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MORPH – Mapping, Monitoring and Modelling the Spatio-Temporal Dynamics of Land Surface Morphology

The increasing availability of remote sensing data allows for the comprehensive mapping of geomorphological features and the continuous monitoring of surface morphology changes at high spatial and temporal resolutions. Within this project novel methods for mapping, monitoring and modelling spatial-temporal dynamics of surface morphology are developed by an integrated analysis of various optical and radar remote sensing data. MORPH focuses on the investigation of landslides and volcanic deposits in two study areas in Iceland, which are highly dynamic in their geomorphic evolution and are characterized by progressive mass displacements and surface deformation.

A major objective of MORPH is the development of an efficient object-based image analysis (OBIA) method for the multi-scale mapping of slope instabilities and volcanic deposits that is transferable across various sensing data. Automated methods for time series analysis will be set up for monitoring spatio-temporal changes of land surface morphology. Surface displacements and deformation will be measured using SAR interferometry. To gain added value from the analysis of different remote sensing data a flexible digital data model, which allows for the integration of data at multiple scales for spatio-temporal modelling of land surface trends and dynamics, will be implemented. Monitoring surface changes can contribute to a better understanding of mass-transport systems, to detect related environmental variability and to assess natural hazards.