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Geographies, Volume 1, Issue 3 (December 2021) – 12 articles

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17 pages, 5095 KiB  
Article
The Impact of COVID-19 Lockdowns on Satellite-Observed Aerosol Optical Thickness over the Surrounding Coastal Oceanic Areas of Megacities in the Coastal Zone
Geographies 2021, 1(3), 381-397; https://doi.org/10.3390/geographies1030021 - 18 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2018
Abstract
Nearly 40 years of aerosol optical thickness (AOT) climate data record (CDR) derived from NOAA operational satellite Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) observation over the global oceans is used to study the AOT changes due to the COVID-19 lockdown over the surrounding [...] Read more.
Nearly 40 years of aerosol optical thickness (AOT) climate data record (CDR) derived from NOAA operational satellite Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) observation over the global oceans is used to study the AOT changes due to the COVID-19 lockdown over the surrounding coastal oceanic areas of 18 megacities in the coast zone (MCCZ). The AOT difference between the annual mean AOT values of 2020 with COVID-19 lockdown and 2019 without the lockdown along with the 2020 AOT annual anomaly are used to effectively identify the AOT changes that are a result of the lockdown. We found that for most of the 18 MCCZ, the COVID-19 lockdowns implemented to contain the spread of the coronavirus resulted in a decrease between 1% and 30% in AOT due to reduced anthropogenic emissions associated with the lockdowns. However, the AOT long-term trend and other aerosol interannual variations due to favorable or unfavorable meteorological conditions may mask AOT changes due to the lockdown effect in some MCCZ. Different seasonal variations of aerosol amount in 2020 relative to 2019 due to other natural aerosol emission sources not influenced by the lockdown, such as dust storms and natural biomass burning and smoke, may also conceal a limited reduction in the annual mean AOT due to the lockdown in MCCZ with relatively loose lockdown. This study indicates that the use of long-term satellite observation is helpful for studying and monitoring the aerosol changes due to the emission reduction associated with the COVID-19 lockdown in the surrounding coastal oceanic areas of MCCZ, which will benefit the future development of the mitigation strategy for air pollution and emissions in megacities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Career Scientists’ (ECS) Contributions to Geographies)
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19 pages, 6404 KiB  
Article
Qualitative-Quantitative Assessment of Geodiversity of Western Samoa (SW Pacific) to Identify Places of Interest for Further Geoconservation, Geoeducation, and Geotourism Development
Geographies 2021, 1(3), 362-380; https://doi.org/10.3390/geographies1030020 - 17 Dec 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2770
Abstract
The assessment of geodiversity is a relatively new field of research connecting abiotic aspects of nature to the wider environment. The study of geodiversity is still in development, so a uniform and complete paradigm remains to be defined. Therefore, an assessment of geodiversity [...] Read more.
The assessment of geodiversity is a relatively new field of research connecting abiotic aspects of nature to the wider environment. The study of geodiversity is still in development, so a uniform and complete paradigm remains to be defined. Therefore, an assessment of geodiversity may be highly dependent on the nature of the territory subject to study, available databases, and the researchers’ field of specialization. The main quantitative method for the assessment of geodiversity was proposed to the scientific world only few years ago and may only be relevant to some places in the world, rather than all, which would be desirable. However, while similarities in research methods may be apparent, the directions, scales, and data utilized are clearly different. This article demonstrates a quantitative-qualitative method for an assessment of geodiversity, based on a five-point evaluation system and the utilization of widely available standard databases such as geological maps, SRTM models, and satellite images. Western Samoa Islands (Savai’i and Upolu Islands) were selected for assessment, as a typical example of basaltic ocean island volcanism generating relatively homogenous rock formations and subject to gradual geomorphology (e.g., shield volcano). While initially appearing as a region of simple geology and morphology, complexity is added by considering rock ages, the position and type of eruptive centres, and the coastal geoenvironment. By considering these factors, the assessment becomes specifically tailoring for geodiversity assessment of the islands of Samoa. In conclusion, it has been demonstrated a simple methodology of general assessment of geodiversity with additional improvements to take account of variability in other abiotic factors. Full article
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16 pages, 2977 KiB  
Review
Bibliometric Analysis of Remote Sensing of Inland Waters Publications from 1985 to 2020
Geographies 2021, 1(3), 346-361; https://doi.org/10.3390/geographies1030019 - 04 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2589
Abstract
Over the past few decades, there has been a significant increase in the number of studies about the use of remote sensing techniques for the monitoring of inland waters. Since these aquatic environments have multiple uses for mankind, monitoring them is essential for [...] Read more.
