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Universität Potsdam (2020)

Potential of optical remote sensing for the analysis of salt pan environments

Milewski Robert

Titre : Potential of optical remote sensing for the analysis of salt pan environments

Potential der Optischen Fernerkundung für die Analyse von Salzpfannen

Auteur : Milewski Robert

Université de soutenance : Universität Potsdam

Grade : “Doctor rerum naturalium” (Dr. rer. nat.) 2020

Salt pans also termed playas are common landscape features of hydrologically closed basins in arid and semiarid zones, where evaporation significantly exceeds the local precipitation. The analysis and monitoring of salt pan environments is important for the evaluation of current and future impact of these landscape features. Locally, salt pans have importance for the ecosystem, wildlife and human health, and through dust emissions they influence the climate on regional and global scales. Increasing economic exploitation of these environments in the last years, e.g. by brine extraction for raw materials, as well as climate change severely affect the water, material and energy balance of these systems. Optical remote sensing has the potential to characterise salt pan environments and to increase the understanding of processes in playa basins, as well as to assess wider impacts and feedbacks that exist between climate forcing and human intervention in their regions. Remote sensing techniques can provide information for extensive regions on a high temporal basis compared to traditional field samples and ground observations. Specifically, for salt pans that are often challenging to study because of their large size, remote location, and limited accessibility due to missing infrastructure and ephemeral flooding. Furthermore, the availability of current and upcoming hyperspectral remote sensing data opened the opportunity for the analyses of the complex reflectance signatures that relate to the mineralogical mixtures found in the salt pan sediments. However, these new advances in sensor technology, as well as increased data availability currently have not been fully explored for the study of salt pan environments. The potential of new sensors needs to be assessed and state of the art methods need to be adapted and improved to provide reliable information for in depth analysis of processes and characterisation of the recent condition, as well as to support long-term monitoring and to evaluate environmental impacts of changing climate and anthropogenic activity.

Mots clés  : Optical remote sensing ; Optische Fernerkundung ; Playa ; Salt pan ; sediments


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