BEGIN seminar – Dr Richard Streeter
Date: 24 November 2020
Venue: The link for the event will be sent on the morning of the 24th to those that RSVP
Please RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org until Mon 23rd of September to receive the link.
Using UAVs (drones) to assess spatial patterns of erosion in a high-latitude rangeland, Iceland
High-latitude areas are experiencing rapid change: we therefore need a better understanding of the processes controlling soil erosion in these environments. In this talk I describe how drones were used as part of a spatiotemporal approach to investigate soil erosion in Svalbarðstunga, Iceland (66°N, 15°W), a degraded rangeland. We used three complementary datasets: (a) high- resolution unmanned-aerial vehicle imagery collected from 12 sites (total area ~0.75 km2); (b) historical imagery of the same sites; and (c) a simple, spatially-explicit cellular automata model. We found that there was no simple relationship between location along the environmental gradient and the spatial characteristics of erosion. The importance of abiotic processes to the growth of large erosion patches and their relative insensitivity to current environmental conditions makes it likely that the total eroded area will continue to increase, despite a warming climate and reducing levels of grazing pressure. I will also talk about how future research plans in this area will use UAVs.
Dr Richard Streeter is a Lecturer in Environmental Geography at the University of St Andrews. His research focusses on three main areas: volcanic ash (tephra); human-environment interactions over the Holocene, and spatial patterns of land-degradation over decades-centuries.