Over the past few decades, there has been a significant increase in the number of studies about the use of remote sensing techniques for the monitoring of inland waters. Since these aquatic environments have multiple uses for mankind, monitoring them is essential for the environment, society, and the economy. The use of Earth Observations data for the monitoring of inland waters is important for water quantity and quality management. Because of this, the goal of the present study is to systematically analyze and visualize the evolution of publications in this field. This study will not focus on algorithm comparisons or descriptions; instead, it will use a co-citation analysis to map the relationship among publications. Using the Web of Science database, publications related to the terms, “remote sensing” + “inland waters”, were analyzed using the entire database. The bibliometric analysis showed how research topics evolved from measuring optical properties and understanding their signal to the development of remote sensing algorithms and their applications to satellite imagery. This study provides the historical development of the scientific publications in this field and points out what could be the direction for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Career Scientists’ (ECS) Contributions to Geographies)
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13 pages, 12456 KiB  
Article
Automatic Unfolding of CityGML Buildings to Paper Models
Geographies 2021, 1(3), 333-345; https://doi.org/10.3390/geographies1030018 - 01 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2968
Abstract
3D city models are mainly viewed on computer screens, but many municipalities also use 3D printing to make urban planning tangible. Since 3D color printing is still comparatively expensive and the colors often fade over time, many of these models are monochrome. Here, [...] Read more.
3D city models are mainly viewed on computer screens, but many municipalities also use 3D printing to make urban planning tangible. Since 3D color printing is still comparatively expensive and the colors often fade over time, many of these models are monochrome. Here, color textured paper models offer an inexpensive and under-appreciated alternative. In this paper, a greedy algorithm adapted to CityGML building models is presented, which creates print templates for such paper models. These 2D layouts consist of cut edges and fold edges that bound polygons of a building. The polygons can be textured or left blank depending on the existence of CityGML textures. Glue tabs are attached to cut edges. In addition to the haptic 3D visualization, the quality of the 3D models can sometimes be better assessed on the basis of the print templates than from a perspective projection. The unfolding procedure was applied to parts of the freely available CityGML model of Berlin as well as to parts of models of the cities of Dortmund and Krefeld. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geovisualization: Current Trends, Challenges, and Applications)
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18 pages, 5700 KiB  
Article
Land-Use Changes in the Sele River Basin Landscape (Southern Italy) between 1960 and 2012: Comparisons and Implications for Soil Erosion Assessment
Geographies 2021, 1(3), 315-332; https://doi.org/10.3390/geographies1030017 - 23 Nov 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2772
Abstract
In river basins, the deep interrelationships between land-use changes, soil erosion and rivers and shoreline dynamics are clearer than at a national or regional scale. Southern Italy is an ecologically fragile, desertification-prone territory where land-use changes in the last decades were significant. Notwithstanding [...] Read more.
In river basins, the deep interrelationships between land-use changes, soil erosion and rivers and shoreline dynamics are clearer than at a national or regional scale. Southern Italy is an ecologically fragile, desertification-prone territory where land-use changes in the last decades were significant. Notwithstanding this, studies dealing with multidecadal land-use changes in large-sized river basins of Southern Italy and their implications on soil erosion are missing. In this study, we assessed the land-use changes that occurred between 1960 and 2012 in the 3245 km2-wide Sele River basin. We carried out GIS-aided comparisons and analysis of two land-use maps and interpreted the results in terms of soil erosion intensity based on a detailed review of the scientific literature. The results confirmed the trend of the inner areas of Italy and, in particular, of the Campania region moving towards more pristine conditions, with an increase in forest cover, mainly at the expense of grasslands. Agricultural areas remained substantially unchanged, while the area of urban settlements increased. The diffuse afforestation of slopes suggested an overall decrease in soil erosion intensity, which was fully coherent with the geomorphological evolution of both the Sele River and local shoreline reported in literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Career Scientists’ (ECS) Contributions to Geographies)
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23 pages, 52398 KiB  
Article
The Spatiotemporal Characteristics and Dynamic Changes of Tidal Flats in Florida from 1984 to 2020
Geographies 2021, 1(3), 292-314; https://doi.org/10.3390/geographies1030016 - 19 Nov 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3658
Abstract
Tidal flats are playing a critical role in the coastal environment, which mainly rely on satellite images to map the distribution on large spatiotemporal scales. Much effort has been made to monitor and analyze the spatiotemporal dynamics of tidal flats in order to [...] Read more.
