Special Issue "Quantifying Landscape Evolution and Erosion by Remote Sensing"

A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Remote Sensing".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. José Vicente Pérez-Peña
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geodynamics, University of Granada, Granada, Spain
Interests: tectonic geomorphology; GIS; active tectonics; landscape evolution
Prof. Dr. Álvaro Gómez-Gutiérrez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Research Institute for Sustainable Territorial Development, University of Extremadura, 10071 Cáceres, Spain
Interests: geomorphology; photogrammetry; UAV; LIDAR; digital terrain analysis; spatial modelling
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Quantifying landscape evolution and erosion are two of the hot topics in present-day geomorphological and active tectonic research. In this regard, remote sensing has experienced a great development in the last years providing one of the main tools to get information about the present-day topography and active processes. Worldwide Digital Elevation Models (DEM) obtained from RADAR or local ones constructed by UAV or LiDAR techniques are two of the main sources of information about the present-day topography at regional and local scales respectively. Multi-temporal studies based on series of optical images, InSAR techniques or DEMs of Differences approaches provide powerful information to detect, quantify and model changes in topography and understand underlying processes. Recently adopted 4D and real-time monitoring approaches allow to elucidate the role of individual events on erosion and to establish accurate frequency-magnitude relationships.

In this special issue we want to compile the state-of-the-art research that specifically addresses how remote sensing is being used in landscape evolution studies and to monitor, quantify and model erosion. Review contributions are welcomed as well as papers describing new methodologies, or outstanding case-studies.

Dr. José Vicente Pérez-Peña
Dr. Álvaro Gómez Gutiérrez
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

  • InSAR
  • monitoring erosion
  • UAV
  • LiDAR
  • photogrammetry
  • tectonic geomorphology
  • geomorphic indexes
  • tectonic activity

