Special Issue "Remote Sensing in Applied Geophysics"

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: closed (31 July 2020).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Chiara Colombero
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Politecnico di Torino, Department of Environment, Land and Infrastructure Engineering (DIATI), Torino, Italy
Interests: applied geophysics; passive seismic methods; landslide and glacier monitoring; rock mechanics; waterborne geophysics
Prof. Dr. Cesare Comina
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Università degli Studi di Torino, Department of Earth Sciences (DST), Torino, Italy
Interests: applied geophysics; surface waves; seismic site characterization; geotechnical engineering; waterborne geophysics
Prof. Dr. Alberto Godio
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Politecnico di Torino, Department of Environment, Land and Infrastructure Engineering (DIATI), Torino, Italy
Interests: applied geophysics; frequency and time-domain electromagnetic; magnetotelluric method; ground-penetrating radar; geophysical characterization of glaciers; water and contaminants

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Applied geophysics analyzes the distribution of physical properties in the subsurface for a wide range of applications. Seismic, electrical, magnetic, and electromagnetic methods are the most applied and well-established geophysical techniques. These methods share the advantages of being non-invasive and exploring wide areas of investigation with respect to conventional methods (e.g., drilling). Although the main relevance is in prospecting for natural resources, geophysical methods are also used as a valuable aid to geological, engineering, and environmental investigations at different scales.

Geophysical surveys are usually carried out deploying or moving the appropriate instrumentation directly on the ground surface. However, recent technological advances have brought the development of innovative acquisition systems more typical of the remote sensing community (e.g., airborne surveys).

At the same time, while applied geophysics mainly focuses on the subsurface, typical remote sensing techniques have the ability to accurately image the Earth’s surface with high-resolution investigations carried out by means of terrestrial, airborne, or satellite-based platforms. The integration of surface and subsurface information is often crucial for several purposes, including the processing of geophysical data, the characterization and time-lapse monitoring of surface and near-surface targets, and the reconstruction of highly detailed and comprehensive 3D models of the investigated areas.

In this Special Issue, we invite contributions focusing on recent and upcoming advances in the combined application of remote sensing and applied geophysics. Contributions showing the added value of surface reconstruction and/or monitoring in the processing, interpretation, and cross-comparison of geophyiscal techniques are particularly welcome. Contributions discussing the results of pioneering geophysical acquisitions by means of innovative remote systems are concurrently of interest.

Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • The role of surface topography inferred by remote sensing techniques on the acquisition, georeferencing, processing, and interpretation of geophysical data;
  • Combined approaches for complex 3D characterization and modeling of surface and subsurface targets and/or processes;
  • Multimethodological approaches for the monitoring of landslides, unstable rock masses, and/or issues of glacialised regions;
  • Case studies showing critical comparisons between data derived from remote sensing, and on-site geophysical prospections for geological, hydrogeological, environmental engineering, rock mechanics, and culural heritage applications;
  • Geophysical results obtained with remote acquisitions (e.g., geophysical sensors mounted on unmanned aerial vehicles or drones).

Dr. Chiara Colombero
Prof. Dr. Cesare Comina
Prof. Dr. Alberto Godio
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 semimonthly 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 2400 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

  • Integration of remote sensing and applied geophysics
  • 3D modeling
  • Geophysical data acquisition, processing, and interpretation
  • Seismic, electrical, magnetic, and electromagnetic methods
  • Photogrammetry, SAR, and laser scanning
  • Monitoring techniques
  • Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) applied to geophysical prospecting

Published Papers (16 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Special Issue “Remote Sensing in Applied Geophysics”
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(20), 3413; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12203413 - 18 Oct 2020
Viewed by 454
Abstract
The Special Issue “Remote Sensing in Applied Geophysics” is focused on recent and upcoming advances in the combined application of remote sensing and applied geophysics techniques, sharing the advantages of being non-invasive research methods, suitable for surface and near-surface high-resolution investigations of even [...] Read more.
The Special Issue “Remote Sensing in Applied Geophysics” is focused on recent and upcoming advances in the combined application of remote sensing and applied geophysics techniques, sharing the advantages of being non-invasive research methods, suitable for surface and near-surface high-resolution investigations of even wide and remote areas [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing in Applied Geophysics)

Research

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Open AccessArticle
Understanding Ancient Landscapes in the Venetian Plain through an Integrated Geoarchaeological and Geophysical Approach
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(18), 2973; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12182973 - 12 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 945
Abstract
This paper reports the results of the multidisciplinary study carried out in the SE area of Ceggia, in the eastern part of the Venetian Plain. The area has been characterized, since ancient times, by numerous morphological transformation, due to the presence of lagoon [...] Read more.