Tidal flats are playing a critical role in the coastal environment, which mainly rely on satellite images to map the distribution on large spatiotemporal scales. Much effort has been made to monitor and analyze the spatiotemporal dynamics of tidal flats in order to provide worthwhile references for scientists and lawmakers. Instead of considering the dynamics of tidal flats only, this study implemented a series of comprehensive analyses on the tidal flats along the coast of Florida during the period 1984–2020. First, the analyses on the pixel level examined the spatiotemporal characteristics of tidal flat dynamics and the interactions with lands and permanent water. Second, the contiguous pixels of tidal flats were assembled as objects, and two geometric attributes were calculated and used to track the temporal patterns of tidal flat dynamics on this level. Finally, the Mann–Kendall test and Sen’s slope estimator were applied to identify and quantify the significant trends of tidal flat dynamics on the two levels. The results highlighted the differences in tidal flat distributions and dynamics between the Gulf Coast and Atlantic Coast, which further verified effective GIS representations and analyses that could be applied to other coastal studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Career Scientists’ (ECS) Contributions to Geographies)
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41 pages, 81557 KiB  
Article
Holocene Vegetation Dynamics, Landscape Change and Human Impact in Western Ireland as Revealed by Multidisciplinary, Palaeoecological Investigations of Peat Deposits and Bog-Pine in Lowland Connemara
Geographies 2021, 1(3), 251-291; https://doi.org/10.3390/geographies1030015 - 15 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4167
Abstract
Palaeoecological investigations, involving pollen analysis, dendrochronology, and radiocarbon dating of bog-pine, provide the basis for reconstruction of vegetation dynamics, landscape development, and human impact in two contrasting parts of lowland northern Connemara, western Ireland, namely Ballydoo and Derryeighter in the east, and Renvyle/Letterfrack/Cleggan [...] Read more.
Palaeoecological investigations, involving pollen analysis, dendrochronology, and radiocarbon dating of bog-pine, provide the basis for reconstruction of vegetation dynamics, landscape development, and human impact in two contrasting parts of lowland northern Connemara, western Ireland, namely Ballydoo and Derryeighter in the east, and Renvyle/Letterfrack/Cleggan at the Atlantic coast some 40 km to the west. The history of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) is traced in detail. Standout features include the dominant role the tree played from the early Holocene onwards and especially at Ballydoo, its ability to grow on peat surfaces (so-called pine flush) over the course of several millennia during the mid-Holocene (centred on c. 5 ka), and its demise in a three-step fashion to become regionally extinct at c. 2.3 ka. The factors influencing these developments, including climate change, are discussed. Another natural phenomenon, namely the spread of blanket bog, is shown to be an on-going process since the early mid-Holocene, with accelerated spread taking place during the Neolithic and Bronze Age. The course of human impact, as reflected in pollen records and in archaeological field monuments, including megaliths and prehistoric stone walls, is reconstructed in detail. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Geographies in 2021)
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13 pages, 2586 KiB  
Article
Local Linear Scale Factors in Map Projections of an Ellipsoid
Geographies 2021, 1(3), 238-250; https://doi.org/10.3390/geographies1030014 - 09 Nov 2021
Viewed by 2411
Abstract
The main problem in cartography is that it is not possible to map/project/transform a spherical or ellipsoidal surface into a plane without distortions. The distortions of areas, angles, and/or distances are immanent to all maps. It is known that scale changes from point [...] Read more.
