the triggering of subsequent hillslope failures; (2) the relationship between patterns of real and modeled hillslope instability - the latter derived from a model of rainfall, runoff and soil saturation, based on the LIDAR terrain model, and validated through field observation and monitoring. The landslide data for Collazzone, rigorously mapped and extensively field validated (by CNR-IRPI Perugia), represents an excellent basis for the quantitative study of topographic relief and mass-wasting. The high spatial precision of both the LIDAR topographic data and the landslide maps will permit a detailed investigation of the development of landslide complexes in particular, how and where subsequent slope failures are determined by pre-existing failures, and whether such relationships are dominantly morphological or mechanical.

MC04/20 Geoffrey Petts: Hydroecological dynamics of large floodplain rivers Fiume Tagliamento, NE Italy

Research on the Tagliamento River, NE Italy - a collaborative programme involving the P.I. and partners on this project - has led to major advances in our understanding of the fundamental processes that determine the dynamic structure of the habitat mosaic within large river corridors. In this study we seek to provide a detailed reach-scale analysis of this shifting habitat mosaic. This will involve (1) assessing channel and habitat complexity, and (2) modelling the potential for geomorphic work (erosion and deposition) to be accomplished across the active tract. Both steps will utilize Airborne Multi- and Hyper-spectral imagery, and LIDAR data with on the ground measures of topography, flow velocity, depth, and substrate composition, and vegetation and habitat classifications, supported by GPS. The study focuses on two ca. 600 m-wide sections of different hydro-geomorphological character (with bar-braided and island-dominated reaches) along the middle Tagliamento. The final model of reach-scale channel/habitat dynamics will be calibrated against our detailed ground datasets and historical information from maps; previous surveys, ongoing photographic records, and flow records.

MC04/21 David Pyle: A digital elevation model for the Kameni Islands

We propose to use the special deployment opportunity to obtain LIDAR and aerial photographic images of the young volcanic Kameni Islands (Santorini, Greece). These data will be used to develop a high resolution digital elevation model, and detailed lava flow map, of these islands. This will provide a baseline for the subsequent quantification of medium-term (years - decades) deformation of the Kameni islands, and, in the event of the expected future eruptions, a pre-eruptive topographic baseline. Spectral imaging will also provide an excellent link with ground-based monitoring of active fumaroles on the island; in particular, to determine whether there are hotspots that are not currently monitored from the ground. This work will directly benefit colleagues in Greece who are responsible for continuous monitoring of this active volcano. This work complements research activities that are already underway on the Kameni islands, funded through two NERC studentships, that are aimed at understanding the recent eruptive behaviour of these islands.

MC04/22 Aled Rowlands: Pilot Study to Evaluate the Potential of Airborne Multi-Sensor Imaging for the Exploration of Ancient Settlements on the Island of Crete

In order to preserve our archaeological heritage it is imperative to map the spatial extent of buried as well as exposed ancient structures. This proposal seeks to utilise extensive existing geophysical and surface surveys combined with ground spectro-radiometer and soil temperature data to evaluate the degree to which the CASI, ATM and LiDAR sensors can identify buried/obscured archaeological structures at two adjacent sites on the island of Crete. Fundamental to this proposal is the hypothesis that buried archaeological features will result in anomalies in the characteristics of the overlying soil and vegetation, which can be detected through the CASI, ATM and/or LiDAR sensors. All three sensors are critical to test this hypothesis in order that imagery is acquired over the desired spectral range and to permit the production of a digital terrain model. Particular attention will be devoted to the study of the near and shortwave infrared and thermal channels to monitor for anomalies that could relate to buried features. Imagery will be integrated within a Geographical Information System (GIS) in order to interpret the data. The multi-disciplinary research team comprises of archaeologists as well as remote sensing specialists, which is considered essential in order to correctly interpret the data.

MC04/24 Simon Stoddart: Mapping the lower Tiber catchment

The lower Tiber (Central Italy) is one of the best studied and most densely occupied landscapes of Europe, forming a resource which has recently been enhanced by Tiber Valley Leverhulme project of the British School at Rome, an institution which will continue to provide important management and logistical support. The missing key element from the current GIS is a sufficiently precise DEM to tackle scientific problems of land management and erosion over the last 4,000 years. The project has selected four sample areas related to the 50 x 50 km core region to provide 1) a detailed DEM for a key area of dissected volcanic landscape (employing LiDAR) (Nepi - Civita Castellana zone) 2) comparative ground truthed microtopographic and geomorphological data from the Tiber delta to provide a measure of LiDAR accuracy under different conditions, 3) a regional analysis of ancient drainage tunnels in comparison with drainage patterns modelled from the accurate DEM (Veii zone), 4) multi-spectral data to assess the completeness and survival of the sample of over 5,200 archaeological sites from Tiber catchment. The results will form a platform for modelling and ground truthing (through coring, trenching and radar) erosional processes.

