Remote sensing and GIS technology for studying lithospheric processes in a mountain environment Academic Article uri icon


  • Analysis of relationships between uplift and denudation in complex mountain environments requires integrated approaches using remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS) analyses in combination with field investigations. We present multidisciplinary research focusing on the Nanga Parbat Himalaya of northern Pakistan. Remote sensing of the subsurface includes radio-echo sounding to investigate glaciers, magnetotelluric sounding, and seismic tomography to investigate shallow to deep aspects of the lithosphere. Remote sensing of the landscape includes satellite image acquisition, multispectral analysis, geomorphometric analysis of a satellite-derived digital elevation model (DEM), and the application of GIS and pattern recognition procedures to analyze topographic complexity and the geomorphology of the mountain massif. Detailed mapping requires topographic normalization of satellite imagery using the non-Lambertian model. Radar measurement of thicknesses of glacier ice, coupled with assessment of satellite imagery and field data, have enabled calculation of ice and sediment discharge. Collectively, scientific observations reinforce prior understandings of rapid rates of uplift and high rates of surficial denudation. The integration of data has thus enabled a systematic approach to study localized coupling between tectonic and surface processes. In future studies of this kind, it will become ever more important for geoscientists to integrate quantitative remote sensing and GIS into a standard analytical framework in order to solve complex problems. 1998 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

published proceedings

  • Geocarto International

author list (cited authors)

  • Bishop, M. P., Shroder, J. F., Sloan, V. F., Copland, L., & Colby, J. D.

citation count

  • 14

complete list of authors

  • Bishop, Michael P||Shroder, John F||Sloan, Valerie F||Copland, Luke||Colby, Jeffrey D

publication date

  • January 1998