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Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on

Issue 4 • Date April 2006

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Displaying Results 1 - 25 of 38
  • [Front cover]

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  • IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing publication information

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  • Table of contents

    Page(s): 753 - 754
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  • List of reviewers

    Page(s): 757
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  • Indoor wide-band polarimetric measurements on maize plants: a study of the differential extinction coefficient

    Page(s): 758 - 767
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    A study of the wide-band polarimetric backscatter of maize plants, measured in laboratory conditions, is presented. The backscatter slant-range profiles in both linear (H-V) and Pauli basis manifest a higher extinction coefficient in the vertical channel due to the dominant vertical orientation of the structure of corn plants. The difference between the horizontal and vertical range profiles as the wave penetrates into the volume is employed to retrieve the differential extinction coefficient. In addition, the polarimetric target decomposition, as proposed by Cloude and Pottier, is used to obtain range profiles of alpha, entropy, and anisotropy. All these results reveal important features to be accounted for in the retrieval of the biophysical parameters of agricultural crops by means of polarimetric synthetic aperture radar interferometry. View full abstract»

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  • Indoor C-band polarimetric interferometry observations of a mature wheat canopy

    Page(s): 768 - 777
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    We present results from experiments carried out in the ground-based synthetic aperture radar (GB-SAR) facility at the University of Sheffield to ascertain the role of polarimetric interferometry in crop height retrieval. To this end, a mature wheat canopy, grown in outdoor conditions, was reassembled inside the GB-SAR chamber and imaged at C-band using a two-dimensional scan. This allowed fully polarimetric tomography and interferometry. Interferometry using the VV, HH, and VH polarization states shows that the HH and VH interferograms retrieve a height close to the top of the soil layer for all angles of incidence considered, whereas the height retrieved from the VV interferogram increases with angle of incidence. The use of a Pauli basis gives poor results, due to the different location of the scattering phase centers in the VV and HH channels. The use of arbitrary polarization states shows that the top of the soil can be very accurately estimated using left-circular polarization, whereas, for angles of incidence close to 45°, a polarization state similar to VV can be used to retrieve the top of the canopy; hence crop height can be recovered as the difference of these two interferometric heights. Polarimetric coherence optimization techniques are also studied. Unconstrained coherence optimization gives very unstable results, due to the small number of available samples. Constrained optimization results in stable retrieved heights, and the retrieved polarization states agree well with the polarization synthesis results. View full abstract»

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  • Influence of geometrical factors on crop backscattering at C-band

    Page(s): 778 - 790
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    Several efforts, aimed at developing and refining crop backscattering models, have been done during the last years. Although important advances have been achieved, it is recognized that further work is required, both in the electromagnetic characterization of single scatterers and in the combination of contributions. This work is focused on the description of leaf geometry and of the internal structure of stems. Recently developed routines, able to model the scattering cross sections of curved sheets and hollow cylinders, are adopted for this purpose and run within the multiple-scattering model developed at the University of Rome "Tor Vergata". Input parameters are taken from experimental campaigns. In particular, ground data collected over a maize field at the Central Plain site in 1988, over wheat and maize fields at the Loamy site in 2003, and over wheat fields at the Matera site in 2001 and 2003 are considered. The multitemporal backscattering coefficients at C-band are simulated. The results obtained under different assumptions are compared to each other, and with C-band radar signatures collected over the same fields. The influence of some critical factors, affecting crop backscattering, is discussed. It is demonstrated that a more detailed scatterer characterization may improve the model accuracy, especially in the case of hollow stems. View full abstract»

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  • C-band polarimetric indexes for maize monitoring based on a validated radiative transfer model

