Spatial Information Science and Technology for Geological Field Mapping

A special issue of ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information (ISSN 2220-9964).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 28760

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Pure and Applied Sciences, Università degli Studi di Urbino "Carlo Bo", 61029 Urbino, Italy
Interests: digital field mapping; 3D geological modeling; sedimentary geology; tectonics and sedimentation; geoarchaeology
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue aims to collect scientific and technological contributions that indicate the state of the art on methods and procedures, techniques, and tools (hardware and software) used for the geological survey in the digital age.

In fact, digital tools have been available for some years to collect data and information in the field for geological maps drawing and data capturing, with accuracy improvement and information management.

Authors coming from research institutes, agencies, institutions, and universities with different experiences and scopes are welcome.

Contributions that include the following topics will be particularly appreciated:

  • Preparation digital procedures (laboratory pre fieldwork), survey (fieldwork), and interpretation (laboratory after fieldwork);
  • Hardware–operator interaction in the field (tablet PCs, smartphones, etc.);
  • Open source and commercial software and apps;
  • Management of cartography and online and offline data;
  • Multidimensional mapping detection and return;
  • GPS and mobile GIS;
  • Drones, remote sensing, and geophysics technologies that can be used directly on the ground;
  • Advantages and limitations of digital survey methods;
  • Teaching digital methods in academic geological field mapping courses.

Authors are invited to send short abstracts for the purposes of their research and the main results obtained, to verify that their contribution is aligned with the objectives of the Special Issue.

Prof. Dr. Mauro De Donatis
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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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. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information 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 1700 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.

Keywords

  • Mobile GIS
  • GPS
  • Information and data capturing 
  • Database 
  • Digital cartography 
  • Open source and commercial software and apps 
  • Multidimensional mapping 
  • Tablet PC
  • Smartphones 
  • Drones