This paper reports the results of the multidisciplinary study carried out in the SE area of Ceggia, in the eastern part of the Venetian Plain. The area has been characterized, since ancient times, by numerous morphological transformation, due to the presence of lagoon and marshes, and interested by repeated reclamation. Aerial and satellite images have identified many natural and anthropogenic traces. From a geophysical point of view, electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) combined with frequency-domain electromagnetic measurements (FDEM) can help to discriminate the spatial distribution of different buried structures in conductive systems. The electrical conductivity is, in fact, directly related to the soil moisture content. The multidisciplinary approach adopted in this context, with the results obtained thanks to the contribution of aerial and satellite images, historical cartography, archaeological survey, geophysical measurements, geomorphological characterization, and 14C dating, allow us to suggest a possible interpretation of the different traces highlighted in the studied area. This approach suggests a potentially useful and replicable methodology to study similar evidence, such as along the North Adriatic coast and in broad sectors of the Po Valley. The key issue, in this kind of system, lies, in fact, in the possibility to date and compare traces visible on the surface by remote sensing, establishing their interest from an archaeological and geomorphological point of view using an integration of field measurements. At the end of this research, the classification of the different anomalies found in this hydraulic variable context, thanks to the multidisciplinary approach here adopted, suggest new hypotheses for reading the complex history of this understudied area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing in Applied Geophysics)
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Open AccessArticle
Shear-Wave Tomography Using Ocean Ambient Noise with Interference
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(18), 2969; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12182969 - 11 Sep 2020
Viewed by 824
Abstract
Ambient noise carries abundant subsurface structure information and attracts ever-increasing attention in the past decades. However, there are lots of interference factors in the ambient noise in the real world, making the noise difficult to be utilized in seismic interferometry. The paper performs [...] Read more.
Ambient noise carries abundant subsurface structure information and attracts ever-increasing attention in the past decades. However, there are lots of interference factors in the ambient noise in the real world, making the noise difficult to be utilized in seismic interferometry. The paper performs shear-wave tomography on a very short recording of ocean ambient noise with interference. An adapted eigenvalue-based filter is adopted as a pre-processing method to deal with the strong, directional interference problem. Beamforming and the noise crosscorrelation analyses show that the filter works well on the noise recorded by the array. Directional energy is significantly suppressed and the background diffuse component of the noise is relatively enhanced. The shear-wave tomography shows a 4-layer subsurface structure of the area covered by the array, with relatively homogeneous distribution of the shear-wave velocity values in the top three layers and a complicated structure in the bottom layer. Moreover, 3 high-velocity zones can be recognized in the bottom layer. The result is compared with several other tomography results using different methods and data. It demonstrates that, although the ambient noise used in this paper is very short and severely contaminated, a reasonable tomography result can be obtained by applying the adapted eigenvalue-based filter. Since it is the first application of the adapted eigenvalue-based filter in seismic tomography using ambient noise, the paper proves the effectiveness of this technique and shows the potential of the technique in ambient noise processing and passive seismic interferometry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing in Applied Geophysics)
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Open AccessArticle
Multiparameter Elastic Full Waveform Inversion of Ocean Bottom Seismic Four-Component Data Based on A Modified Acoustic-Elastic Coupled Equation
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(17), 2816; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12172816 - 31 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 841
Abstract
Ocean bottom seismometer (OBS) can record both pressure and displacement data by modern marine seismic acquisitions with four-component (4C) sensors. Elastic full-waveform inversion (EFWI) has shown to recover high-accuracy parameter models from multicomponent seismic data. However, due to limitation of the standard elastic [...] Read more.
