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Deus D.,TU Bergakademie Freiberg | Deus D.,Ardhi University | Gloaguen R.,TU Bergakademie Freiberg | Gloaguen R.,Helmholtz Institute Freiberg of Resource Technology
Water (Switzerland)

We show here that a remote sensing (RS) approach is a cost-efficient and accurate method to study water resource dynamics in semi-arid areas. We use a MODIS surface reflectance dataset and a Modified Normalized Difference Water Index (MNDWI) to map the variability of Lake Manyara's water surface area using a histogram segmentation technique. The results indicate that Lake Manyara's water surface coverage has been decreasing from 520.25 km2 to 30.5 km2 in 2000 and 2011 respectively. We observe that the lake water surface and the lake water balance displayed a similar pattern from 2006 to 2009, probably initiated by heavy rainfall and low temperature in 2006. Lake water surface area appears to have an inverse relationship with MODIS evapotranspiration (ET) and MODIS land surface temperature (LST). We imply that recent fluctuations of Lake Manyara's surface water area are a direct consequence of global and regional climate fluctuations. We therefore conclude that, by means of RS it is possible to provide timely and up-to-date water resource information to managers and hence enable optimized and operational decisions for sustainable management and conservation. We suggest that themethod employed in this research should be applied to monitor water resource dynamics provided that remotely sensed datasets are available. ©2013 by the authors. Source

Fuchs M.C.,TU Bergakademie Freiberg | Gloaguen R.,TU Bergakademie Freiberg | Gloaguen R.,Helmholtz Institute Freiberg of Resource Technology | Pohl E.,TU Bergakademie Freiberg
International Journal of Earth Sciences

Surface processes involve complex feedback effects between tectonic and climatic influences in the high mountains of Pamir. The ongoing India-Asia collision provokes the development of east-west-trending mountain ranges that impose structural control on flow directions of the Pamir rivers. The evolving relief is further controlled by strong moisture gradients. The decreasing precipitations from the southern and western margins of the Pamir Plateau to its center, in their turn, control the emplacement of glaciers. Chronologies of glacial records from the Pamir Plateau attest for strong climatic variability during the Quaternary. Corresponding remnants of glacial advances suggest glacial morphodynamic restricted to >4,000 m a.s.l. since marine isotope stage 4. The Panj, the trunk river of Pamir, deflects from the predominant westward drainage, connecting its main tributaries at the western margin of the drainage basin. The geometry of the river network and the pattern of incision characterize the Panj as a composite river. River reaches of indicated low incision coincide with west-trending valleys, parallel to domes and their bounding faults. Valley shape ratios reflect increased incision in north-trending sections, but do not match with changes in the catchment geometry or erodibility of rock types. Modelled riverbed profiles distinguish three Panj reaches. The upstream increase in convexity suggests successive river captures in response to local base-level changes. The northward-deflected river reaches link the local base levels, which coincide with the southern boundaries of the Shakhdara and Yazgulom Dome and Darvaz Range. We argue that tectonics plays a large role controlling the drainage system of the Panj and hence surface processes in the Pamir mountains. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

Attarchi S.,TU Bergakademie Freiberg | Gloaguen R.,TU Bergakademie Freiberg | Gloaguen R.,Helmholtz Institute Freiberg of Resource Technology
Remote Sensing

Forest environment classification in mountain regions based on single-sensor remote sensing approaches is hindered by forest complexity and topographic effects. Temperate broadleaf forests in western Asia such as the Hyrcanian forest in northern Iran have already suffered from intense anthropogenic activities. In those regions, forests mainly extend in rough terrain and comprise different stand structures, which are difficult to discriminate. This paper explores the joint analysis of Landsat7/ETM+, L-band SAR and their derived parameters and the effect of terrain corrections to overcome the challenges of discriminating forest stand age classes in mountain regions. We also verified the performances of three machine learning methods which have recently shown promising results using multisource data; support vector machines (SVM), neural networks (NN), random forest (RF) and one traditional classifier (i.e., maximum likelihood classification (MLC)) as a benchmark. The non-topographically corrected ETM+ data failed to differentiate among different forest stand age classes (average classification accuracy (OA) = 65%). This confirms the need to reduce relief effects prior data classification in mountain regions. SAR backscattering alone cannot properly differentiate among different forest stand age classes (OA = 62%). However, textures and PolSAR features are very efficient for the separation of forest classes (OA = 82%). The highest classification accuracy was achieved by the joint usage of SAR and ETM+ (OA = 86%). However, this shows a slight improvement compared to the ETM+ classification (OA = 84%). The machine learning classifiers proved t o be more robust and accurate compared to MLC. SVM and RF statistically produced better classification results than NN in the exploitation of the considered multi-source data. © 2014 by the authors. Source