The main problem in cartography is that it is not possible to map/project/transform a spherical or ellipsoidal surface into a plane without distortions. The distortions of areas, angles, and/or distances are immanent to all maps. It is known that scale changes from point to point, and at certain points, the scale usually depends on the direction. The local linear scale factor c is one of the most important indicators of distortion distribution in the theory of map projections. It is not possible to find out the values of the local linear scale factor c in directions of coordinate axes x and y immediately from the definition of c. To solve this problem, in this paper, we derive new formulae for the calculation of c for a rotational ellipsoid. In addition, we derive the formula for computing c in any direction defined by dx and dy. We also considered the position and magnitude of the extreme values of c and derived new formulae for a rotational ellipsoid. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Career Scientists’ (ECS) Contributions to Geographies)
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21 pages, 17050 KiB  
Article
The Importance of Connected and Interspersed Urban Green and Blue Space for Biodiversity: A Case Study in Cork City, Ireland
Geographies 2021, 1(3), 217-237; https://doi.org/10.3390/geographies1030013 - 02 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3378
Abstract
Urban green and blue space (UGBS) is becoming increasingly important for supporting biodiversity, with the spatial configuration of these landscapes essential to supporting a range of taxa. The role of UGBS for supporting biodiversity is well established, but there remains a lack of [...] Read more.
Urban green and blue space (UGBS) is becoming increasingly important for supporting biodiversity, with the spatial configuration of these landscapes essential to supporting a range of taxa. The role of UGBS for supporting biodiversity is well established, but there remains a lack of consensus on the importance of the overall landscape configuration and the scale at which these configurations are analyzed. Moreover, statistical models are often compounded by coarse representations of UGBS that ignore ‘invisible’ spaces (i.e., gardens and brownfield sites). Using Sentinel-2 satellite data and a maximum likelihood classification, a comprehensive landcover map of Cork City, Ireland was produced with reliable accuracy. FRAGSTATS was then used to capture landscape metrics regarding the spatial configuration of the study area, at a city scale and at three spatial extents for each field site. Field surveys at 72 locations captured data on bird species richness and abundance, before generalized linear models (GLMs) were parameterized between biodiversity metrics and the landscape metrics at 50, 100, and 200 m scales. The UGBS classification revealed that two-thirds of the city is composed of green and blue space. The field surveys recorded 62 species in the city, while GLMs revealed that green space was a significant driver in increasing species richness and abundance, while blue space produced inversions in coefficient estimates, suggesting a more nuanced relationship. The edge effect phenomenon was suggested to play a key role in increasing bird diversity, with a diversified and varied urban landscape important. The impact of scale also affected how blue space was viewed as a connective network within the city, particularly in relation to biodiversity metrics. Overall, this study has demonstrated that UGBS is intrinsically linked to bird diversity. Moreover, 38% of the species recorded are listed as species of conservation concern in Ireland, highlighting how urban spaces can provide habitats for vulnerable species and should inform discussion on the role of geography within the implementation of conservation and planning initiatives for urban environs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Geographies in 2021)
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25 pages, 5409 KiB  
Article
The Silent Forest: Impact of Bird Hunting by Prehistoric Polynesians on the Decline and Disappearance of Native Avifauna in Hawai’i
Geographies 2021, 1(3), 192-216; https://doi.org/10.3390/geographies1030012 - 18 Oct 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 6062
Abstract
This research focuses on the historical demise of Hawaiian avifauna due to hunting by ancient Polynesians. Numerous documents, published since the early 1800s, were scrutinized and evaluated; these provided information on bird hunting and traditional Hawaiian practices. Hawaiians used birds as sources of [...] Read more.
This research focuses on the historical demise of Hawaiian avifauna due to hunting by ancient Polynesians. Numerous documents, published since the early 1800s, were scrutinized and evaluated; these provided information on bird hunting and traditional Hawaiian practices. Hawaiians used birds as sources of feathers and food. Feathers were important symbols of power for Polynesians; in Hawai’i, feathers were more highly prized than other types of property. Feathers used for crafts were obtained from at least 24 bird species, however, the golden feathers of ōō and mamo birds made them primary targets for birdhunters; both birds became extinct by the late 1800s. Feathers were utilized for many items, including ahuula [cloaks], mahiole [war helmets], and kāhili [standards]. Most garments utilized a considerable number of feathers; a cloak for Kamehameha consumed the golden feathers of 80,000 mamo birds. Bird meat was an important food item for native Hawaiians. It is believed that most birds were killed after being plucked; historical sources mention ~30 bird species were consumed. The uau (Pterodroma sandwichensis), a currently endangered seabird, was ruthlessly hunted and avidly eaten. Its current geographical range is just a minute fraction of its former one; now, uaus are largely restricted to inaccessible cliffs at Haleakalā Crater (Maui). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Geographies in 2021)
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14 pages, 2923 KiB  
Article
The Utility of Sentinel-2 MSI Data to Estimate Wetland Vegetation Leaf Area Index in Natural and Rehabilitated Wetlands
Geographies 2021, 1(3), 178-191; https://doi.org/10.3390/geographies1030011 - 16 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2421
Abstract
Wetland ecosystems are being modified and threatened due to anthropogenic activities and climate change, hence the urgent need for wetland restoration. Wetland rehabilitation is important in the reversal of these dire conditions, and this can be pursued through restoring damaged wetland ecosystems and [...] Read more.