    Page(s): 791 - 800
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    This paper assess the possibilities of the synthetic aperture radar (SAR) sensors currently in orbit for the maize monitoring defining the configurations (polarization and incidence angles at C-band) maximizing the sensitivity to plant growth and reducing the impact of the soil moisture on the signal. Temporal evolution of the signal was simulated in all the possible configurations using the radiative transfer model developed by the University of Rome "Tor Vergata." The input parameters came from an intensive field campaign providing a detailed description of maize crop over the Belgian Loamy site all along the 2003 growing season. The model was validated for vertical (VV) and horizontal (HH) polarization using ERS, ENVISAT, and RADARSAT observations. The C-band SAR signal in single polarization was found to be sensitive to crop growth till the leaf area index (LAI) reached 4.6 m2/m2, while the soil moisture influenced the signal for sparsely vegetated fields (LAI<2.7 m2/m2). Dual-polarizations indexes were found sensitive to maize growth and less sensitive to soil moisture variations. The VV/VH polarization ratios computed from signal recorded at high incidence angle (35° to 45°) could be considered to assess the crop growth till LAI reached 4.9 m2/m2 with low sensitivity to soil moisture. At the beginning of growth, the emergence of maize plants could be detected using the copolarized ratio (VV/HH) computed at low incidence angle. These indexes allow discriminating various crop conditions at a given date between fields of a same region. View full abstract»

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  • "Flashing Fields" in nearly simultaneous ENVISAT and ERS-2 C-band SAR images

    Page(s): 801 - 805
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    Large differences are observed between radar backscatter measurements made by the ENVISAT and ERS-2 satellite synthetic aperture radars, within 30 min of each other over certain agricultural fields in Flevoland, The Netherlands. The differences appear to be caused by the presence of highly directive scattering combined with very small variations in the azimuth illumination angle of the two sensors at the degree or subdegree level. There is relatively little awareness of such sensitivity to illumination direction, and it is not predicted by models for microwave interaction usually applied to soils and vegetation. It is, however, to be expected if there are significant contributions from coherent scattering extending over patches of the agricultural fields in question. We present analysis that supports such a conclusion. View full abstract»

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  • The efficiency of crop recognition on ENVISAT ASAR images in two growing seasons

    Page(s): 806 - 814
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    The aim of the presented project was to assess the efficiency of crop recognition based on microwave Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) images acquired from ENVISAT-1. Investigations were conducted during two consecutive growing seasons, in 2003 and 2004. The agrometeorological conditions during the selected seasons differed markedly, which induced year-to-year variations regarding the relevant characteristics of crop canopy. Multitemporal series of ASAR alternating polarization images were used for crop differentiation. Classification was performed using a neural network classifier trained separately for each year. Field observations conducted in the western part of Poland supplied datasets for training, validation, and testing of the classifier. Despite some differences noted in the classifier performance on two datasets, the results obtained for 2003 and 2004 showed high mutual consistency. View full abstract»

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  • A combined method to model microwave scattering from a forest medium

    Page(s): 815 - 824
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (536 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    A novel method, which employs both a matrix doubling algorithm and the first-order solution of a radiative transfer (RT) equation for modeling microwave backscattering from forest, is presented in the paper. The method is based on the assumption that a forest canopy can be divided into a number of distinct horizontal vegetation layers over a dielectric half-space rough surface. The scattering phase matrix of each layer is calculated by either matrix doubling to account for the multiple-scattering effect or first-order solution of an RT equation, depending on the scattering characteristics of the layer. The first-order solution of the RT equation is used for the trunk layer while the matrix doubling technique is applied to both the crown layer and understory. The advanced integral equation model and reflectivity matrix are used to calculate the noncoherent and coherent surface boundary conditions. Comparisons between model predictions and field measurements on radar backscattering coefficients for a walnut orchard showed a good agreement at both L-band and X-band and for all three polarizations. Comparative analyses of model predictions for backscattering from a forest medium calculated using the combined model, first-order RT model, and the standard matrix doubling model were also presented. Understory effects, that can significantly change the weight of each scattering mechanism, were also evaluated by using the combined method. View full abstract»

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  • Environmental effects on the interferometric repeat-pass coherence of forests

    Page(s): 825 - 837
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    The variability of C-band one-day tandem coherence measurements of forest is analyzed both statistically and with the aid of a soil-vegetation-atmosphere transfer model coupled to models for dielectric, backscattering coefficient, and coherence. Coherence depends strongly on both moisture and wind conditions. The dependence between coherence and moisture fluctuations in the soil and canopy is simulated using a simplified coherence model neglecting canopy coherence; trends are similar to those observed in measured coherence, but the range of variability observed in the satellite data is underestimated. Improved consistency with the data is achieved by using empirical estimates of canopy coherence derived from mature forest, but still with underestimated variability. The canopy coherence values cannot be predicted from the environmental model, and anomalous observations prevent the formulation of a reliable empirical predictor based on weather data; this could potentially be improved if higher time resolution wind data were made available. The study also suggests that canopy dielectric can vary rapidly in daylight, and that current models for dielectric may be inadequate to capture the effect of this behavior on coherence. View full abstract»