Ocean bottom seismometer (OBS) can record both pressure and displacement data by modern marine seismic acquisitions with four-component (4C) sensors. Elastic full-waveform inversion (EFWI) has shown to recover high-accuracy parameter models from multicomponent seismic data. However, due to limitation of the standard elastic wave equation, EFWI can hardly simulate and utilize the pressure components. To remedy this problem, we propose an elastic full-waveform inversion method based on a modified acoustic-elastic coupled (AEC) equation. Our method adopts a new misfit function to account for both 1C pressure and 3C displacement data, which can easily adjust the weight of different data components and eliminate the differences in the order of magnitude. Owing to the modified AEC equation, our method can simultaneously generate pressure and displacement records and avoid explicit implementation of the boundary condition at the seabed. Besides, we also derive a new preconditioned truncated Gauss–Newton algorithm to consider the Hessian associated with ocean bottom seismic 4C data. We analyze the multiparameter sensitivity kernels of pressure and displacement components and use two numerical experiments to demonstrate that the proposed method can provide more accurate multiparameter inversions with higher resolution and convergence rate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing in Applied Geophysics)
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Open AccessArticle
Remote Sensing, Archaeological, and Geophysical Data to Study the Terramare Settlements: The Case Study of Fondo Paviani (Northern Italy)
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(16), 2617; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12162617 - 13 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 993
Abstract
During the Middle and Recent Bronze Age, the Po Plain and, more broadly Northern Italy were populated by the so-called “Terramare”, embanked settlements, surrounded by a moat. The buried remains of these archaeological settlements are characterized by the presence of a system of [...] Read more.
During the Middle and Recent Bronze Age, the Po Plain and, more broadly Northern Italy were populated by the so-called “Terramare”, embanked settlements, surrounded by a moat. The buried remains of these archaeological settlements are characterized by the presence of a system of palaeo-environments and a consequent natural gradient in soil moisture content. These differences in the soil are often firstly detectable on the surface during the seasonal variations, with aerial, satellite, and Laser Imaging Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) images, without any information on the lateral and in-depth extension of the related buried structures. The variation in the moisture content of soils is directly related to their differences in electrical conductivity. Electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) and frequency domain electromagnetic (FDEM), also known as electromagnetic induction (EMI) measurements, provide non-direct measurements of electrical conductivity in the soils, helping in the reconstruction of the geometry of different buried structures. This study presents the results of the multidisciplinary approach adopted to the study of the Terramare settlement of Fondo Paviani in Northern Italy. Remote sensing and archaeological data, collected over about 10 years, combined with more recent ERT and FDEM measurements, contributed to the analysis of this particular, not yet wholly investigated, archaeological site. The results obtained by the integrated multidisciplinary study here adopted, provide new useful, interesting information for the archaeologists also suggesting future strategies for new studies still to be conducted around this important settlement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing in Applied Geophysics)
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Open AccessArticle
OpenSWAP, an Open Architecture, Low Cost Class of Autonomous Surface Vehicles for Geophysical Surveys in the Shallow Water Environment
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(16), 2575; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12162575 - 11 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1085
Abstract
OpenSWAP is a class of innovative open architecture, low cost autonomous vehicles for geological/geophysical studies of shallow water environments. Although they can host different types of sensors, these vehicles were specifically designed for geophysical surveys, i.e., for the acquisition of bathymetric and stratigraphic [...] Read more.
OpenSWAP is a class of innovative open architecture, low cost autonomous vehicles for geological/geophysical studies of shallow water environments. Although they can host different types of sensors, these vehicles were specifically designed for geophysical surveys, i.e., for the acquisition of bathymetric and stratigraphic data through single- and multibeam echosounders, side-scan sonars, and seismic-reflection systems. The main characteristic of the OpenSWAP vehicles is their ability of following pre-defined routes with high accuracy under acceptable weather and sea conditions. This would open the door to 4D (repeated) surveys, which constitute a powerful tool to analyze morphological and stratigraphic changes of the sediment/water interface and of the shallow substratum eventually caused by sediment dynamics (erosion vs. deposition), slumps and gravitative failures, earthquakes (slip along seismogenic faults and secondary effects of shaking), tsunamis, etc. The low cost and the open hardware/software architectures of these systems, which can be modified by the end users, lead for planning and execution of cooperative and adaptive surveys with different instruments not yet implemented or tested. Together with a technical description of the vehicles, we provide different case studies where they were successfully employed, carried out in environments not, or very difficultly accessed through conventional systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing in Applied Geophysics)
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Open AccessArticle
Geophysical and Sedimentological Investigations Integrate Remote-Sensing Data to Depict Geometry of Fluvial Sedimentary Bodies: An Example from Holocene Point-Bar Deposits of the Venetian Plain (Italy)
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(16), 2568; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12162568 - 10 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 880
Abstract
Over the past few millennia, meandering fluvial channels drained coastal landscapes accumulating sedimentary successions that today are permeable pathways. Propagation of pollutants, agricultural exploitation and sand liquefaction are the main processes of environmental interest affecting these sedimentary bodies. The characterization of these bodies [...] Read more.
