Remote Sensing of Landscape Processes

  • Geoff Pickup
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 79)


Landforms, through their effects on climate, hydrology, soils, and vegetation, determine much of the spatial variability in biosphere functioning. Landform characteristics are the product of geological structure coupled with tectonic and climatic history and, at the larger spatial scales, change only slowly (Table 11.1). They are, therefore, usually treated as constant over the time intervals during which ecosystems experience and respond to change. At smaller spatial scales, the pace of change accelerates and the surficial characteristics of a landform may be modified quite rapidly. This produces a mosaic of surfaces that are either gaining or losing sediment or remaining stable. These surfaces have different ages, sediment characteristics, and disturbance regimes. They may also respond to shifts in climate or other controlling variables at rates similar to those of the ecosystems that occupy them. Landscape and ecosystem processes may then become linked either directly or through feedback mechanisms.


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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1990

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  • Geoff Pickup

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