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

25 pages, 8402 KiB  
Article
Integrating Post-Processing Kinematic (PPK)–Structure-from-Motion (SfM) with Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Photogrammetry and Digital Field Mapping for Structural Geological Analysis
by Daniele Cirillo, Francesca Cerritelli, Silvano Agostini, Simone Bello, Giusy Lavecchia and Francesco Brozzetti
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2022, 11(8), 437; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi11080437 - 02 Aug 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3213
Abstract
We studied some exposures of the Roccacaramanico Conglomerate (RCC), a calcareous-clastic mega-bed intercalated within the Late Messinian–Early Pliocene pelitic succession of the La Queglia and Maiella tectonic units (central Apennines). The outcrops, localized in the overturned limb of a kilometric-scale syncline, show a [...] Read more.
We studied some exposures of the Roccacaramanico Conglomerate (RCC), a calcareous-clastic mega-bed intercalated within the Late Messinian–Early Pliocene pelitic succession of the La Queglia and Maiella tectonic units (central Apennines). The outcrops, localized in the overturned limb of a kilometric-scale syncline, show a complex array of fractures, including multiple systems of closely spaced cleavages, joints, and mesoscopic faults, which record the progressive deformation associated with the Late Pliocene thrusting. Due to the extent of the investigated sites and a large amount of data to collect, we applied a multi-methodology survey technique integrating unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technologies and digital mapping in the field. We reconstructed the 3D digital outcrop model of the RCC in the type area and defined the 3D pattern of fractures and their time–space relationships. The field survey played a pivotal role in determining the various sets of structures, their kinematics, the associated displacements, and relative chronology. The results unveiled the investigated area’s tectonic evolution and provide a deformation model that could be generalized in similar tectonic contexts. Furthermore, the methodology allows for evaluating the reliability of the applied remote survey techniques (i.e., using UAV) compared to those based on the direct measurements of structures using classic devices. Our purpose was to demonstrate that our multi-methodology approach can describe the tectonic evolution of the study area, providing consistent 3D data and using a few ground control points. Finally, we propose two alternative working methods and discuss their different fields of application. Full article
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11 pages, 3097 KiB  
Article
Geospatial Information Technologies for Mobile Collaborative Geological Mapping: The Italian CARG Project Case Study
by Christian Natale Gencarelli, Debora Voltolina, Mohammed Hammouti, Marco Zazzeri and Simone Sterlacchini
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2022, 11(3), 192; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi11030192 - 12 Mar 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2708
Abstract
A collaborative open-source IT infrastructure is designed and implemented to optimize the process of geological field data collection, integration, validation, and sharing. Firstly, field data collection is carried out by multiple users using free and open-source GIS-based tools for mobile devices according to [...] Read more.
A collaborative open-source IT infrastructure is designed and implemented to optimize the process of geological field data collection, integration, validation, and sharing. Firstly, field data collection is carried out by multiple users using free and open-source GIS-based tools for mobile devices according to a predefined database structure; then, data integration is automatically performed in a central server, where the collected geological information is stored and validated; finally, data are shared over the Internet, providing users with up-to-date information. The IT infrastructure is currently being employed to accomplish surveys for the realization of the “Brescia” geological map within the New Geological Map of Italy, scale 1:50,000 (CARG Project). Users are only required to run the field data collection application on their mobile devices, add different geometric features to predefined thematic layers and fill in the dialogue forms with the required information to store the new structured and georeferenced data in the central database. The major advantage of the proposed IT infrastructure consists of guaranteeing the operational continuity between field surveys and the finalization of geological or geothematic maps leveraging field data collection tools that are operational both online and offline to ensure the overall system resilience. Full article
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11 pages, 4348 KiB  
Article
KMapper: A Field Geological Survey System
by Young-Kwang Yeon
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2021, 10(6), 405; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi10060405 - 12 Jun 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2316
Abstract
The computing power of smart mobile devices has evolved as much as the power of desktop personal computers (PCs). Accordingly, a field geological survey system capable of utilizing the performance of smart devices is needed. Thus, the objective of this paper is to [...] Read more.
The computing power of smart mobile devices has evolved as much as the power of desktop personal computers (PCs). Accordingly, a field geological survey system capable of utilizing the performance of smart devices is needed. Thus, the objective of this paper is to introduce a system with functions to take advantage of the performance of smart devices while meeting the various requirements of a geological survey. The system integrates geographic information system functions and smart sensors to execute field geological surveys effectively and can express various collections on a map. It also includes a map editing function that allows users to edit geological boundaries and areas on a map from the touch-based interface of a smart device. The records collected can be exported for editing of the geological map on a desktop PC. The developed app can replace traditional recording media used in field geological surveying and exploration work. It can be used to acquire location-referenced measurements with smart sensors, making field work more effective. Full article
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16 pages, 4322 KiB  
Article
An Unconventional Field Mapping Application: A Complete Opensource Workflow Solution Applied to Lithological Mapping of the Coatings of Cultural Heritage
by Niccolò Iandelli, Massimo Coli, Tessa Donigaglia and Anna Livia Ciuffreda
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2021, 10(6), 357; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi10060357 - 22 May 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1942
Abstract
The conservation of a primary importance historical building requires organization, management, continuous updating, comparison, and visualization of a large amount of data of different nature and origin. In relation to these aspects the use of a GIS brings various advantages including single and [...] Read more.
The conservation of a primary importance historical building requires organization, management, continuous updating, comparison, and visualization of a large amount of data of different nature and origin. In relation to these aspects the use of a GIS brings various advantages including single and univocal management of the entire amount of existing data in a relational, dynamic, updatable and queryable way. The integration of a mobile solution permits the updating of the dataset and checking on site all information. The workflow presented uses opensource solutions, desktop and mobile, which allows the creation of an unconventional lithological Field Mapping activity: starting from photo interpretation and in situ survey, all the coating materials (stone, etc.) of some monuments of primary historical and cultural interest have been mapped (i.e., Duomo di Firenze, Duomo di Prato). The product can be considered as a lithological cartography, vertically oriented, processed by field surveys, geognostic surveys and photo interpretation. All combined to create a “lithological” mapping of the coatings of the various monuments; the advantage is a new approach for conservation and restoration of Cultural Heritage. The proposed workflow involves a mobile solution, opensource, that allows the verification and management of the database in the field. Full article