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Article
Modeling Gully Erosion Susceptibility to Evaluate Human Impact on a Local Landscape System in Tigray, Ethiopia
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(10), 2009; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13102009 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 556
Abstract
In recent years, modeling gully erosion susceptibility has become an increasingly popular approach for assessing the impact of different land degradation factors. However, different forms of human influence have so far not been identified in order to form an independent model. We investigate [...] Read more.
In recent years, modeling gully erosion susceptibility has become an increasingly popular approach for assessing the impact of different land degradation factors. However, different forms of human influence have so far not been identified in order to form an independent model. We investigate the spatial relation between gully erosion and distance to settlements and footpaths, as typical areas of human interaction, with the natural environment in rural African areas. Gullies are common features in the Ethiopian Highlands, where they often hinder agricultural productivity. Within a catchment in the north Ethiopian Highlands, 16 environmental and human-related variables are mapped and categorized. The resulting susceptibility to gully erosion is predicted by applying the Random Forest (RF) machine learning algorithm. Human-related and environmental factors are used to generate independent susceptibility models and form an additional inclusive model. The resulting models are compared and evaluated by applying a change detection technique. All models predict the locations of most gullies, while 28% of gully locations are exclusively predicted using human-related factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quantifying Landscape Evolution and Erosion by Remote Sensing)
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Article
Combining SfM Photogrammetry and Terrestrial Laser Scanning to Assess Event-Scale Sediment Budgets along a Gravel-Bed Ephemeral Stream
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(21), 3624; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12213624 - 04 Nov 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 867
Abstract
Stream power represents the rate of energy expenditure along a stream reach and can be calculated using topographic data acquired via structure-from-motion (SfM) photogrammetry and terrestrial laser scanning (TLS). This study sought to quantitatively relate morphological adjustments in the Azohía Rambla, a gravel-bed [...] Read more.
Stream power represents the rate of energy expenditure along a stream reach and can be calculated using topographic data acquired via structure-from-motion (SfM) photogrammetry and terrestrial laser scanning (TLS). This study sought to quantitatively relate morphological adjustments in the Azohía Rambla, a gravel-bed ephemeral stream in southeastern Spain, to stream power (ω), critical power (ωc), and energy gradients (∂ω/∂s), along different reference channel reaches of 200 to 300 m in length. High-resolution digital terrain models (HRDTMs), combined with ortophotographs and point clouds from 2018, 2019, and 2020, and ground-based surveys, were used to estimate the spatial variability of morphological sediment budgets and to assess channel bed mobility during the study period at different spatial scales: reference channel reaches (RCRs), pilot bed survey areas (PBSAs), and representative geomorphic units (RGUs). The optimized complementary role of the SfM technique and terrestrial laser scanning allowed the generation of accurate and reliable HRDTMs, upon which a 1-D hydrodynamic model was calibrated and sediment budgets calculated. The resulting high-resolution maps allowed a spatially explicit analysis of stream power and transport efficiency in relation to volumes of erosion and deposition in the RCR and PBSA. In addition, net incision or downcutting and vertical sedimentary accretion were monitored for each flood event in relation to bedforms and hydraulic variables. Sediment sources and sinks and bed armoring processes showed different trends according to the critical energy and stream power gradient, which were verified from field observations. During flows exceeding bankfull discharges (between 18 and 24 m3 s−1 according to channel reach), significant variations in ∂ω/∂s values and ω/ωc ratios (e.g., −15 < ∂ω/∂s < 15 Wm−3; ω/ωc > 2 for a peak discharge of 31 m3 s−1) were associated with a large amount of bedload mobilized upstream and vertical accretion along the middle reach (average rise height of 0.20 to 0.35 m for the same event). By contrast, more moderate peak flows (≤10 m3 s−1) only produced minor changes resulting in surface washing, selective transport, and local bed scouring. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quantifying Landscape Evolution and Erosion by Remote Sensing)
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Article
Quantification of Erosion and Uplift in a Rising Orogen—A Large-Scale Perspective (Late Tortonian to Present): The Case of the Gibraltar Arc, Betic Cordillera, Southern Spain
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(21), 3492; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12213492 - 23 Oct 2020
Viewed by 601
Abstract
The present study deals with the morphometric quantification of erosion and illustrates the uplift component triggered by denudation (isostasy) in the growth and evolution of a rising orogeny by the application of Airy isostasy concepts. The Gibraltar Arc, located in the Western–Central sector [...] Read more.
The present study deals with the morphometric quantification of erosion and illustrates the uplift component triggered by denudation (isostasy) in the growth and evolution of a rising orogeny by the application of Airy isostasy concepts. The Gibraltar Arc, located in the Western–Central sector of the Betic Cordillera, developed an exceptional geological scenario during the Messinian Salinity Crisis since the thin emerged fringe of the uprising Cordillera disconnected the Atlantic and Mediterranean basins, generating a relevant misbalance and asymmetry in the fluvial erosion between the two slopes of the emergent orogeny. Our analysis was applied to 50 individual drainage basins (spatial isostatic units) in the Western–Central Betic Cordillera, allowing us to obtain individual and bulk estimates for these isostatic parameters. GIS-based numerical estimations were obtained using LiDAR Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) provided by the Spanish Geographical Institute and reconstructed pre-incision surface models obtained from proxy paleo-elevation data, estimated from stratigraphic and geomorphological littoral to shallow marine markers. The obtained values for geophysical relief, denudation plates, erosion/uplift rates and computed accumulated uplift (245–407 ±20 m) are higher for the ancient Mediterranean slope of the orogen. On the contrary, the Atlantic slope presents an accumulated uplift of only 138–236 ±20 m, indicating the strong control of the ancient Messinian Atlantic–Mediterranean water divide. The temporal study of erosion indicates that most of the difference in uplift in the Mediterranean slope was achieved during or soon after the Messinian Salinity Crisis, resulting in mean uplift rates of 0.21 mm/y, but practically null (0.01 mm/y) for the Atlantic slope. The comparison of the geophysical relief models with proxy paleo-elevation data allowed us to assess the current state of the denudation process in the range. The results indicate that, towards the west of the range denudation compensated elevation, and is actively back-feeding isostatic rebound. Therefore, the contribution of external processes to mountain range elevation through isostasy is quantitatively estimated using elevation data. In this case, a relevant part of the surface uplift (50-55%) is undertaken by the orogen. Ultimately, the Messinian Salinity Crisis-related isostatic response to differential denudation may be behind the quaternary westward tilting of Iberia, causing more than 70% of the Peninsula to drain towards the Atlantic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quantifying Landscape Evolution and Erosion by Remote Sensing)
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Letter
Dynamic Divide Migration as a Response to Asymmetric Uplift: An Example from the Zhongtiao Shan, North China
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(24), 4188; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12244188 - 21 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 531
Abstract
Previous numerical–analytical approaches have suggested that the main range divide prefers to migrate towards the high uplift flank in the asymmetric tectonic uplift pattern. However, natural examples recording these processes and further verifying the numerical simulations results, are still lacking. In this study, [...] Read more.
Previous numerical–analytical approaches have suggested that the main range divide prefers to migrate towards the high uplift flank in the asymmetric tectonic uplift pattern. However, natural examples recording these processes and further verifying the numerical simulations results, are still lacking. In this study, the landscape features, and the probable drainage evolution history of the Zhongtiao Shan, a roughly west-east trending, half-horst block on the southernmost tip of the Shanxi Graben System, were investigated through the geomorphic analyses (i.e., slope and steepness distributions, and the Gilbert and χ metrics). The topographic slope and steepness results indicate that the Zhongtiao Shan, controlled by the north Zhongtiao Shan normal fault, experiences asymmetric uplift and erosion patterns, with higher uplift and erosion on the north range. In addition, the Gilbert and χ metrics suggest that the western part of the main divide is currently stable, while the eastern divide is moving southward. According to the drainage divide stability criteria, we suggest that the uplift and erosion, on the fault side, balance each other well on the western part of the range, while on the eastern part, the uplift is outpaced by the erosion. In addition, a dynamic divide migration model in the asymmetric uplift condition is proposed, indicating that the interaction between uplift and erosion controls the migration and/or stability of the main divide. Deducing through this dynamic model, we suggested that the eastern segment of the north Zhongtiaoshan Fault must have experienced higher activities in the geological history, and the western fault may remain its activity along with the mountain relief generation. This gives a case that specific information on asymmetric neotectonic history and landscape evolution in an orogenic mountain can be uncovered by the proposed dynamic model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quantifying Landscape Evolution and Erosion by Remote Sensing)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

