Land Surface Dynamics Department

Societies’ socio-economic transformations and climate change have serious consequences for the habitats and ecosystems of our planet. How we face these changes and deal with them is a crucial present challenge also affecting our future.

The Land Surface Department is that research department of the German Remote Sensing Data Center that studies and quantifies global change as manifested on Earth‘s land surface, and in this connection addresses socially relevant issues. We develop information products useful for planning purposes and produce research results based on well-established as well as innovative methods for assessing earth observation data. We are involved in a wide range of geoscience topics and employ all types of earth observation sensors (multispectral, hyperspectral, SAR) at various spatial scales (global, regional, national, local). Close liaison with DFD’s engineering and IT departments makes it possible for us to process lengthy time series and statistics. The resulting information on trends and anomalies in geophysical parameters is also relevant for DFD departments concerned with natural disasters and civil security.

We publish our results and information products, share them with researchers, politicians, the business sector and the media, and actively participate in the international dialogue on climate change.

We quantify the dynamics of the land surface in the following areas, based on our extensive understanding of the processes involved:

  • Smart Cities and Spatial Development
  • Agricultural and Forest Ecosystems
  • Coasts and River Basins
  • Polar and Cold Regions
  • SAR Topography

The department is divided into the following working groups:



Univ. Prof. Claudia Künzer

Head of Department
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD)
Land Surface Dynamics
Oberpfaffenhofen, 82234 Weßling
Tel: +49 8153 28-3280