Special Issue "Mapping Surface Structure and Topography by Airborne and Spaceborne Altimetry"

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: 28 February 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Frédérique Seyler
Guest Editor
ESPACE-DEV, UMR 228 IRD/UM/UR/UG/UA, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), 34093 Montpellier, France
Interests: space hydrology (radar altimetry); spatial distribution of soils using knowledge-based models and remote sensing (visible; IR; and SAR); characterization of land use (texture analysis; object-oriented approaches; expert classifications; modeling)
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Stefano Vignudelli
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), Area della Ricerca CNR S. Cataldo, Via Moruzzi 1, 56100 Pisa, Italy
Interests: ocean and land remote sensing; satellite radar altimetry; water level; coastal zone; inland waters
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The topography of the earth’s surface is the result of long-term structural and tectonic evolution of the earth together with the distribution of the gravity field that conditions the circulation of water. The circulation of water at the surface of the ground, in the subsurface, and at depth shapes reliefs through mechanical and chemical erosion. Topography is, in turn, one of the factors affecting the differentiation of soils and their microbial communities; it is essential for the characterization of watersheds and, therefore, for hydrological modeling; and it is one of the parameters of sun illumination and, thus, the amount of energy received by the earth’s surface and, consequently, one of the discriminating parameters of plant phenology. Spatialized knowledge of topography is essential in managing flood or landslide risks as well as in urban planning. The absolute and relative accuracy of global numerical terrain models is insufficient for applications that require, for example, discrimination of the shape of slopes, characterization of soil typology, or determination of flood risk in urban areas.

Satellite radar altimetry missions have been used for characterization of the ocean surface and, thus, the topography of the ocean floor as well for geodesic studies concerning the distribution of the gravity field on the earth’s surface. Since TOPEX/Poseidon and ERS, altimeter spatial data have begun to be used to characterize the surface of continental water bodies (e.g., lakes, rivers, reservoirs, wetlands, etc.). Some drift orbit missions have been used to map the surface of polar ice caps or continental surfaces. Great advances are expected given the possibility offered by new missions (e.g., CryoSat-2, Sentinel-3) in rethinking processing over the various complex surfaces using along-track unfocused/focused synthetic aperture radar (SAR) approaches. Some uses of GPS or Galileo (GNSS) signals may also allow for better mapping of topography. The use of images in the visible domain in stereoscopic mode or the use of oblique images is a means of producing terrain mapping. Studying the phase of images in the microwave spectrum is also one of the ways to map the terrain or its evolution in a short time.

The aim of this Special Issue is to take stock of the latest knowledge in these different fields and to address the crucial issue of accuracy in global topographical models.

Dr. Frédérique Seyler
Dr. Stefano Vignudelli
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 2200 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.


  • radar altimetry
  • radar/optical imagery
  • GNSS
  • topography

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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