Linking the remote sensing of geodiversity and traits relevant to biodiversity-part II: geomorphology, terrain and surfaces

Angela Lausch*, Michael E. Schaepman, Andrew K. Skidmore, Sina C. Truckenbrodt, Jörg M. Hacker, Jussi Baade, Lutz Bannehr, Erik Borg, Jan Bumberger, Peter Dietrich, Cornelia Gläßer, Dagmar Haase, Marco Heurich, Thomas Jagdhuber, Sven Jany, Rudolf Krönert, Markus Möller, Hannes Mollenhauer, Carsten Montzka, Marion PauseChristian Rogass, Nesrin Salepci, Christiane Schmullius, Franziska Schrodt, Claudia Schütze, Christian Schweitzer, Peter Selsam, Daniel Spengler, Michael Vohland, Martin Volk, Ute Weber, Thilo Wellmann, Ulrike Werban, Steffen Zacharias, Christian Thiel

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)
    89 Downloads (Pure)


    The status, changes, and disturbances in geomorphological regimes can be regarded as controlling and regulating factors for biodiversity. Therefore, monitoring geomorphology at local, regional, and global scales is not only necessary to conserve geodiversity, but also to preserve biodiversity, as well as to improve biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management. Numerous remote sensing (RS) approaches and platforms have been used in the past to enable a cost-effective, increasingly freely available, comprehensive, repetitive, standardized, and objective monitoring of geomorphological characteristics and their traits. This contribution provides a state-of-the-art review for the RS-based monitoring of these characteristics and traits, by presenting examples of aeolian, fluvial, and coastal landforms. Different examples for monitoring geomorphology as a crucial discipline of geodiversity using RS are provided, discussing the implementation of RS technologies such as LiDAR, RADAR, as well as multi-spectral and hyperspectral sensor technologies. Furthermore, data products and RS technologies that could be used in the future for monitoring geomorphology are introduced. The use of spectral traits (ST) and spectral trait variation (STV) approaches with RS enable the status, changes, and disturbances of geomorphic diversity to be monitored. We focus on the requirements for future geomorphology monitoring specifically aimed at overcoming some key limitations of ecological modeling, namely: the implementation and linking of in-situ, close-range, air-and spaceborne RS technologies, geomorphic traits, and data science approaches as crucial components for a better understanding of the geomorphic impacts on complex ecosystems. This paper aims to impart multidimensional geomorphic information obtained by RS for improved utilization in biodiversity monitoring.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number3690
    Pages (from-to)1-61
    Number of pages61
    JournalRemote Sensing
    Issue number22
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2020

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright the Author(s) 2020 Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


    • geomorphology
    • terrain
    • surface
    • geodiversity
    • fluvial
    • aeolian
    • coastal
    • traits
    • spectral traits
    • remote sensing
    • earth observation
    • DEM
    • DTM
    • DSM
    • monitoring


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