1. Title: Assessing geomorphic change of a restored gullied channel by means of multitemporal UAV surveys and its relationship with discharge and sediment production

Author list: A. Alfonso-Torreño, Á. Gómez-Gutiérrez and S. Schnabel

2. Title: Quantification of erosion and uplift in an orogen, a large scale perspective (Western Betic Cordillera, Southern Spain).

Authors: Elez, J., Silva, P. G. et al.

3. Main content: Analysis of gravel bar mobility, riparian vegetation cover and channel incision in the Middle Ebro River (Spain) using a remote sensing approach (combination of historical aerial photographs, recent multispectral imagery and LiDAR data)

Authors: Javier Viar, Antonio Luis Montealegre and Alfredo Ollero

4. Title: Assessment of the event-scale sediment budget along a gravel-bed ephemeral channel using SfM photogrammetry and Terrestrial Laser Scanner

Author list: Carmelo Conesa-García 1, Carlos Puig-Mengual 2, Adrián Riquelme 3, Roberto Tomás 3, Francisco Martínez-Capel 2, Rafael García-Lorenzo 1, José Luis Pastor 3, Pedro Pérez-Cutillas1, Miguel Cano 

1 Department of Physical Geography, University of Murcia, 30001 Murcia, Spain

2 Institutd’Investigació per a la Gestió Integrada de ZonesCostaneres (IGIC), UniversitatPolitècnica de València (UPV), Gandia, Spain

3 Department of Civil Engineering, University of Alicante, 03080 Alicante, Spain

 Abstract: High resolution data acquired via Structure from Motion (SfM) photogrammetry and Terrestrial Laser Scanner (TLS) can help improve the assessment of spatial distribution of stream power and changes in channel geometry, as well as net sediment flux. This study sought to quantitatively relate morphological adjustments in the Azohía Rambla, a gravel-bed ephemeral stream in southeastern Spain, to stream power gradient along different reference channel reaches of 200 to 450 m length. High-resolution Digital Terrain Models (HRDTM), combined with ortophotographs, point clouds acquired in 2018, 2019 and 2020, and ground-based surveys, were used to estimate the spatial variability of morphological sediment budgets to assess channel bed mobility and changes in net sediment flux during the study period.

Relationships between mean stream power gradient at peakflood discharges and volumes of erosion and deposition were quantified. In addition, downcutting and sedimentary accretion were monitored for each flood event in relation to bedforms and hydraulic variables (flow velocity, Froude number, shear stress, mean stream power, energy gradient, among others). These parameters were calculated by 1D hydrodynamic modeling and HRDTM prior entry of field information. The resulting maps allowed to compare stream power and transport efficiency with the areas of erosion and deposition in the reference channel reaches (RCR) and geomorphic representative sites (GRS). Incision and bed armouring processes showed different trends according to critical energy and power gradient, previous topographic features and bedform characteristics.

Key words: Structure from Motion, photogrammetry, Terrestrial Laser Scanner, stream power, morphological sediment budget, bedforms, gravel-bed ephemeral channel, Southeastern Spain.

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