Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Earth Observation Lab


student group on a boat in BrazilYou plan to focus on Earth Observation?

Here you find all information needed to structure your studies with a focus on Earth Observation: course descriptions, and good practice examples of theses or MAPs from previous courses.



Graph showing burned area by years since deforestation and land tenure.Brazilian Amazon - alarming deforestation and fires escalation

A new study conducted in Pará sheds light on the alarming escalation of deforestation and fires in the Brazilian Amazon between 2014 and 2020. Employing quasi-experimental methods, the research examined the effects of Presidents Rousseff, Temer, and Bolsonaro on these environmental changes across various land-tenure and farm systems. The findings reveal a nearly fourfold increase in deforestation, particularly during Bolsonaro's term in undesignated areas, conservation units, and medium-sized farms. Burning expanded across all tenure types, with the most significant rise observed in agrarian settlements, conservation units, and medium to large farms. Find more out in  our publication.

Map of Wesermarsch area in Germany showing drought impacts on grasslands in purple, blue, and yellow color gradients.Drought monitoring of Central European grasslands

We developed a generalized approach for monitoring drought impacts on grasslands with Sentinel-2 time series and regression-based unmixing models. We found severe and long-lasting drought impacts between 2017 and 2021. Drought effects on the vegetation followed general meteorological patterns but also varied with environmental and land management characteristics of grasslands. Find out more in our publication.

Title and Logo of the EnMap ProjectUpdated Science Plan for EnMap online

The Science Plan describes the scientific background, applications, and activities of the Environmental Mapping and Analysis Program (EnMAP) imaging spectroscopy mission. The update reflects the excellent science happened since the publication of the last Science Plan in 2016. Discover the content of the Science Plan 2022 online here.

News paper FS 2022-10.pngHigh-resolution mapping of material stocks

A new Earth Observation Lab study maps the accumulation of human-made material stock in buildings and infrastructure over the last 33 years in Germany at high spatial resolution with present-day stock maps and remote sensing data from the Landsat Archive. We find an overall growth of stock of 13% and monitor stock growth with population decline in former East-Germany after 1990. Read the article here.

treespecies_thumbnail.pngTree species mapped with Sentinel-2 time series

We used Sentinel-2 time series and forest inventory data to map 17 tree species in Brandenburg state, Germany. You can find out more about our approach and how environmental factors and texture metrics influence map accuracy in our paper here.