MC04/28 Timothy Malthus: Assimilation of Remote Sensing data in Hydrological Models

This proposal focuses on the integration of hydrological models with remote sensing data in order to improve the analysis and management of water resources in arid environments. The research will be carried out at several test areas within a watershed of approximately 800km2 (Belice River), whose water is used both for municipal and irrigation purposes.

MC04/29 Simon Boxall: Quantitative Assessment of Optically Derived Properties from CASI and ATM for Optical modelling in the Venice Lagoon and Messina Straits.

The study focuses on the use of hyperspectral push-broom CASI2 and multispectral scanning ATM data to measure Colour Dissolved Organic Matter (CDOM), chlorophyll (Chl) and Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) in complex optical Case 1 waters of the Straits of Messina and the Case 2 waters of the Venice Lagoon. In addition it is the aim to estimate macrophyte distribution during spring in the Venice Lagoon. The novel components of this work involve:
. The integration of atmospheric and hydro-optical radiative transfer models (MODTRAN4 and Hydrolight 4.2) to estimate the underwater light field using matrix inversion techniques to derive CDOM, SPM and Chl.
.Investigation to the potential to correct sun-glint on ATM/CASI data using ERS derived wind/wave data.
. An investigation of the reflectance of submerged vegetation of a quasi-tidal shallow water lagoon.

MC04/30 Jonathan Naden: Geoenvironmental mineral deposit modelling using airborne spectral data

Mitigating the impact of mining activity is a significant challenge for environmental management. The World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg, 2002), European directives on soils and water and related British legislation demand improvements in this process. New approaches are required based on sound science and environmental information from in-situ, airborne and satellite observations. Geo-environmental mineral deposit modelling (GEM) is one such approach. The principle is that all mineral deposits can be characterised on the basis of geologic, geophysical, geochemical characteristics and processes - the mineral deposit model. We propose to extend this approach to assess, predict and evaluate their environmental impact - the geo-environmental mineral deposit model. The ARSF data will be used to characterise three parts of the model; carbonates that buffer acids; clays, that do not; and a surface model. A site is proposed in Cyprus, parts of which have been heavily mined and parts of which give an unexploited baseline. Collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Cyprus will provide site access, maps and geophysical data. The study will improve the models and hence our understanding of both natural and anthropogenic pollution associated with mineral deposits and their exploitation.

MC04/31 Kevin Northmore: Modelling landslide processes and associated geohazards in seismically active SW Cyprus: a potential NERC community site for applied landslide geohazard research & training

SW Cyprus is of one the most landslide-prone regions in the Mediterranean, with a wide variety of active trigger mechanisms, movement types, slope movement mechanisms and hill-slope evolution taking place in a relatively small, well-exposed area. The acquisition of a suite of state-of-the-art remote sensing data for this area by the ARSF is requested in order to support analysis of landslide morphology and its relationship to lithology and soils, and subsequently improve understanding of landslide mechanisms and landscape evolution in areas of active slope processes. Such understanding will subsequently be applied to similar, but more degraded and vegetated, mass movement features and slope processes in the UK over which ARSF are also acquiring data. The area is potentially a NERC 'Community Site' for applied landslide hazard research and training, and will initially be used within the BGS to promote training in remote sensing techniques applicable to the identification and delineation of mass movements in complex terrain. The training will help earth scientists recognise, identify and classify the variety of slope movements present and learn new, rapid landslide hazard mapping methods.

MC04/32 Jonathan Pearce: Assessing the impacts of natural CO2 seeps in Italy as an analogue for CO2 sequestration

The aim of this project is to assess the impacts of natural CO2 seeps in central Italy that are currently being studied in a joint collaborative project between BGS and the University La Sapienza Roma (URS) in Italy, as natural analogues of a leaking geological CO2 storage facility. These impacts include changes in vegetation, development of karst topography and damage to buildings through rapid sinkhole development, and risks of asphyxiation through CO2 build-up in residential areas in buildings and topographic depressions. The overall aim of the research is to monitor and characterise the response seen in remote sensing data of an area that is known to have CO2 leaks. From this experience appropriate monitoring methods can be designed for geological storage sites of carbon dioxide. By understanding the behaviour of such natural analogues, the aim is to design appropriate monitoring methods for the geological storage of carbon dioxide, the most important greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. Remote sensing, integrated with local in-situ measurements, offers one way to monitor storage and assess impacts over wide areas efficiently.

MC04/33 Geoff Wadge: Lidar validation campaign for AVTIS measurements on Etna volcano

As part of an existing NERC project we have designed and built a new type of ground-based remote sensing instrument: a combined millimetre-wave radar and radiometer called the All-weather Volcano Topography Imaging Sensor (AVTIS). We are testing the ability of this instrument to measure the changing shape of lava flows under all conditions, through cloud and at night. Etna is one of the test sites and we would like to obtain lidar data of the lava flow surfaces to validate the ground-based AVTIS measurements.