Project Main Results

Seismic risk prediction: The study of multi-spectral and radar backscatter characteristics of the Earth�s surface resulted in maps of active landslides, Earthquake epicentres and tectonic fault systems. Error estimation of space-retrieved Digital Elevation Models has been performed and the applicability for hydrological and GIS-analyses verified.

Aspects of climate change: in-situ ozone measurements with the ozonometer M-124 were compared to TOMS/Earth Probe measurements of total ozone. A statistically relevant correlation coefficient of 0.8 was found. Relationships of total ozone with main meteorological characteristics and changes of atmospheric circulation of the Lake Baikal region show very well the ozone transfer mechanisms.

Forest management: forest height is one of the important parameters for the logging industry as well as a crucial input to biomass estimations as input to climate models. The results verified within this project indicate a possible solution using polarimetric radar satellite data. Through combination of optical and radar images vegetation maps beyond earlier expectations were retrieved (e.g. species composition). These results are very relevant for Russian forestry since forest fires and monitoring of increasingly illegal logging are severe problems economically and ecologically.

Soils: the project helped to transform archived, hand-painted vegetation and soil maps of Buryatia into a geo-information system (GIS) and also allowed to improve and validate the existing material. An ecological evaluation of the state of the environment and soil resources was published in three volumes of �Baikal Lake Watershed Soils� (1999, 2000).

Regional planning: The whole complex of radar interferometry processing, image analysis and synergistic use with optical data for environmental applications has been established. The basis for operational state-of-the-art Earth Observation for environmental monitoring was successfully built up. A cartographic GIS database has been successfully compiled on three levels: Buryatia overview, Selenga delta and Barguzin valley test regions. The use of the publicly available space data is however restricted by the current Russian legislation. This causes considerable economic loss for forestry and regional planning issues.

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