Helmholtz Institute Freiberg of Resource Technology

Freiberg, Germany

Helmholtz Institute Freiberg of Resource Technology

Freiberg, Germany
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Deus D.,TU Bergakademie Freiberg | Deus D.,University of Dar es Salaam | Gloaguen R.,TU Bergakademie Freiberg | Gloaguen R.,Helmholtz Institute Freiberg of Resource Technology | Krause P.,Thuringer Landesanstalt fur Umwelt und Geologie TLUG
Remote Sensing | Year: 2013

The purpose of this paper is to estimate the water balance in a semi-arid environment with limited in situ data using a remote sensing approach. We focus on the Lake Manyara catchment, located within the East African Rift of northern Tanzania. We use a distributed conceptual hydrological model driven by remote sensing data to study the spatial and temporal variability of water balance parameters within the catchment. Satellite gravimetry GRACE data is used to verify the trends of the inferred lake level changes. The results show that the lake undergoes high spatial and temporal variations, characteristic of a semi-arid climate with high evaporation and low rainfall. We observe that the Lake Manyara water balance and GRACE equivalent water depth show comparable trends; a decrease after 2002 followed by a sharp increase in 2006-2007. Our modeling confirms the importance of the 2006-2007 Indian Ocean Dipole fluctuation in replenishing the groundwater reservoirs of East Africa. We thus demonstrate that water balance modeling can be performed successfully using remote sensing data even in complex climatic settings. Despite the small size of Lake Manyara, GRACE data showed great potential for hydrological research on smaller un-gauged lakes and catchments in similar semi-arid environments worldwide. The water balance information can be used for further analysis of lake variations in relation to soil erosion, climate and land cover/land use change as well as different lake management and conservation scenarios. © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Deus D.,TU Bergakademie Freiberg | Deus D.,Ardhi University | Gloaguen R.,TU Bergakademie Freiberg | Gloaguen R.,Helmholtz Institute Freiberg of Resource Technology
Water (Switzerland) | Year: 2013

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.


Rahnama M.,TU Bergakademie Freiberg | Rahnama M.,Helmholtz Institute Freiberg of Resource Technology | Gloaguen R.,TU Bergakademie Freiberg | Gloaguen R.,Helmholtz Institute Freiberg of Resource Technology
Remote Sensing | Year: 2014

Geological structures, such as faults and fractures, appear as image discontinuities or lineaments in remote sensing data. Geologic lineament mapping is a very important issue in geo-engineering, especially for construction site selection, seismic, and risk assessment, mineral exploration and hydrogeological research. Classical methods of lineaments extraction are based on semi-automated (or visual) interpretation of optical data and digital elevation models. We developed a freely available Matlab based toolbox TecLines (Tectonic Lineament Analysis) for locating and quantifying lineament patterns using satellite data and digital elevation models. TecLines consists of a set of functions including frequency filtering, spatial filtering, tensor voting, Hough transformation, and polynomial fitting. Due to differences in the mathematical background of the edge detection and edge linking procedure as well as the breadth of the methods, we introduce the approach in two-parts. In this first study, we present the steps that lead to edge detection. We introduce the data pre-processing using selected filters in spatial and frequency domains. We then describe the application of the tensor-voting framework to improve position and length accuracies of the detected lineaments. We demonstrate the robustness of the approach in a complex area in the northeast of Afghanistan using a panchromatic QUICKBIRD-2 image with 1-meter resolution. Finally, we compare the results of TecLines with manual lineament extraction, and other lineament extraction algorithms, as well as a published fault map of the study area. © 2014 by the authors.


Othman A.A.,TU Bergakademie Freiberg | Othman A.A.,Helmholtz Institute Freiberg of Resource Technology | Gloaguen R.,TU Bergakademie Freiberg | Gloaguen R.,Helmholtz Institute Freiberg of Resource Technology
Remote Sensing | Year: 2014