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23 pages, 13671 KiB  
Article
Workflow of Digital Field Mapping and Drone-Aided Survey for the Identification and Characterization of Capable Faults: The Case of a Normal Fault System in the Monte Nerone Area (Northern Apennines, Italy)
by Mauro De Donatis, Mauro Alberti, Mattia Cipicchia, Nelson Muñoz Guerrero, Giulio F. Pappafico and Sara Susini
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9(11), 616; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi9110616 - 23 Oct 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3352
Abstract
Field work on the search and characterization of ground effects of a historical earthquake (i.e., the Cagli earthquake in 1781) was carried out using terrestrial and aerial digital tools. The method of capturing, organizing, storing, and elaborating digital data is described herein, proposing [...] Read more.
Field work on the search and characterization of ground effects of a historical earthquake (i.e., the Cagli earthquake in 1781) was carried out using terrestrial and aerial digital tools. The method of capturing, organizing, storing, and elaborating digital data is described herein, proposing a possible workflow starting from pre-field project organization, through reiteration of field and intermediate laboratory work, to final interpretation and synthesis. The case of one of the most important seismic events in the area of the northern Umbria–Marche Apennines provided the opportunity to test the method with both postgraduate students and researchers. The main result of this work was the mapping of a capable normal fault system with a great number of observations, as well as a large amount of data, from difficult outcrop areas. A GIS map and a three-dimensional (3D) model, with the integration of subsurface data (i.e., seismic profiles and recent earthquake distribution information), allowed for a new interpretation of an extensional tectonic regime of this Apennines sector, similar to one of the southernmost areas of central Italy where recent earthquakes occurred on 2016. Full article
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23 pages, 21910 KiB  
Article
Intelligent High-Resolution Geological Mapping Based on SLIC-CNN
by Xuejia Sang, Linfu Xue, Xiangjin Ran, Xiaoshun Li, Jiwen Liu and Zeyu Liu
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9(2), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi9020099 - 05 Feb 2020
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 5629
Abstract
High-resolution geological mapping is an important supporting condition for mineral and energy exploration. However, high-resolution geological mapping work still faces many problems. At present, high-resolution geological mapping is still generated by expert interpretation of survey lines, compasses, and field data. The work in [...] Read more.
High-resolution geological mapping is an important supporting condition for mineral and energy exploration. However, high-resolution geological mapping work still faces many problems. At present, high-resolution geological mapping is still generated by expert interpretation of survey lines, compasses, and field data. The work in the field is constrained by the weather, terrain, and personnel, and the working methods need to be improved. This paper proposes a new method for high-resolution mapping using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and deep learning algorithms. This method uses the UAV to collect high-resolution remote sensing images, cooperates with some groundwork to anchor the lithology, and then completes most of the mapping work on high-resolution remote sensing images. This method transfers a large amount of field work into the room and provides an automatic mapping process based on the Simple Linear Iterative Clustering-Convolutional Neural Network (SLIC-CNN) algorithm. It uses the convolutional neural network (CNN) to identify the image content and confirms the lithologic distribution, the simple linear iterative cluster (SLIC) algorithm can be used to outline the boundary of the rock mass and determine the contact interface of the rock mass, and the mode and expert decision method is used to clarify the results of the fusion and mapping. The mapping method was applied to the Taili waterfront in Xingcheng City, Liaoning Province, China. In this study, the Area Under the Curve (AUC) of the mapping method was 0.937. The Kappa test result was k = 0.8523, and a high-resolution geological map was obtained. Full article
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14 pages, 7414 KiB  
Article
SLiX: A GIS Toolbox to Support Along-Stream Knickzones Detection through the Computation and Mapping of the Stream Length-Gradient (SL) Index
by Daniela Piacentini, Francesco Troiani, Tommaso Servizi, Olivia Nesci and Francesco Veneri
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9(2), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi9020069 - 21 Jan 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 8464
Abstract
The stream length-gradient (SL) index is widely used in geomorphological studies aimed at detecting knickzones, which are extensive along-stream deviations from the typical concave-up shape assumed for stream longitudinal profiles at steady-state conditions. In particular, SL was practical for identifying anomalous gradients along [...] Read more.
The stream length-gradient (SL) index is widely used in geomorphological studies aimed at detecting knickzones, which are extensive along-stream deviations from the typical concave-up shape assumed for stream longitudinal profiles at steady-state conditions. In particular, SL was practical for identifying anomalous gradients along bedrock stream channels in mountainous catchments. This work presents the GIS toolbox SLiX designed to extract values of the SL index, starting from Digital Elevation Models (DEMs). SLiX is also suitable for the spatial analysis of the SL values, allowing for the identification of landscape portions where anomalous high values of SL occur and, consequently, those catchment sectors where stream channels show peaks in the erosional dynamic. The SLiX main outputs are (i) point shapefiles containing, among stream channels attributes, the extracted values of SL along the stream network analyzed, and (ii) SL anomaly maps in GeoTIFF format, computed through the Hotspot and Cluster Analysis (HCA), that permit the detection of the catchment sectors where the major SL anomalies occur and consequently the principal knickzones. The application of the proposed tool within an experimental catchment located in the Northern Apennines of Italy demonstrated the proper functionality and the potential of its use for different geomorphological and environmental studies. The accurate and cost-effective detection of anomalous changes in stream gradient ensured by SLiX is of great interest and can be useful for studies aimed at unravelling the Earth processes responsible of their formation (e.g., active hillslope processes, such as landslides directly interacting with the streambed, presence of geological structures, and meander cut-off). The applications of SLiX have clear implications for preliminary analyses, at a regional scale in different morpho-climatic contexts, for the hydrological management of river basins and/or to prevent geological hazards related to the fluvial erosional dynamics. Full article
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