Over the past few millennia, meandering fluvial channels drained coastal landscapes accumulating sedimentary successions that today are permeable pathways. Propagation of pollutants, agricultural exploitation and sand liquefaction are the main processes of environmental interest affecting these sedimentary bodies. The characterization of these bodies is thus of utmost general interest. In this study, we particularly highlight the contribution of noninvasive (remote and ground-based) investigation techniques, and the case study focuses on a late Holocene meander bend of the southern Venetian Plain (Northeast Italy). Electromagnetic induction (EMI) investigations, conducted with great care in terms of sonde stability and positioning, allowed the reconstruction of the electrical conductivity 3D structure of the shallow subsurface, revealing that the paleochannel ranges in depth between 0.8 and 5.4 m, and defines an almost 260 m-wide point bar. The electrical conductivity maps derived from EMI at different depths define an arcuate morphology indicating that bar accretion started from an already sinuous channel. Sedimentary cores ensure local ground-truth and help define the evolution of the channel bend. This paper shows that the combination of well-conceived and carefully performed inverted geophysical surveys, remote sensing and direct investigations provides evidence of the evolution of recent shallow sedimentary structures with unprecedented detail. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing in Applied Geophysics)
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Open AccessArticle
Beyond Never-Never Land: Integrating LiDAR and Geophysical Surveys at the Johnston Site, Pinson Mounds State Archaeological Park, Tennessee, USA
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(15), 2364; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12152364 - 23 Jul 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 912
Abstract
Archaeologists often use near-surface geophysics or LiDAR-derived topographic imagery in their research. However, rarely are the two integrated in a way that offers a robust understanding of the complex historical palimpsests embedded within a social landscape. In this paper we present an integrated [...] Read more.
Archaeologists often use near-surface geophysics or LiDAR-derived topographic imagery in their research. However, rarely are the two integrated in a way that offers a robust understanding of the complex historical palimpsests embedded within a social landscape. In this paper we present an integrated aerial and terrestrial remote sensing program at the Johnston Site, part of the larger Pinson Mounds landscape in the American MidSouth. Our work at Johnston was focused on better understanding the history of human landscape use and change so that we can begin to compare the Johnston Site with other large Middle Woodland (200 BC–AD 500) ceremonial centers in the region. Our research allowed us to examine the accuracy of an early map of the Johnston Site made in the early 20th century. However, our integrated remote sensing approach allows us to go well beyond testing the usefulness of the map; it helps identify different uses of the site through time and across space. Our research emphasizes the importance of an integrated remote sensing methodology when examining complex social landscapes of the past and present. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing in Applied Geophysics)
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Open AccessArticle
Rheology of the Zagros Lithosphere from Post-Seismic Deformation of the 2017 Mw7.3 Kermanshah, Iraq, Earthquake
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(12), 2032; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12122032 - 24 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 834
Abstract
We use 2018–2020 Sentinel-1 InSAR time series data to study post-seismic deformation processes following the 2017 Mw 7.3 Kermanshah, Iraq earthquake. We remove displacements caused by two large aftershock sequences from the displacement field. We find that for a six month period the [...] Read more.
We use 2018–2020 Sentinel-1 InSAR time series data to study post-seismic deformation processes following the 2017 Mw 7.3 Kermanshah, Iraq earthquake. We remove displacements caused by two large aftershock sequences from the displacement field. We find that for a six month period the response is dominated by afterslip along the up-dip extension of the coseismic rupture zone, producing up to 6 cm of radar line-of-sight displacements. The moment magnitude of afterslip is Mw 5.9 or 12% of the mainshock moment. After that period, the displacement field is best explained by viscoelastic relaxation and a lower crustal viscosity of η l c = 1 0.4 + 0.8 × 10 19   Pas . The viscosity of the uppermost mantle is not constrained by the data, except that it is larger than 0.6 × 10 19   Pas . The relatively high lower crustal and uppermost mantle viscosities are consistent with a cold and dry lithosphere of the Zagros region. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Mapping the Groundwater Potentiality of West Qena Area, Egypt, Using Integrated Remote Sensing and Hydro-Geophysical Techniques
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(10), 1559; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12101559 - 14 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1758
Abstract
The integrated use of remote sensing imagery and hydro-geophysical field surveys is a well-established approach to map the hydrogeological framework, and thus explore and evaluate the groundwater potentiality of desert lands, where groundwater is considered as the main source of freshwater. This study [...] Read more.
