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Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Geomatics


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, potential topics for your bachelor or master thesis, and good practice examples of theses or MAPs from previous courses.


fotograph of steppe landscape in KazakhstanCan we map land-use change with annual time step given scarce data?

A new study published in RSE demonstrates the possibility of mapping cropland abandonment and recultivation timing in Kazakhstan after the breakdown of Soviet Union using the whole depth of the Landsat archive. Moreover, the study demonstrates the value of temporal details by uncovering change of cultivated area and estimating soil organic carbon stock. Finally the authors highlight the possibility of Landsat to provide more accurate land-use/cover change maps in steppe regions, which have been understudied, and thus provide baseline information for conservation and land-use planning.

fotograph of Cerrado (Brazil) landscapeCan phenological metrics improve carbon mapping in the Brazilian savanna?

Spatially explicit mapping of above ground carbon is still a challenging, yet crucial task, especially in the context of global change processes. In this research we investigated the relationship between land surface phenological metrics, derived from dense 8-day Landsat time series, and field measurements of above ground carbon stored in natural Cerrado vegetation. Find the open access paper here.

Sentinel-2 Satellite image with cloudsEver wondered why clouds are misaligned in Sentinel-2 images?

Cloud detection in Sentinel-2 images was previously hampered by the unavailability of a thermal band. Lucky us, ESA chose to use a pushbroom sensor, where the complex arrangement of individual detector elements causes a parallax effect. As a result, clouds appear at different locations in different spectral bands – a feature, which we exploited for enhanced cloud detection. Read the full paper here.

Google earth satellite image of Hallmark Sajnam reservoir, IndiaDid irrigation dams increase cropping frequency across the globe?

And if so, under which conditions? The first outcome of our project on dam-induced land system change was just published in Global Environmental Change. Find the paper here.

unpaved road in Ouagadougou, Burkina FasoMapping urban expansion patterns with Landsat series

Schug et al. 2018 show that bi-seasonal Landsat time series with images from dry and rainy seasons can be used to map urban development in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. We derive reliable gradual land cover fractions for urban surfaces, vegetation, soil and seasonal vegetation and can identify both the extent and type (planned or unplanned) of urbanization from 2002 to 2013.

satellite image with wetland classificationM.Sc. thesis topic on dam-induced wetland changes

In recent decades, a growing body of case studies linked dam construction and the associated changes in the hydrologic regime to changes in wetlands. To date, our knowledge about the spatial patterns of dam-induced changes in wetland extent is limited to single case studies, general patterns of dam-induced wetland changes hence remain poorly understood. Interested? Find out more