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Recent remote sensing applications for hydro and morphodynamic monitoring and modelling

Entwistle, Neil; Heritage, George; Milan, David


Neil Entwistle

George Heritage


It is not new to recognise that data from remote sensing platforms is transforming the way we characterise and analyse our environment. The ability to collect continuous data spanning spatial scales now allows geomorphological research in a data rich environment and this special issue (coming just 7 years after the 2010 special issue of ESPL associated with the remote sensing of rivers) highlights the considerable research effort being made to exploit this information, into new understanding of geomorphic form and process. The 2010 special issue on the remote sensing of rivers noted that fluvial remote sensing papers made up some 14% of the total river related papers in ESPL. A similar review of the papers up to 2017 reveals that this figure has increased to around 25% with a recent proliferation of articles utilising satellite based data and structure from motion derived data. It is interesting to note, however that many studies published to date are proof of concept, concentrating on confirming the accuracy of the remotely sensed data at the expense of generating new insights and ideas on fluvial form and function. Data is becoming ever more accurate and researchers should now be concentrating on analysing these early data sets to develop increased geomorphic insight challenging paradigms and moving the science forward. The prospect of this occurring is increased by the fact that many of the new remote sensed platforms allow accurate spatial data to be collected cheaply and efficiently. This is providing the individual researcher or small research grouping with tremendous opportunity to move the science of fluvial geomorphology forward unconstrained to a large degree of the need to secure substantial research funding. Fluvial geomorphologists have never before been in such a liberated position! As techniques and analytical skills continue to improve it is inevitable that Marcus and Fondstad's (2010) prediction that remotely sensed data will revolutionising our understanding of geomorphological form and process will prove true, altering our ideas on the very nature of system functioning in the process.


Entwistle, N., Heritage, G., & Milan, D. (2018). Recent remote sensing applications for hydro and morphodynamic monitoring and modelling. Earth surface processes and landforms : the journal of the British Geomorphological Research Group, 43(10), 2283-2291.

Journal Article Type Note
Acceptance Date Mar 1, 2018
Online Publication Date May 23, 2018
Publication Date Aug 6, 2018
Deposit Date Apr 6, 2018
Publicly Available Date Nov 22, 2018
Journal Earth Surface Processes and Landforms
Print ISSN 0197-9337
Electronic ISSN 1096-9837
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 43
Issue 10
Pages 2283-2291
Keywords Earth-Surface Processes; Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous); Geography, Planning and Development
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Copyright Statement
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium,provided the original work is properly cited.

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