The integrated use of remote sensing imagery and hydro-geophysical field surveys is a well-established approach to map the hydrogeological framework, and thus explore and evaluate the groundwater potentiality of desert lands, where groundwater is considered as the main source of freshwater. This study uses such integrated approach to map the groundwater potentiality of the desert alluvial floodplain of the Nile Valley west of Qena, Egypt, as alternative water source to the River Nile. Typically ground gradient, faults and their stress field, lateral variation of rock permeability, drainage patterns, watersheds, rainfall, lithology, and soil types are the main factors believed to affect the groundwater recharge and storage from the infiltration of present-time and paleo-runoff. Following this generally accepted approach, different remote sensing data sets (SRTM DEM, Landsat-8, ALOS/PALSAR-1, Sentinel-1, and TRMM) as well as auxiliary maps (geological and soil maps) were used to identify and map these factors and prepare thematic maps portraying the different influences they exert on the groundwater recharge. These thematic maps were overlaid and integrated using weights in a GIS framework to generate the groundwater potentiality map which categorizes the different recharge capabilities into five zones. Moreover, the aeromagnetic data were processed to map the deep-seated structures and estimate the depth to basement rocks that may control the groundwater occurrence. In addition, the vertical electrical sounding (VES) measurements were applied and calibrated with the available borehole data to delineate the subsurface geological and hydrogeological setting as well as the groundwater aquifers. Different geoelectric cross-sections and hydro-geophysical maps were constructed using the borehole information and VES interpretation results to show the lateral extension of the different lithological units, groundwater-bearing zones, water table, and the saturated thickness of the aquifer. The GIS model and geophysical results show that the southwest part of Nag’a Hammadi-El-Ghoneimia stretch has very high recharge and storage potentiality and is characterized by the presence of two groundwater-bearing zones. The shallow groundwater aquifer is located at a depth of 30 m with a saturation thickness of more than 43 m. However, there are NW–SE faults crossing the study area and most likely serve as recharge conduits by connecting the shallow aquifer with the deeper ones. Such aquifers connection has been confirmed by investigating the chemical and isotopic composition of their groundwater. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing in Applied Geophysics)
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Open AccessArticle
Properties Analysis of Lunar Regolith at Chang’E-4 Landing Site Based on 3D Velocity Spectrum of Lunar Penetrating Radar
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(4), 629; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12040629 - 13 Feb 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1053
Abstract
The Chinese Chang’E-4 mission for moon exploration has been successfully completed. The Chang’E-4 probe achieved the first-ever soft landing on the floor of Von Kármán crater (177.59°E, 45.46°S) of the South Pole-Aitken (SPA) basin on January 3, 2019. Yutu-2 rover is mounted with [...] Read more.
The Chinese Chang’E-4 mission for moon exploration has been successfully completed. The Chang’E-4 probe achieved the first-ever soft landing on the floor of Von Kármán crater (177.59°E, 45.46°S) of the South Pole-Aitken (SPA) basin on January 3, 2019. Yutu-2 rover is mounted with several scientific instruments including a lunar penetrating radar (LPR), which is an effective instrument to detect the lunar subsurface structure. During the interpretation of LPR data, subsurface velocity of electromagnetic waves is a vital parameter necessary for stratigraphic division and computing other properties. However, the methods in previous research on Chang’E-3 cannot perform velocity analysis automatically and objectively. In this paper, the 3D velocity spectrum is applied to property analysis of LPR data from Chang’E-4. The result shows that 3D velocity spectrum can automatically search for hyperbolas; the maximum value at velocity axis with a soft threshold function can provide the horizontal position, two-way reflected time and velocity of each hyperbola; the average maximum relative error of velocity is estimated to be 7.99%. Based on the estimated velocities of 30 hyperbolas, the structures of subsurface properties are obtained, including velocity, relative permittivity, density, and content of FeO and TiO2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing in Applied Geophysics)
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Open AccessArticle
Automated Resistivity Profiling (ARP) to Explore Wide Archaeological Areas: The Prehistoric Site of Mont’e Prama, Sardinia, Italy
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(3), 461; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12030461 - 01 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1422
Abstract
This paper deals with the resistivity continuous surveys on extensive area carried out at the Mont’e Prama archaeological site, in Sardinia (Italy). From 2013 to 2015, new research was performed using both non-destructive surveys and traditional archaeological excavations. The measurements were done in [...] Read more.