The mineral ore potential of many mountainous regions of the world, like the Kurdistan region of Iraq, remains unexplored. For logistical and sometimes political reasons, these areas are difficult to map using traditional methods. We highlight the improvement in remote sensing geological mapping that arises from the integration of geomorphic features in classifications. The Mawat Ophiolite Complex (MOC) is located in the NE of Iraq and is known for its mineral deposits. The aims of this study are: (I) to refine the existing lithological map of the MOC; (II) to identify the best discriminatory datasets for lithological classification, including geomorphic features and textures; and (III) to identify potential locations with high concentrations of chromite. We performed a Support Vector Machine (SVM) classification method to allow the joint use of geomorphic features, textures and multispectral data of the Advanced Space-borne Thermal Emission and Reflection radiometer (ASTER) satellite. The updated map allowed the identification of a new mafic body and a substantial improvement of the geometry of the known lithological units. The use of geomorphic features allowed for the increase of the overall accuracy from 73% to 79.3%. In addition, we detected chromite occurrences within the ophiolite by applying Spectral Angle Mapping (SAM) technique. We identified two new locations having high concentrations of chromite and verified one of these promising areas in the field. This new body covers ~0.3 km2 and has coarsely crystalline chromite within dunite host rock. The chromium (Cr2O3) concentration is ~8.46%. The SAM and SVM methods applied on ASTER satellite data show that these can be used as a powerful tool to explore ore deposits and to further improve lithological mapping in mountainous semi-arid regions. © 2014 by the authors.


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 | Year: 2013

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.


Attarchi S.,TU Bergakademie Freiberg | Gloaguen R.,TU Bergakademie Freiberg | Gloaguen R.,Helmholtz Institute Freiberg of Resource Technology
Remote Sensing | Year: 2014

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.


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
Geomorphology | Year: 2014

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.


Othman A.A.,TU Bergakademie Freiberg | Gloaguen R.,TU Bergakademie Freiberg | Gloaguen R.,Helmholtz Institute Freiberg of Resource Technology
Remote Sensing | Year: 2013

This study aims to assess the localization and size distribution of landslides using automatic remote sensing techniques in (semi-) arid, non-vegetated, mountainous environments. The study area is located in the Kurdistan region (NE Iraq), within the Zagros orogenic belt, which is characterized by the High Folded Zone (HFZ), the Imbricated Zone and the Zagros Suture Zone (ZSZ). The available reference inventory includes 3,190 landslides mapped from sixty QuickBird scenes using manual delineation. The landslide types involve rock falls, translational slides and slumps, which occurred in different lithological units. Two hundred and ninety of these landslides lie within the ZSZ, representing a cumulated surface of 32 km2. The HFZ implicates 2,900 landslides with an overall coverage of about 26 km2. We first analyzed cumulative landslide number-size distributions using the inventory map. We then proposed a very simple and robust algorithm for automatic landslide extraction using specific band ratios selected upon the spectral signatures of bare surfaces as well as posteriori slope and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) thresholds. The index is based on the contrast between landslides and their background, whereas the landslides have high reflections in the green and red bands. We applied the slope threshold map to remove low slope areas, which have high reflectance in red and green bands. The algorithm was able to detect ~96% of the recent landslides known from the reference inventory on a test site. The cumulative landslide number-size distribution of automatically extracted landslide is very similar to the one based on visual mapping. The automatic extraction is therefore adapted for the quantitative analysis of landslides and thus can contribute to the assessment of hazards in similar regions. © 2013 by the authors.


Attarchi S.,TU Bergakademie Freiberg | Gloaguen R.,TU Bergakademie Freiberg | Gloaguen R.,Helmholtz Institute Freiberg of Resource Technology
Remote Sensing | Year: 2014

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.


Othman A.A.,TU Bergakademie Freiberg | Gloaguen R.,TU Bergakademie Freiberg | Gloaguen R.,Helmholtz Institute Freiberg of Resource Technology
Remote Sensing | Year: 2013

The objective of this study is to understand the effect of landslides on the drainage network within the area of interest. We thus test the potential of rivers to record the intensity of landslides that affected their courses. The study area is located within the Zagros orogenic belt along the border between Iraq and Iran. We identified 280 landslides through nine QuickBird scenes using visual photo-interpretation. The total landslide area of 40.05 km2 and their distribution follows a NW-SE trend due to the tectonic control of main thrust faults. We observe a strong control of the landslides on the river course. We quantify the relationship between riverbed displacement and mass wasting occurrences using landslide sizes versus river offset and hypsometric integrals. Many valleys and river channels are curved around the toe of landslides, thus producing an offset of the stream which increases with the landslide area. The river offsets were quantified using two geomorphic indices: the river with respect to the basin midline (Fb); and the offset from the main river direction (Fd). Hypsometry and stream offset seem to be correlated. In addition; the analysis of selected river courses may give some information on the sizes of the past landslide events and therefore contribute to the hazard assessment. © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

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