Earth Observation for Environmental Monitoring
The main objective of our work is to apply Earth Observation (EO) techniques to monitor and understand key environmental processes such as water cycles or vegetation dynamics in mountain regions. We exploit satellite imagery in combination with climate and in-situ data using advanced methodologies and physically based models to better understand and predict processes such as snow melt, run-off, or vegetation phenology. The results enable us to provide highly accurate, reliable, and customized methodologies and products, which are shared with the scientific community and users of Alpine services.
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The cryosphere research line aims at developing new methods to monitor the alpine cryosphere by combining optical and radar satellite images with in-situ meteorological observations and snow model simulations. The application of these new methods allows us to better understand the processes related to cryosphere dynamics thus improving the management of the water resources e.g., snow water equivalent estimation and the related risks e.g., permafrost deformation.
© Eurac Research
Water resources monitoring for agriculture and hydrology
We estimate soil moisture, evapotranspiration, and combined biophysical/meteorological indices using satellite data, physical and machine learning models, and ground observations. Our aim is to contribute to the understanding of related processes and to develop applications related to water use, water availability and land-vegetation-atmosphere interactions in close collaboration with hydrological models and agricultural stakeholders.
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Vegetation and Land-use Dynamics
Our research aims to monitor and understand the temporal dynamics and spatial distribution of highly variable mountain vegetation. Specifically, we focus on the mountain forests and grasslands that dominate the alpine environment. We use optical and radar data together with a variety of data from ground stations to monitor land-cover dynamics as well as bio-physical vegetation parameters at different scales in order to understand short and long-term impacts of climate and land use change.
On the left is a snow-free surface. The satellite signal (red line) touches the ground and returns to the base following a linear path. Right: the snow deflects and interacts with the signal (blue line) which, in order to return to the satellite, takes a more complex route than it would have done had it not encountered the snow (dotted red line). © Eurac Research | Fabio Dalvit
Research Group Projects
Snow CCI+ Phase 2
CCI+ Phase 2 - New ECVs / Snow (ESA Climate Change Initiative on the essential climate variable ...Duration: January 2022 - January 2025Funding: ESA (International organisations ...
ESA OPTION CCI+ SNOW
OPTION CCI+ Phase 2 - High Resolution Snow Mapping from Sentinel-2 and Landsat DataDuration: January 2022 - January 2024Funding: ESA (International organisations ...
4DMED-HydrologyDuration: November 2021 - November 2023Funding: ESA (International organisations ...
towards geoHazards rEsilient infRastruCtUre under changing cLimatESDuration: February 2018 - August 2023
Earth Observation for Alpine ecosystems – Alps regional initiativeDuration: January 2021 - January 2023Funding: ESA (International organisations ...
ESA_EO4Alps-Operational Snow HydrologyDuration: January 2021 - January 2023Funding: Public institutions (Other projects ...
Multi-frequency SAR applications to the cryosphereDuration: July 2021 - January 2023Funding: ASI (National funding /Project)
Development of an innovative approach for the derivation of a drought index for alpine grassland by ...Duration: December 2020 - December 2022Funding: Direct Award Contracts (Province BZ ...
Assimilating Cosmic-Ray Neutron and Remote Sensing Data for Improved Water Resource ManagementDuration: September 2020 - December 2022