This paper deals with the resistivity continuous surveys on extensive area carried out at the Mont’e Prama archaeological site, in Sardinia (Italy). From 2013 to 2015, new research was performed using both non-destructive surveys and traditional archaeological excavations. The measurements were done in order to find geophysical anomalies related to unseen buried archaeological remains and to define the spatial extension of the ancient necropolis. The electrical resistivity of soils was measured by means of the Automated Resistivity Profiling (ARP©) system. This multi-pole method provided high-resolution maps of electrical resistivity in the whole investigated area using a computer-assisted acquisition tool, towed by a small vehicle. Through this acquisition layout, a surface of 22,800 m2 was covered. The electrical resistivity data were derived in real time with centimetric horizontal precision through a differential GPS positioning system. Thanks to the simultaneous acquisition of ARP and GPS data, the rigorous georeferencing of the tridimensional experimental dataset was made possible, as well as the reconstruction of a detailed Digital Terrain Model. Here, the experimental results are analyzed and critically discussed by means of the integration of the results obtained by a high-resolution prospection performed with a multi-channel Ground Penetrating Radar system and taking into account other information derived from previous geological and archaeological studies. Geophysical results, jointly with topographic reconstruction, clearly permitted the identification of more interesting areas where future archaeological investigations could be focused. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing in Applied Geophysics)
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Open AccessArticle
Ice Thickness Estimation from Geophysical Investigations on the Terminal Lobes of Belvedere Glacier (NW Italian Alps)
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(7), 805; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11070805 - 03 Apr 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1276
Abstract
Alpine glaciers are key components of local and regional hydrogeological cycles and real-time indicators of climate change. Volume variations are primary targets of investigation for the understanding of ongoing modifications and the forecast of possible future scenarios. These fluctuations can be traced from [...] Read more.
Alpine glaciers are key components of local and regional hydrogeological cycles and real-time indicators of climate change. Volume variations are primary targets of investigation for the understanding of ongoing modifications and the forecast of possible future scenarios. These fluctuations can be traced from time-lapse monitoring of the glacier topography. A detailed reconstruction of the ice bottom morphology is however needed to provide total volume and reliable mass balance estimations. Non-destructive geophysical techniques can support these investigations. With the aim of characterizing ice bottom depth, ground-penetrating radar (GPR) profiles and single-station passive seismic measurements were acquired on the terminal lobes of Belvedere Glacier (NW Italian Alps). The glacier is covered by blocks and debris and its rough topography is rapidly evolving in last years, with opening and relocation of crevasses and diffuse instabilities in the frontal sectors. Despite the challenging working environment, ground-based GPR surveys were performed in the period 2016–2018, using 70-MHz and 40-MHz antennas. The 3D ice bottom morphology was reconstructed for both frontal lobes and a detailed ice thickness map was obtained. GPR results also suggested some information on ice bottom properties. The glacier was found to probably lay on a thick sequence (more than 40 m) of subglacial deposits, rather than on stiff bedrock. Week deeper reflectors were identified only in the frontal portion of the northern lobe. These interfaces may indicate the bedrock presence at a depth of around 80 m from the topographic surface, rapidly deepening upstream. Single-station passive seismic measurements, processed with the horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratio (HVSR) method, pointed out the absence of sharp vertical contrast in acoustic impedance between ice and bottom materials, globally confirming the hypotheses made on GPR results. The obtained results have been compared with previous independent geophysical investigations, performed in 1961 and 1985, with the same aim of ice thickness estimation. The comparison allowed us to validate the results obtained in the different surveys, supply a reference base map for the glacier bottom morphology and potentially study ice thickness variations over time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing in Applied Geophysics)
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Open AccessLetter
The Scientific Operations of Snow Eagle 601 in Antarctica in the Past Five Austral Seasons
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(18), 2994; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12182994 - 15 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 648
Abstract
The Antarctic ice sheet and the continent both play critical roles in global sea level rise and climate change but they remain poorly understood because data collection is greatly limited by the remote location and hostile conditions there. Airborne platforms have been extensively [...] Read more.