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  • A coherent model of forest scattering and SAR imaging in the VHF and UHF-band

    Page(s): 838 - 848
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    We present a coherent scattering model to determine the forest response to an illuminating plane wave in the frequency band 20-300 MHz. In this frequency band, at low frequencies, it is well-known that the waves penetrate the canopy and allow the detection of a hidden target. We have developed a model based on a domain integral representation of the electric field. A decoupling hypothesis is stated and validated, allowing to significantly reduce the numerical complexity of the problem inherent to integral representations. The simulated scattered field is used in a standard synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imaging algorithm to build horizontal and vertical SAR images of a set of trunks and a concealed target. View full abstract»

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  • Capabilities of a forest coherent scattering model applied to radiometry, interferometry, and polarimetry at P- and L-band

    Page(s): 849 - 862
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    The interpretation of radar data would ideally require extensive and numerous observations. However, the number of observations is limited by the difficulty and the cost of acquiring ground truth and radar data. On the other hand, numerical models can provide a wide range of situations, both in inputs and in outputs. More precisely, they have to provide radiometric, polarimetric, and interferometric simulations and be applicable to various forested areas (high density, high/low moisture, inhomogeneous area, etc.) and radar configurations (low/high frequency, bistatic observation, etc.). This paper is dedicated to the presentation of the capabilities of a descriptive coherent scattering model (COSMO) applied to the electromagnetic study of the backscattering by forested areas. Improvements have been implemented in order to produce in output a radar image, which can be treated with the same polarimetric and interferometric tools as those applied to real synthetic aperture radar images. Thus, comparisons are possible. COSMO has been widely tested from P- to L- bands, over temperate and tropical forests and applied to radiometry, polarimetry, and interferometry. It appears finally as an efficient simulating tool to carry out parametric studies and to analyze how the total scattered field is built from canonical mechanisms and individual scatterer contributions. View full abstract»

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  • Forest height retrieval from commercial X-band SAR products

    Page(s): 863 - 870
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    This paper assesses the accuracy and reliability of tree height retrieval over coniferous plantations using X-band interferometry. Factors such as crown shape, density, tree height, incidence angle, and slope have been assessed and quantified using a simple polarimetric radar interferometry simulator to determine their impact on height retrieval. Results from model simulation show that the most important factors are: crown shape, plantation density, and tree height. Variation in viewing angle and small slopes (<30°) appear to have only small effects. These results appear to be in reasonably good agreement with the retrieved tree height from airborne X-band Intermap data over coniferous plantations in the U.K. View full abstract»

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  • Predicting backscatter-biomass and height-biomass trends using a macroecology model

    Page(s): 871 - 877
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    This study describes the use of a plant structure model from the field of macroecology to make generalized predictions about backscatter-biomass and height-biomass trends from synthetic aperture radar data over forests. A theoretical relationship between canopy height and biomass density is derived. The predicted values of the height exponent are comparable with those from the remote sensing literature. A radiative transfer model parameterized by the macroecology model is also used to predict trends in P-band backscatter. The results imply that backscatter can saturate even for low-opacity canopies and decreasing basal area results in backscatter saturating at lower biomass levels. The theoretical analysis is supported by reference to a range of published results. View full abstract»

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  • Parameterization of tillage-induced single-scale soil roughness from 4-m profiles

    Page(s): 878 - 888
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (552 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Soil roughness greatly affects the scattering process of microwaves to the soil surface. Previous studies showed that the values of roughness parameters increase asymptotically with increasing profile length. In this paper, 25-m profiles are used to study the influence of profile length on the roughness parameters and on the shape of the autocorrelation function. It is further investigated whether correct soil roughness parameters, as obtained from long surface roughness profiles, can be determined from 4-m-long profiles. Therefore, the extrapolation of an empirical relationship between roughness parameters and profile length is investigated, for three different roughness classes. The technique yields parameter values which are comparable to the 25-m roughness parameters. View full abstract»

