A European team headed by CIRAD has shown that spatial remote sensing could be of use in analysing these types of areas, in such a context. Remote sensing, which has not previously been used to any extent in the region, can be used to observe wide and often inaccessible areas, repeatedly and objectively. The eventual aim is to inventory the situation across the whole of French Guiana, so as to enable decision-makers to make informed choices about development.
The team used two tools: a set of daily low-resolution data covering a full year, obtained using the VEGETATION sensor carried by the SPOT-4 satellite. The preliminary information derived from those data was used to define the main vegetation types and identify the landscape structure. The researchers then superimposed maps produced using high-resolution data obtained by the Landsat ETM+ and SPOT-HRVIR satellites, characterizing human impact.
By combining those data, the researchers were able to produce a map of vegetation type distribution. Three main soil cover families were identified: swamps, including mangroves and varzeas, humid riverside zones, and forests and savannahs. Three types of activity were detected within those areas. Forestry operations (felling and skidding) were identified from gaps in the forest. Gold panning, and more specifically sludge decantation ponds, was pinpointed from deforested areas. Lastly, agricultural activity in western French Guiana was assessed: infrastructures such as roads, tracks and forest trails were detected, as were farmed areas. Only regenerated forest areas escaped detection, depending on the degree of regeneration.
This technique has laid the technical foundations for planning and managing vast areas as efficiently as possible.
Valéry Gond | alfa
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Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
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Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
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In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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