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Linking Remote Sensing and Geodiversity and their Traits Relevant to Biodiversity – Part I: Soil Characteristics

Linking Remote Sensing and Geodiversity and their Traits Relevant to Biodiversity – Part I: Soil Characteristics Thumbnail


Angela Lausch

Jussi Baade

Lutz Bannehr

Erik Borg

Jan Bumberger

Sabine Chabrilliat

Peter Dietrich

Heike Gerighausen


Jorg M. Hacker

Dagmar Haase

Thomas Jagdhuber

Sven Jany


Arnon Karnieli

Roland Kraemer

Mohsen Makki

Christian Mielke


Carsten Montzka

Hannes Mollenhauer

Marion Pause

Christian Rogass

Offer Rozenstein

Christiane Schmullius


Karsten Schulz


Christian Schweitzer

Peter Selsam

Andrew K. Skidmore

Daniel Spengler

Christian Thiel

Sina C. Truckenbrodt

Michael Vohland

Robert Wagner

Ute Weber

Ulrike Werban


Steffen Zacharias

Michael E. Schaepman


In the face of rapid global change it is imperative to preserve geodiversity for the overall conservation of biodiversity. Geodiversity is important for understanding complex biogeochemical and physical processes and is directly and indirectly linked to biodiversity on all scales of ecosystem organization. Despite the great importance of geodiversity, there is a lack of suitable monitoring methods. Compared to conventional in-situ techniques, remote sensing (RS) techniques provide a pathway towards cost-effective, increasingly more available, comprehensive, and repeatable, as well as standardized monitoring of continuous geodiversity on the local to global scale. This paper gives an overview of the state-of-the-art approaches for monitoring soil characteristics and soil moisture with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and air- and spaceborne remote sensing techniques. Initially, the definitions for geodiversity along with its five essential characteristics are provided, with an explanation for the latter. Then, the approaches of spectral traits (ST) and spectral trait variations (STV) to record geodiversity using RS are defined. LiDAR (light detection and ranging), thermal and microwave sensors, multispectral, and hyperspectral RS technologies to monitor soil characteristics and soil moisture are also presented. Furthermore, the paper discusses current and future satellite-borne sensors and missions as well as existing data products. Due to the prospects and limitations of the characteristics of different RS sensors, only specific geotraits and geodiversity characteristics can be recorded. The paper provides an overview of those geotraits.


Lausch, A., Baade, J., Bannehr, L., Borg, E., Bumberger, J., Chabrilliat, S., …Schaepman, M. E. (2019). Linking Remote Sensing and Geodiversity and their Traits Relevant to Biodiversity – Part I: Soil Characteristics. Remote Sensing, 11(20), 1-51.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 1, 2019
Online Publication Date Oct 11, 2019
Publication Date Oct 11, 2019
Deposit Date Jan 6, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jan 6, 2020
Journal Remote Sensing
Electronic ISSN 2072-4292
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 20
Article Number 2356
Pages 1-51
Keywords geodiversity; geotraits; abiotic diversity; abiotic spectral traits; remote sensing; earth observation; soil characteristic; soil moisture; land surface temperature
Public URL
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