Fernerkundungsbasiertes Monitoring und datengetriebene Modellierung der Wasserflächen im Nationalpark Neusiedler See – Seewinkel (FEMOWinkel)

  2021-11-01 - 2022-07-31

Wetlands are of great importance for biodiversity and fulfil important functions in relation to the water budget of a region. The salt pans (“Salzlacken”) in the Neusiedler See – Seewinkel National Park in Austria are unique environments and provide habitat for specialised flora and fauna. Their conservation depends to a great extent on the water budget of the area. The large abundance of pans, which are often only ephemerally covered by water due to their shallow depth, complicates a comprehensive monitoring using in-situ sensors. Remote sensing, however, provides the possibility of monitoring large numbers of water bodies in a consistent manner. Within the project FEMOWinkel, long time series of multi-spectral satellite data will be exploited for monitoring and data-driven modelling of the water extent in the salt pans of the national park. In a first step, Landsat time series, which cover the period from 1984 until now, will be processed and water bodies will be delineated in the imagery using machine learning methods. A validation of the delineated ponds will be carried out using aerial imagery and water level data, as available. Using ancillary data, such as climate data, groundwater level measurements, remotely sensed soil moisture and vegetation indices, the salt pans will be typified according to their behaviour in terms of climate variability. In a third step, a data-driven modelling of the ponds’ extent will be carried out using machine learning methods. The project will further address the question whether it is possible to predict the effects of dry or wet winters and springs on the extent of the salt pans during the subsequent summer seasons using data-driven methods. The results will contribute to a better understanding of the driving factors behind the variability of the salt pans and to the transfer of the developed methods to other steppe regions.

Project manager
  •   Wouter Arnoud Dorigo
Project members
  •   Henri Isidor Schauer
  •   Umweltbundesamt GmbH