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  • Derivation of surface soil moisture from ENVISAT ASAR wide swath and image mode data in agricultural areas

    Page(s): 889 - 899
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    Water and energy fluxes at the interface between the land surface and atmosphere are strongly dependent on surface soil moisture content, which is highly variable in space and time. It has been shown in numerous studies that microwave remote sensing can provide spatially distributed patterns of surface soil moisture. In order to use remote-sensing-derived soil moisture information for practical applications as, for example, flood forecasting and water balance modeling in mesoscale areas, frequent large-area coverage is a prerequisite. New sensor generations such as ENVISAT Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) or RADARSAT allow for image acquisitions in different imaging modes and geometries. Imaging modes with the capability of large-area coverage, such as the Wide Swath Mode of ENVISAT ASAR, are of special interest for practical applications in this context. This paper presents a semiempirical soil moisture inversion scheme for ENVISAT ASAR data. Different land cover types as well as mixed-image pixels are taken into account in the soil moisture retrieval process. The inversion results are validated against in situ measurements, and a sensitivity analysis of the model is conducted. View full abstract»

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  • Using a priori information to improve soil moisture retrieval from ENVISAT ASAR AP data in semiarid regions

    Page(s): 900 - 912
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    This paper presents a retrieval algorithm that estimates spatial and temporal distribution of volumetric soil moisture content, at an approximate depth of 5 cm, using multitemporal ENVISAT Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) alternating polarization images, acquired at low incidence angles (i.e., from 15° to 31°). The algorithm appropriately assimilates a priori information on soil moisture content and surface roughness in order to constrain the inversion of theoretical direct models, such as the integral equation method model and the geometric optics model. The a priori information on soil moisture content is obtained through simple lumped water balance models, whereas that on soil roughness is derived by means of an empirical approach. To update prior estimates of surface parameters, when no reliable a priori information is available, a technique based solely on the use of multitemporal SAR information is proposed. The developed retrieval algorithm is assessed on the Matera site (Italy) where multitemporal ground and ASAR data were simultaneously acquired in 2003. Simulated and experimental results indicate the possibility of attaining an accuracy of approximately 5% in the retrieved volumetric soil moisture content, provided that sufficiently accurate a priori information on surface parameters (i.e., within 20% of their whole variability range) is available. As an example, multitemporal soil moisture maps at watershed scale, characterized by a spatial resolution of approximately 150 m, are derived and illustrated in the paper. View full abstract»

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  • Assessment of the operational applicability of RADARSAT-1 data for surface soil moisture estimation

    Page(s): 913 - 924
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    The present paper focuses on the ability of currently available RADARSAT-1 data to estimate surface soil moisture over an agricultural catchment using the theoretical integral equation model (IEM). Five RADARSAT-1 scenes acquired over Navarre (north of Spain) between February 27, 2003 and April 2, 2003 have been processed. Soil moisture was measured at different fields within the catchment. Roughness measurements were collected in order to obtain representative roughness parameters for the different tillage classes. The influence of the cereal crop that covered most of the fields was taken into account using the semiempirical water cloud model. The IEM was run in forward and inverse mode using vegetation corrected RADARSAT-1 data and surface roughness observations. Results showed a great dispersion between IEM simulations and observations at the field scale, leading to inaccurate estimations. As the surface correlation length is the most difficult parameter to measure, different approaches for its estimation have been tested. This analysis revealed that the spatial variability in the surface roughness parameters seems to be the reason for the dispersion observed rather than a deficient measurement of the correlation length. At the catchment scale, IEM simulations were in good agreement with observations. The error values obtained in the inverse simulations were in the range of in situ soil moisture measuring methods (0.04 cm3·cm-3). Taking into account the small size of the catchment studied, these results are encouraging from a hydrological point of view. View full abstract»

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  • Use of radar and optical remotely sensed data for soil moisture retrieval over vegetated areas

