Secrets of a dynamic planet

Secrets of a dynamic planet


The University of Texas at Dallas geosciences team pursues a multidisciplinary program to understand Earth’s evolution.

Alexander Braun is using remote sensing (specifically, space geodetic satellite observation) to understand changes in Earth systems over time. “You can actually measure real physical parameters – such as the [Earth’s] gravity field or magnetic field – and, more importantly, you can detect surface deformation. The Earth is a very active planet and it is crucial for us to understand when and where it is moving.”

Carlos Aiken and colleagues, are using an approach called cybermapping (which integrates laser scanning, digital photography and satellite positioning, among other sensors) to build 3D photorealistic models of surface geology around the world. Their work is being applied in oil exploration and education (for virtual field trips).