The Antarctic ice sheet and the continent both play critical roles in global sea level rise and climate change but they remain poorly understood because data collection is greatly limited by the remote location and hostile conditions there. Airborne platforms have been extensively used in Antarctica due to their capabilities and flexibility and have contributed a great deal of knowledge to both the ice sheet and the continent. The Snow Eagle 601 fixed-wing airborne platform has been deployed by China for Antarctic expeditions since 2015. Scientific instruments on the airplane include an ice-penetrating radar, a gravimeter, a magnetometer, a laser altimeter, a camera and a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). In the past five austral seasons, the airborne platform has been used to survey Princess Elizabeth Land, the largest data gap in Antarctica, as well as other critical areas. This paper reviews the scientific operations of Snow Eagle 601 including airborne and ground-based scientific instrumentation, aviation logistics, field data acquisition and processing and data quality control. We summarize the progress of airborne surveys to date, focusing on scientific motivations, data coverage and national and international collaborations. Finally, we discuss potential regions for applications of the airborne platform in Antarctica and developments of the airborne scientific system for future work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing in Applied Geophysics)
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Open AccessTechnical Note
Estimation of Moisture Content in Railway Subgrade by Ground Penetrating Radar
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(18), 2912; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12182912 - 08 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 731
Abstract
China is strongly dependent on railway transportation, but the frost heaving of the subgrade in cold regions has seriously affected the safety and comfort of trains. Moisture content is an essential parameter in the subgrade frost heave. Non-destructive and efficient geophysical methods have [...] Read more.
China is strongly dependent on railway transportation, but the frost heaving of the subgrade in cold regions has seriously affected the safety and comfort of trains. Moisture content is an essential parameter in the subgrade frost heave. Non-destructive and efficient geophysical methods have great potential in measuring the moisture content of railway subgrade. In this paper, we use the common mid-point (CMP) measurement of ground penetrating radar (GPR) to estimate the propagation velocity of electromagnetic waves in a subgrade application. We establish a synthetic model to simulate the railway subgrade structure. The synthetic CMP gathers acquired from shallow and thin layers are seriously disturbed by multiple waves and refraction waves, which make the routine velocity analysis unable to provide accurate velocities. Through the analysis of numerical simulation results, it is found that the primary reflection waves, multiple waves, and refraction waves are dominant in different offset ranges of CMP gather. Therefore, we propose a solution of the optimal gather at a certain range of offset dominated by the primary reflection wave to calculate the velocity spectrum and extract the accurate velocities for the subgrade model. The relative dielectric constants of the corresponding layers are calculated after the stacking velocities are converted into the interval velocities. Then, the moisture content is obtained by the Topp formula, which expresses the relationship between dielectric constant and moisture content. Finally, we apply the optimal gather scheme and the above interpretation process to the GPR data acquired at the railway site, and we form a long moisture content profile of the railway subgrade. Compared with the polarizability measured by the induced polarization (IP) method, it is found that the regions with high moisture content correspond to polarizability anomalies with different strengths. The comparison shows the reliability of GPR results to some extent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing in Applied Geophysics)
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Open AccessLetter
Combined Study of a Significant Mine Collapse Based on Seismological and Geodetic Data—29 January 2019, Rudna Mine, Poland
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(10), 1570; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12101570 - 15 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1051
Abstract
On 29 January 2019, the collapse of a mine roof resulted in a significant surface deformation and generated a tremor with a magnitude of 4.6 in Rudna Mine, Poland. This study combines the seismological and geodetic monitoring of the event. Data from local [...] Read more.
On 29 January 2019, the collapse of a mine roof resulted in a significant surface deformation and generated a tremor with a magnitude of 4.6 in Rudna Mine, Poland. This study combines the seismological and geodetic monitoring of the event. Data from local and regional seismological networks were used to estimate the mechanism of the source and the ground motion caused by the earthquake. Global Navigation Satellite System data, collected at 10 Hz, and processed as a long-term time-series of daily coordinates solutions and short-term high frequency oscillations, are in good agreement with the seismological outputs, having detected several more tremors. The range and dynamics of the deformed surface area were monitored using satellite radar techniques for slow and fast motion detection. The radar data revealed that a 2-km2 area was affected in the six days after the collapse and that there was an increase in the post-event rate of subsidence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing in Applied Geophysics)
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