    Page(s): 925 - 935
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    This work assesses the possibility of obtaining soil moisture maps of vegetated fields using information derived from radar and optical images. The sensor and field data were acquired during the SMEX'02 experiment. The retrieval was obtained by using a Bayesian approach, where the key point is the evaluation of probability density functions (pdfs) based on the knowledge of soil parameter measurements and of the corresponding remotely sensing data. The purpose is to determine a useful parameterization of vegetation backscattering effects through suitable pdfs to be later used in the inversion algorithm. The correlation coefficients between measured and extracted soil moisture values are R=0.68 for C-band and R=0.60 for L-band. The pdf parameters have been found to be correlated to the vegetation water content estimated from a Landsat image with correlation coefficients of R=0.65 and 0.91 for C- and L-bands, respectively. In consideration of these correlations, a second run of the Bayesian procedure has been performed where the pdf parameters are variable with vegetation water content. This second procedure allows the improvement of inversion results for the L-band. The results derived from the Bayesian approach have also been compared with a classical inversion method that is based on a linear relationship between soil moisture and the backscattering coefficients for horizontal and vertical polarizations. View full abstract»

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  • Monitoring flood condition in marshes using EM models and Envisat ASAR observations

    Page(s): 936 - 942
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (656 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper discusses the contribution of multipolarization radar data in monitoring flooding events in wetland areas of the Delta of the Parana´ River, in Argentina. The discussion is based on the comparison between radiative transfer model simulations and ENVISAT Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar observations of two types of marshes: junco and cortadera. When these marshes are flooded, the radar response changes significantly. The differences in radar response between the flooded and nonflooded condition can be related to changes in the amount of emerged biomass. Based on this, we propose a vegetation-dependent flooding prediction scheme for two marsh structures: nearly vertical cylinders (junco-like) and randomly oriented discs (cortadera-like). View full abstract»

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  • Retrieving snowpack properties and accumulation estimates from a combination of SAR and scatterometer measurements

    Page(s): 943 - 956
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    This study combines two satellite radar techniques, low-resolution C-/Ku-band scatterometer and high-resolution C-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) for glaciological studies, in particular mass-balance estimations. Three parameters expressing the mean backscattering and its dependency on azimuth and incidence angle are used to describe and classify the Antarctic ice sheets backscattering behavior. Simple linear regression analyses are carried out between ground truth accumulation data and the SAR backscattering coefficient along continuous profile lines. From this we parameterize the accumulation rate separately for certain snow pack regimes. We find that SAR data can be used to map mass-balance changes, however only within limited areas. Applying this method therefore generally requires accurate ground truth for regional calibration together with additional information regarding mean air temperature or elevation. This investigation focuses on the area of Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. We present the first high-resolution accumulation map based on SAR data for the surrounding area of the EPICA deep ice core drilling site Kohnen, which is compared to reliable ground truth records as well as to a surface-mass-balance map interpolated from these at low resolution. View full abstract»

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  • Sea ice monitoring by L-band SAR: an assessment based on literature and comparisons of JERS-1 and ERS-1 imagery

    Page(s): 957 - 970
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    Spaceborne single-polarization C-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery is widely used to gather information about the state of the sea ice cover in the polar regions. C-band is regarded as a reasonable choice for all-season monitoring capabilities. For specific mapping tasks, however, other frequency bands can be more suitable. In the first part of this paper, the summary of a literature study dealing with the utilization of L-band SAR imagery for sea ice monitoring is presented. Investigations reveal that if deformation features such as ice ridges, rubble fields, and brash ice are to be mapped, L-band radar is superior in a number of cases. The second part of this paper addresses the comparison of JERS-1 and ERS-1 SAR images that were acquired over sea ice east of Svalbard and along the east coast of Greenland. The effects of the different frequencies, polarizations, and incidence angles of the two SAR systems are discussed. It is demonstrated that the images of both sensors complement one another in the analysis of ice conditions, resulting in a more detailed view of the sea ice cover state. View full abstract»

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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON GEOSCIENCE AND REMOTE SENSING (TGRS) is a monthly publication that focuses on the theory, concepts, and techniques of science and engineering as applied to sensing the land, oceans, atmosphere, and space; and the processing, interpretation, and dissemination of this information.

 

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Editor-in-Chief
Antonio J. Plaza
University of Extremadura