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Home > Science and research > Structure, Composition and Evolution of the Earth's Crust > Remote sensing of the Earth

Remote sensing of the Earth

Thanks to new space programmes and rapid developments in technology, remote sensing of the Earth has become the fastest method for gathering spatial data about the Earth’s surface and objects on it. In addition to capturing synoptic views of the Earth’s surface that enable specific areas to be studied in detail, satellite data can also be used to compile thematic information (quantitative parameters) of explored objects in both a spatial and temporal context. Data can be systematically acquired and archived over an extended period enabling evaluation of a time series of images.

Image showing spectral information from part of an open pit mining operation compiled by Veronika Kopačková andJan Mišurec

Image showing spectral information from part of an open pit mining operation compiled by Veronika Kopačková and Jan Mišurec.

The specific physical and chemical properties of minerals, rocks and vegetation growing on them result in different patterns of absorbtion and reflection of light and other parts of the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation that fall on them. These differences can be measured directly at the surface using hand-held instruments and remotely using airborne or spaceborne spectrometers. In this way the spectral properties of different kinds of surfaces can be defined, and large areas can be mapped without direct physical contact with the Earths´ surface. One method is to use a remote hyperspectral sensor which can acquires a large number of images of a given area within a succession of very narrow intervals in the electromagnetic spectrum ranging from the visible, to the near and middle infrared wavelengths. This continuous record can then be used determine variations in a wide range of physical, chemical and biochemical parameters of the Earth’s surface which can be used for resource and environmental assessments.

At present, the CGS Special Centre for Remote Sensing is working on applications of spectroscopic imaging using optical hyperspectral data. One of the main themes of this research is the relationship between the geochemical composition of different soils and substrates and the health of vegetation vegetation growing on them. The hyperspectral data for this are obtained using the Hymap sensor This project is presently financed both from both national (GACR 205/09/1989) and international grants (FP7, EO-MINERS, grant 244242). In the near future it is planned to expand the scope of the work to include thermal hyperspectral scanning, which will add to the information obtained from hyperspectral data in the range of the visible, near and middle infrared wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum (optical data).

Empirical model of the areal variation in As concentration generated using HyMap hyperspectral data with validation

Empirical model of the areal variation in As concentration generated using HyMap hyperspectral data with validation. (Author: Veronika Kopačková)

Projects

The CGS Centre for Remote Sensing of the Earth is involved with partners from other institutions in the Czech Republic and abroad in long-term scientific cooperation on a range of geological and related environmental topics. At present, the Centre specializes in the applications of methods of spectrometric imaging and the interpretation of hyperspectral data obtained from the visible, near and middle infrared wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. In future the Centre plans to expand its work to include thermal scanning and applications of remote sensing of the Earth using radar.

  • EO-Miners: Earth Observation for Monitoring and Observing Environmental and Social Impacts of Mineral Resources Exploration and Exploition
  • HyPso: Hyperspectral Sokolov
  • DeMinTIR: Detection of mineral surface parameter and vegetation status from airborne therma infrared imaginery
  • Rebilance zásob podzemních vod
  • PanGeo

icon of contactsContacts

Czech Geological Survey
Klárov 131/3
118 21 Praha 1
phone: +420257089481
fax: +420 257 531 376
veronika.kopackova@geologycz