Fuchs M.C.,TU Bergakademie Freiberg | Gloaguen R.,TU Bergakademie Freiberg | Gloaguen R.,Helmholtz Institute Freiberg of Resource Technology | Krbetschek M.,TU Bergakademie Freiberg | Szulc A.,TU Bergakademie Freiberg

Calculated incision rates along the Panj, the main river of the Pamir, are used to investigate any influence by tectonics or climate on the architecture of the river. The depositional ages of Panj River terraces were calculated using optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating of terrace sand. Fluvial incision rates were generated by integrating the terrace depositional ages with accurate kinematic GPS measurements of terrace heights above the modern Panj. We investigated 16 terraces along the Panj at the western Pamir margin and one terrace from the Vakhsh River to the north of the Pamir. The results reveal brief periods of fluvial deposition over the past 26. kyr. The oldest Panj terrace depositional ages coincide with early MIS 2 and MIS 2/1 glaciations on the Pamir Plateau. Younger terrace ages have no apparent link with glacial cycles. Terraces with varying heights above the modern Panj at different localities yielded similar depositional ages. This suggests that local conditions have determined fluvial incision rates. Combining all of the terrace measurements, the average incision rate of the Panj over the last 26. kyr has been ~. 5.6. mm/yr. A high mean incision rate of ~. 7.3. mm/yr was calculated from terraces where the Panj has cut a steep-sided valley through the Shakhdara dome. Significantly lower incision rates (~. 2-3. mm/yr) were calculated from terraces where the Panj flows along the southern boundaries of the Shakhdara and Yazgulom domes. At those localities, graded segments of the Panj River profile and increased valley widths are indicative of local base levels. Downstream of the Yazgulom dome, river incision rates are generally lower (~. 4-5. mm/yr) than the Panj average. However, there is one exception where higher incision rates (~. 6. mm/yr) were calculated upstream of the Darvaz Fault Zone, a major tectonic feature that forms the western boundary of the Pamir. The Vakhsh River terrace to the north of the Pamir yielded a lower incision rate (~. 3. mm/yr) compared to the Panj average. Variation in incision rates along the Panj does not correspond to changes in rock type or river catchment area. Instead, incision rates appear to have been primarily influenced by river capture across the southern and central metamorphic domes of the Pamir. Wherever the Panj cuts these domes it displays a convex river profile. The combination of localized river profile convexity and changes in incision rates across the Pamir domes indicates that the dome boundaries have been active recently. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source

Attarchi S.,TU Bergakademie Freiberg | Gloaguen R.,TU Bergakademie Freiberg | Gloaguen R.,Helmholtz Institute Freiberg of Resource Technology
Remote Sensing

The objective of this study is to develop models based on both optical and L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data for above ground dry biomass (hereafter AGB) estimation in mountain forests. We chose the site of the Loveh forest, a part of the Hyrcanian forest for which previous attempts to estimate AGB have proven difficult. Uncorrected ETM+ data allow a relatively poor AGB estimation, because topography can hinder AGB estimation in mountain terrain. Therefore, we focused on the use of atmospherically and topographically corrected multispectral Landsat ETM+ and Advanced Land-Observing Satellite/Phased Array L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (ALOS/PALSAR) to estimate forest AGB. We then evaluated 11 different multiple linear regression models using different combinations of corrected spectral and PolSAR bands and their derived features. The use of corrected ETM+ spectral bands and GLCM textures improves AGB estimation significantly (adjusted R2 = 0.59; RMSE = 31.5 Mg/ha). Adding SAR backscattering coefficients as well as PolSAR features and textures increase substantially the accuracy of AGB estimation (adjusted R2 = 0.76; RMSE = 25.04 Mg/ha). Our results confirm that topographically and atmospherically corrected data are indispensable for the estimation of mountain forest's physical properties. We also demonstrate that only the joint use of PolSAR and multispectral data allows a good estimation of AGB in those regions. © 2014 by the authors. Source

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