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By James K. Lein

Remote sensing has witnessed a renaissance as new sensor platforms, information assortment functions and picture processing methodologies have elevated the technological services of this technological know-how into new and significant purposes parts. maybe nowhere has this pattern been extra glaring than within the learn of earth environments. inside this large program quarter distant sensing has confirmed to be a useful asset assisting well timed info collecting at a variety of synoptic scales, facilitating the mapping of complicated landscapes and selling the research of environmental approach. but distant sensing’s contribution to the learn of human/environmental interplay is scattered all through a wealthy and various literature spanning the social and actual sciences, which frustrates entry to, and the sharing of the information won via, those contemporary advances, and inhibits the operational use of those equipment and strategies in each day environmental perform, a famous hole that reduces the effectiveness of environmental administration courses. the target of this publication is to deal with this hole and supply the synthesis of technique and alertness that's at the moment lacking within the environmental technology, re-introducing distant sensing as a massive decision-support technology.

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Extra resources for Environmental Sensing: Analytical Techniques for Earth Observation

Sample text

The causal mechanisms that contribute to the plot changes that confuse our animation have been neatly summarized by Goudie and Viles (2003) according to a set of: • Predisposing factors – describing features of the natural or human environment that make a system vulnerable to stress (change) • Inciting factors – defining stresses that trigger the change in a system • Contributing factors – explaining the range of additional stresses that render a system’s response more noticeable and acute. Taken together, these factors conspire to direct the environmental system to a new state (frame) where we observe a transformation or a shift as human activities interact with a series of interlocking environmental responses.

Through the strategies of abstraction, simplification, classification, and symbolization, complexity is made sensible, which enables representation of the second key concept: structure. Structure is something we can view as having “shape,” whether it is the shape of drainage patterns that provide clues to the underlying geologic structure of the environment or the shape of the boundaries that delineate land units that may be indicative of differences in soil type, climate, or human impact. Through structure we can infer arrangement and connectivity which supports a process view of how the environmental system behaves at any given location.

Taken broadly, the term suggests a sequence of events that actively shape and reshape the behaviors exhibited by the 34 2 Environmental Sensing system of interest, whether it is a city, watershed, or other geographic entity. The sequence implied may be continuous across time and space, or discrete and observable in finite quanta of time. In both cases, there is also the underlying assumption that the events set in motion are sustained in some definable manner. Through the sustained “behavior” of process, a recognizable consequence is achieved, whether explained as the land surface modified by the geologic cycle of erosion, the establishment of growth and mortality of a plant community of the spread, or human–urban land cover over the landscape.

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