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GEO 2017-2019 Work Programme


Earth Observations for Geohazards, Land Degradation and Environmental Monitoring

Activity ID: 88


Current and emerging Earth Observation (EO) technologies have the potential to provide regular top- surface compositional information with a high temporal rate and at high spatial resolution. Optical imageries have a great potential to map top-surface physical property together with mineral composition. Even more, with future hyperspectral systems (e.g., EnMap should be operating in orbit from 2018) it will be possible to move to a level of quantitative modelling. Thermal imageries have the ability to map top-surface temperature, emissivity and thermal capacity. Optical and thermal multi-temporal imageries can be thus used to map a complex terrestrial surface property, as well as detect dynamic changes. Radar (InSAR) based EO technology can be applied to monitor ground surface movements and deformation (e.g. monitoring subsidence due to gas production and mining activities). Taking into account the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, this activity will combine the above mentioned multi-sensor EO technologies to map and monitor wide areas affected by local scale geological and anthropogenic hazards, such as: landslide and subsidence dynamics, soil degradation and contamination due to anthropogenic activities, and glacier monitoring. Furthermore, the generation of up-to-date terrestrial surface potential hazard maps will allow building early warning and monitoring systems improving risk management and disaster resilience. Potential users could be Civil Protection Agencies, Central and Local Authorities, Mining companies, Environmental organisations.

Activities for the Period

  • Develop activities and tools to join all the European stakeholders working on or being responsible for geohazards and environmental monitoring; develop common criteria for the compilation of existing databases and data sets and plans for integration of new generation satellite data;
  • Develop close relations with potential users engaging them from the beginning through the whole duration of the project with the aim to meet their needs;
  • Investigate the feasibility to develop monitoring services at European level (e.g., Ground Motion Monitoring Service that can target areas for potential landslides and subsidence);
  • Identify the links between diverse European projects and European-scale data (in-situ, ground truth, distance data), services and other products (e.g., methods or built know how) and investigate how to join/link them to support efficient geohazard and environmental monitoring;
  • Investigate the feasibility to develop new applications or monitoring systems when focusing on diverse data fusion and utilisation of the new generation satellite data (e.g., Copernicus data, EnMap).

Future Plans

  • Collaborating with institutions from GEO Member countries internationally (e.g. USGS) to bring the above to a global scale.


In-kind contributions are the sole resource at this time.



Members: Belgium, Greece, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain.

Leadership & Contributors (this list is being populated)




Implementing Entity



Veronika Kopačková

Czech Republic



Michaela Frei




Gerardo Herrera




Isabel Pino De Juana