Geodaysit 2023

Application of Remote Sensing to Repeat Photography to Analyze Landscape Change
06-14, 15:30–15:45 (Europe/London), Sala Videoconferenza @ PoliBa

In the 1850s landscape photography proliferated in the American West as a means of recording “then and now” views of the same landscape after some interval of time. Many photos were casual, usually taken from the same view point but without regard to season, or the exactness of the scene being photographed. Some are very precise and involve a careful study of the original image. These photos have provided a unique database that has been exploited by scientists from both universities and US environmental agencies to track the impact of first people upon the landscape and later of climate change. Pioneered in the US state of Arizona, this technique provided a unique opportunity to record changes in vegetation cover due to climate change and human impact, and to document ongoing surficial processes due to both. Remote sensing when combined with repeat photography provides a unique opportunity to study these changes in much greater detail, especially when precise measurements are required. Landsat photos have the potential to be precisely positioned for comparison with past photos. This makes the measurement of both the nature of change and their rates to be precisely measured and applied in models of environmental change. We are combining historic photos from both southern Italy and the American West with Landsat photos to study changes in the two areas during the last 140 years. In particular, we are focusing upon changes in both vegetation cover due to climate change and to the activities of people. We are also investigating relationship between vegetation cover destruction and erosion. We will be use our findings and relating it to specific changes in climate to see what conditions have been the most destructive with regards to both annual rainfall amount and in changes in rainfall seasonality.

Graduate faculty at 3 universities, a Visiting Research Professor at the University of Bari, Affiliate Research Professor at the Desert Research Institute & own EESEEMR Irish eco-consulting Co. Using paleobotany & geomorphology, I am investigating late Quaternary landscape dynamics in the western U.S., the northern Mediterranean margin, and the Middle East (Iran), where as a result of climate change, poor agricultural practices, poor water management severe environmental deterioration is occurring. A conference was held in Gravina in Puglia in July, highlighting this and other research around the Mediterranean and Iran: