Earth Observations for Global Typical Karst

Earth Observations for Global Typical Karst

The Challenge

The soluble rocks and double hydrogeological structure enabled easy impacts of human activities on surface to the underground and spread to other parts through the conduits network. Calculating the thresholds of human activities to restrict the bad influence is in an urgent need now.

The Solution

  • Enable effective data sharing on karst resources and environment based on observation networking in typical karst areas;
  • Establish comprehensive models for karst areas’ sustainability under human activities in water resources, and landscape resources, which could be important references for policies making;
  • Develop an intelligent system for users to assess the status of resources and environment in typical karst areas and make early intervene for possible hazards, share the related data and support for related policies making.
  • Foster outreach and capacity building for the use of the outputs through training, education, internship, workshops, etc

Our Impact

Outreach for better cooperation:

In order to support this Pilot Initiative, the project organized an on-spot training course themed “Sustainable Utilization of Natural Resources in Karst Areas (I): Remote Sensing and Monitoring” at Nanning, Chongqing and Guilin on 16th-29th May 2023. This training course attracted 24 trainees and lecturers from Asia, Africa, Europe, Oceania, and the Americas, and 15 renowned experts in the fields of karst, remote sensing, and information technology from six countries (regions) were invited to give lectures and serve as instructors. The training course integrated indoor lectures, forum exchanges, field practice, and student evaluations. The training course introduced the EO4KARST, remote sensing monitoring and in-situ monitoring on natural resources and geohazards in karst areas to all the attendees to raise their common sense to this initiative for possible cooperation in the future.

Policy Drivers

This initiative is aiming to support the SDGs like SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, SDG 13: Climate Action, and SDG 15: Life on Land by integration of remote sensing technology and in-situ monitoring technology, which will generate an useful app and multi-parameter modes for the sustainable utilization under global change.

How We Work

  • To set up a database that could be accessed easily by the users based on the data from the enlarging observation network for typical karst areas on resources and environment (i.e. water, land and landscape). The observation network will integrate RS data and the in situ observation data and keeps enlarging by absorbing the existing observation stations or the newly set up stations in typical karst areas. The monitoring stations will focus on the parameters of water quality and water quantity, soil erosion or leakage, while the RS technology will focus on vegetation degradation or rehabilitation, landscapes status and its protection. The database will have all the date well organized for further interpretation and model development.
  • To develop integrated models by taking water resources,land use, landscapes utilization and protection of karst areas into consideration, including the impacts of kinds of human activities under climate change (e.g. quarrying, farming, tourism developing, etc.);based on these models, the Initiative will try to find out the thresholds for the resources sustainable development in karst areas, which are of great significance to decision makers to adapt related policies.
  • To develop an intelligent system for users to assess the status of resources and environment and share the data. An intelligent system integrating control centre and a simple app to the decision makers is planned for different users. For the decision makers, they could use the app to know the status of the resources and environment under observation, with different trends predicted by the proposed modes, for making better policies. For the administrators, they could use the app to know the real-time monitoring status of the areas they are in charge, and make early intervene to the possible hazards. For the common users, they could download or upload the related data for wider sharing through the app.
  • To make outreach products and cooperate with the related agencies to organize training, further education, internship, workshops, and science popularization to promote outreach and capacity building, so as to raise the public awareness on karst protection, enhance the management of decision makers, and improve research level.


For more information about the Earth Observations for Global Typical Karst please contact GEO Secretariat