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Special Issue "Remote Sensing of Arid/Semiarid Lands"

A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292). This special issue belongs to the section "Remote Sensing in Geology, Geomorphology and Hydrology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Magaly Koch

Center for Remote Sensing, Boston University, 725 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215-1401, USA
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +1-617-353-3200
Interests: applications of remote sensing in geology, geomorphology, and hydrogeology of arid lands; hyperspectral, multispectral and radar remote sensing; land use/cover changes; water resources exploration/assessment in arid/semiarid lands
Guest Editor
Dr. Brian F. Thomas

Dept. Geology and Environmental Science, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh PA 15260, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: hydrogeology; Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE); hydrologic modeling; land use/cover changes; statistical hydrology; time series analysis
Guest Editor
Dr. Ahmed Gaber

Geology Dept., Faculty of Science, Port Said University, 23 December Street, Port Said, 42522, Egypt
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR); Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR); hydrogeology; natural hazards; land use/cover changes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,


Arid and semiarid lands are ecologically fragile environments with limited water resources and vegetation cover. They encompass a range of very unique habitats—whether desert plains, savanna, seasonal wetlands, or arid mountain ranges—adapted to harsh and changing climatic conditions. After prolonged periods of droughts, the sparse vegetation in these regions often show a tremendous resilience capacity when rains return. At the same time they are very susceptible to surface disturbances and water resources changes, and, thus, may serve as excellent indicators of the onset of climate change. Arid/semiarid regions are usually characterized by their remoteness and low population density.  However, as population pressure increases, these regions are undergoing rapid changes with significant impact on their natural resources. Remote sensing offers an important tool to assess, monitor, and manage such resources and their changes.


This Special Issue seeks to compile the latest development in the field of remote sensing technology, algorithm development and applications specifically addressing issues affecting arid/semiarid lands. Tools and methods may encompass a range of platforms (satellite, airborne, UAV, ground based), sensors (multispectral, thermal, radar, Lidar) and techniques (time series analysis, data fusion, machine learning, spectroscopy, polarimetric SAR, InSAR). Topics may include the use of remote sensing for assessing groundwater depletion or diversion of surface water for irrigated agriculture, land subsidence due to changes in water fluxes, soil salinization, evapotranspiration, land use changes (e.g., desert reclamation, agriculture expansion, urbanization), crop water productivity/consumption, ecosystem health, mineral resources, soil erosion, and other forms of geohazards.


Dr. Magaly Koch
Dr. Brian F. Thomas
Dr. Ahmed Gaber
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Remote Sensing is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Agriculture
  • Water resources
  • Soil erosion/degradation/salinization
  • Arid land geomorphology
  • Drought monitoring
  • Land subsidence
  • Dryland ecosystem change
  • Geohazards (aeolian/fluvial)
  • Subsurface investigation

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.

Journal Contact

Remote Sensing Editorial Office
St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
Tel. +41 61 683 77 34
Fax: +41 61 302 89 18
Editorial Board
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