Team: Land Surface Dynamics

 Team: Land Surface Dynamics
zum Bild Team: Land Surface Dynamics
The Land Surface Dynamics team develops methodologies and information products which characterize a natural environment and its biogeophysical parameters and permit assertions about their development and the continuation of existing trends. Issues under current discussion among scientists and the public at large are dealt with in this work. The team is financed by long-term projects specifying an emphasis on land and water resource management. The main product lines accordingly relate to land cover, land use, and changes in land cover and land use; water, snow and soil moisture; biomass, carbon storage, and carbon release, as well as thermal pattern analysis.

These topics are primarily, but not exclusively, based on medium-resolution optical and radar data recorded by the sensors MODIS, AVHRR, MERIS, Vegetation, ERS-Scat, Metop-ASCAT, ASAR, and TSX. The mid- and long-term plan is to produce basic and value added information products especially for a regional scale (large watersheds, climatically-distinct natural environments). Special attention is paid to analyzing multitemporal data sets and time series to identify trends, and to the possibility of transferring the methodology for use with other natural environments. A long-term goal is operational automation of the processes and process chains which have been created.

The following thematic products are being developed:

Thematic products on the subjects of land cover, land use and changes in land cover/land use

  • Information products on current land cover and land use based on multisensor data and time series (MODIS, AVHRR, Spot, Landsat, etc.) which can be automatically generated using TwoPac (Twinned Object and Pixel based Automatic Classification Chain), a process chain currently being developed with the goal of achieving total automation,
  • Information products on changes in land cover and land use which can be automatically generated and are based on multisensor data and time series (MODIS, AVHRR, Spot, Landsat, etc.).

Thematic products on the subjects of water, snow and soil moisture

  • Recording water and snow cover with the WaMaPro und SnoMaPro processers which are currently under development/enhancement,
  • Describing changes in water and snow cover over large areas with a focus on water availability and consumption, as well as trend analyses,
  • Recording ground moisture and anomalies based on long-duration time series (floods and droughts) and recording ground moisture saturation in catchment areas,
  • Basic products for estimating greenhouse gas emissions from flooded areas and melting permafrost regions (methane).

Thematic products on the subjects of biomass, carbon storage, and carbon release

  • Recording net primary production and biomass for vegetated areas,
  • Estimating the amount of carbon from above-ground biomass,
  • Estimating carbon release due to decay/destruction of biomass (fire clearance, natural fires, etc.),
  • Producing trend analyses and products for net primary production, biomass, and carbon.

Thematic products on the subject of thermal pattern analysis

  • Trend analyses of thermal time series (day, night, weekly, monthly and annual averages, anomalies, and changes over wide areas).
  • Recording thermal anomalies connected with biomass destruction.

Incorporation of remote sensing data products and general project results into ELVIS (EnvironmentaL Visualization and Information System), a user service.

  • Assuring the availability of project results and products through ELVIS,
  • Supporting the trans-departmental availability of modules via UKIS, a Web-based information system.


Dr. Claudia K├╝nzer
German Aerospace Center (DLR)

German Remote Sensing Data Center
, Land Surface
Tel: +49 8153 28-3280

Fax: +49 8153 28-1445

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