Volcanic Landform Analysis

Bridging fieldwork and remote sensing data of volcanoes on Reykjanæs Peninsula, Iceland: Developement of new mapping tools to analyze volcanic landforms.


Volcanoes are classified according to their morphology, which primarily reflects the geologic and environmental setting. While Remote Sensing (RS) data is widely applied within the field of earth sciences, a systematic methodology for geomorphological analysis based on RS data has not yet been implemented, although existing data has a spatial resolution of 15cm per pixel, which approaches the resolution of decimeter-scale fieldwork observations.

This project will correlate the latest RS data with ground observations to find and implement diagnostic criteria for volcanic landforms in cutting edge remote sensing techniques and advanced geospatial analysis. These diagnostic characteristics will be implemented in an automatic pattern recognition procedure, and thus provide a new analytical mapping tool that will improve and optimize mapping of volcanic areas.

Study area

Reykjanæs Peninsula, Iceland is an ideal location for assessing the capabilities of RS data for geomorphological mapping of volcanoes, because it hosts a variety of easily accessible volcanic edifices allowing frequent field visits, which is important for spatial and temporal ground verification. Moreover, Reykjavik Peninsula is among the youngest and most pristine parts of Iceland and the only region in Iceland to have been completely mapped in 1:100,000.

Objective of the project

To investigate the diagnostic characteristics of volcanic landforms and to implement them in an automated pattern recognition procedure the proposed project has been divided into subprojects as outlined below. The first project investigates diagnostic morphologic characteristics, identifies information constraints of different types of RS data and evaluates of the spatial and temporal resolution control on geomorphic information, which is necessary to establish a general mapping procedure of volcanoes. The second project evaluates the morphometric signature on a variety volcanic landform to analyze if morphometry provides a identification of volcanic landforms and finally the third project incorporate the results from the two subprojects in order to produce a robust image segmentation procedure.