Wetland ecosystems are being modified and threatened due to anthropogenic activities and climate change, hence the urgent need for wetland restoration. Wetland rehabilitation is important in the reversal of these dire conditions, and this can be pursued through restoring damaged wetland ecosystems and recovering wetland vegetation. Wetland biophysical properties such as leaf area index (LAI) are important indicators of vegetation productivity and stress. Therefore, the study sought to test the potential of Sentinel-2 multispectral instrument (MSI) derived standard bands, traditional vegetation indices and red-edge derived vegetation indices in estimating wetland vegetation LAI across natural and rehabilitated wetlands. Traditional field surveys were carried out for LAI measurement of wetland vegetation using the LAI-2200 Plant Canopy Analyser. Partial Least Squares Regression (PLSR) algorithms were used to compare the estimation strength of models derived from all Sentinel-2 MSI bands, conventional vegetation indices and red-edge derived vegetation indices. Leave-one-out cross-validation (LOOCV) was completed on a selected measured dataset to evaluate the performance and accuracy of the estimation models. The optimal models for estimating wetland vegetation LAI were produced based on red-edge bands centred between the 705–783 nm as well as the 865 nm (Band 8a) of the electromagnetic spectrum. The results showed that vegetation indices derived from red-edge bands performed better at estimating LAI for both wetlands with a root mean square error of prediction (RMSE) of 0.32 m2/m2 and R2 of 0.61 for the natural wetland, and RMSE of 0.51 m2/m2 and R2 of 0.75 for the rehabilitated wetland. The optimal model for predicting LAI across natural and rehabilitated wetlands was attained based on red-edge bands centred at 705 nm (Band 5), 740 nm (Band 6), 783 nm (Band 7) as well as 865 nm (Band 8a) yielding a RMSE of 0.51 m2/m2 and R2 of 0.54. Overall, the results underscore the importance of remotely sensed derived data and vegetation indices in the optimal characterisation of wetland vegetation productivity which can be utilized in the monitoring and management of wetland ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Career Scientists’ (ECS) Contributions to Geographies)
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12 pages, 2113 KiB  
Technical Note
Spatiotemporal Land-Use Changes of Batticaloa Municipal Council in Sri Lanka from 1990 to 2030 Using Land Change Modeler
Geographies 2021, 1(3), 166-177; https://doi.org/10.3390/geographies1030010 - 28 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3443
Abstract
Land-use change is a predictable and principal driving force of potential environmental changes on all spatial and temporal scales. A land-use change model is a tool that supports the analysis of the sources and consequences of land-use dynamics. This study aims to assess [...] Read more.
Land-use change is a predictable and principal driving force of potential environmental changes on all spatial and temporal scales. A land-use change model is a tool that supports the analysis of the sources and consequences of land-use dynamics. This study aims to assess the spatiotemporal land-use changes that occurred during 1990–2020 in the municipal council limits of Batticaloa. A land change modeler has been used as an innovative land planning and decision support system in this study. The main satellite data were retrieved from Landsat in 1990, 2000, 2010, and 2020. For classification, the supervised classification method was employed, particularly with the medium resolution satellite images. Land-use classes were analyzed by the machine learning algorithm in theland change modeler. The Markov chain method was also used to predict future land-use changes. The results of the study reveal that only one land-use type, homestead, has gradually increased, from 12.1% to 34.1%, during the above-mentioned period. Agriculture land use substantially declined from 26.9% to 21.9%. Bare lands decreased from 11.5% to 5.0%, and wetlands declined from 13.9% to 9.6%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Career Scientists’ (ECS) Contributions to Geographies)
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