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Landslide Monitoring with Geohazards TEP

Geohazards Exploitation Platform has been used to produce a velocity map of the unstable area around the Aletsch Glacier, the largest in the Alps, which is experiencing an average retreat of about 50 m a year. The adjacent rocks that were previously constrained by the ice mass are progressively being released, generating slope instabilities. For this reason, the Aletsch region is a unique place where scientists can investigate how changes in glaciers affect the long- and short-term evolution of rock slope stability. Read the full story here

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/Satellites_monitor_landslide_in_the_Alps

Keep an automatic eye on seismic zones

The Copernicus Sentinel-1 twin radar satellites combined with cloud computing are monitoring Europe’s earthquake zones by searching for ground shifts as small as a millimetre. 

Radar was developed in the last century to pick up aircraft moving at hundreds of kilometres per hour. Today’s satellite radar can reveal otherwise invisible shifts in the ground taking place as slowly as the growth of your fingernails.

The new, automatic radar service covers Europe’s seismic regions, monitoring an area of three million square kilometres in 200 m blocks.

Once any motion of interest has been identified, more detailed checks can be made through ESA’s Geohazards Exploitation Platform.

“The quick-browse service has been under way across European tectonic regions since January, harnessing automated processing developed by the DLR German Aerospace Center,” explains Fabrizio Pacini of Terradue, overseeing the Platform. 

[...] Read full article here.

 

The GEP is one of six ‘Thematic Exploitation Platforms’ (TEPs)' being developed by ESA in the frame of the Earth Observation ground segment evolution strategy. The TEPs aim at fostering the exploitation of EO data by providing an online environment for users to access information, ICT resources, and tools.

The TEPs are contributing to the creation of an European EO data ecosystem for research and business, one of the overarching objectives of ESA Earth Observation Envelope Programme.

 

Earth's most active volcanoes on satellite watch

 As hundreds flee lava and ash spewed from Mexico’s Colima volcano, its continuing eruption is being tracked not only by ground instruments but also from space. Starting last month, Colima is one of 22 active volcanoes worldwide being monitored by satellites.

The latest observations by Europe’s Sentinels and the US Terra and Landsat satellites are being processed automatically for the rapid delivery of key parameters to geohazards researchers.

“Within the geohazards arena, this kind of systematic service is really something new,” explains Fabrizio Pacini of Terradue, which operates the new service through ESA’s online, cloud-based Geohazards Exploitation Platform, or GEP.

“Researchers already use Earth observation data, of course, but usually on an on-demand basis from a single sensor. We make use of a range of sensors to cover multiple sites on a continuing basis.”

The service is based on automated processing chains developed by GEP research partners, running on the GEP itself, then made available through it.

 

[...] Read full article here.

 

The GEP is one of six ‘Thematic Exploitation Platforms’ (TEPs)' being developed by ESA in the frame of the Earth Observation ground segment evolution strategy. The TEPs aim at fostering the exploitation of EO data by providing an online environment for users to access information, ICT resources, and tools.

The TEPs are contributing to the creation of an European EO data ecosystem for research and business, one of the overarching objectives of ESA Earth Observation Envelope Programme.

Geohazards TEP@EGU 2016 wrap-up

 The EGU General Assembly 2016 was held in Vienna from 17 to 22 April with great success, with 4,863 oral presentations given, 10,320 posters, 947 PICO sessions and a total of 13,650 scientists from 109 countries taking part.

The Geohazards Exploitation Platform (GEP) featured in the interesting discussions of the Geoscience community, being subject of five presentations and a training session during the first three days.

 

 

On Monday, the new functions built into the GEP to support results publication ad sharing were presented to the GEO Supersites community.  All appreciated the clear contribution the GEP will make to enable Open Science for the Geoscience community, a key element of the GEO Supersite initiative.

New processing results of the GEP were also presented, including:

  • A preview of the new InSAR Browse Services developed by German Aerospace Center (DLR) in the context of their GEP pilot (more information on this service will follow on the GEP blog).
  • A continental scale map showing 12-days Interferometric Coherence of almost all of Europe, processed by scientists of CNR-IREA.
  • Sharing of results with an example from the 2015 earthquake in Chile (see yourself on GEP)

On Tuesday, examples of the SBAS processing chain and time series analysis were shown, with availability of per-pixel time series over Campi Flegrei, the Gargano area and Mount Etna.  The second presentation focused on the integration of the SBAS algorithm into processing services through the GEP, and described how the GEP makes it possible to realize a wide spectrum of service modes, like an on-demand mode and a surveillance mode systematically updated at each new acquisition.

On Wednesday, the GEP “Optical Image Correlation” pilot project was presented.  The project is led by University of Strasbourg and the team is implementing a processing chain on the GEP cloud-based (Hadoop, MapReduce) environment, which will enable analysis of surface displacements at local to regional scale (10-1000 km2), targeting in particular co-seismic displacement and slow-moving landslides. 

A training course for the GEP SBAS-DInSAR web tool was held. The course provided a short overview on the DInSAR processing methods allowing retrieving mean surface deformation maps and displacement time series, with a specific focus on the SBAS-DInSAR technique. Secondly, the GEP and G-POD environments were introduced and the P-SBAS web tool presented. Finally, the advanced features as well as some main results achieved via the web tool were shown.

In all of these presentations, we saw geoscience research and IT coming together in the GEP as geoscientists manage to introduce new concepts coming from the evolving IT world into their algorithms, leading to reduced execution times and new processing scales that allow for previously unfeasible analyses.  This development is being warmly received.  For instance, when the current scenario of growing satellite data was discussed at the “Integrated Research Infrastructures and Services in Geosciences” session in presence of  representatives from the European Plate Observing System (EPOS), the TEP model was presented as an answer to manage the concerned challenges.  The general consensus among the EGU audience was that we are living interesting times, in which the needs of the research infrastructures are shaping the evolution of the ICT and  governance is being negotiated by user communities in view of solutions that are sustainable in the long term.

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Hydrology TEP provides a flexible web-based platform to access, explore, and exploit satellite-based data and products related to hydrology.