Map of the Month for August

We are in the middle of a big restructuring exercise in our lab at the moment. One of the tasks was an audit of our data holdings. My colleague Jesko Zimmermann produced this lovely map showing the geographic distribution of the half a million plus spatial data we hold. Don’t worry we’re not compiling some vast geo-intelligence network- most of the holdings are a from our satellite archive- and most of those are cloudy!

A full resolution version of the Map of the Month can be found here.



ESA: From green to brown in a month

With temperatures soaring and no rain to speak of, Europe is in the grip of a heatwave. As this year’s heatwave continues, the Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission reveals once again how the colour of our vegetation has changed in just one month. These two images cover the same area: part of Ireland, the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, part of Germany and part of France, but the difference between them couldn’t be more striking. The first, captured on 28 June 2018, is predominantly green, depicting healthy vegetation. The second, captured on 25 July 2018, however, is mainly brown, showing just how much the vegetation has changed owing to the long hot dry spell Europe has been enduring over the last weeks.

The Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission also offers a wider view of northern Germany, Denmark and Sweden, showing the stark difference between vegetation on 30 June 2018 and 19 July 2018: European drought.


Last week my colleague Richa Marwaha and I were invited to Newgrange by Steve Davis of UCD School of Archaeology to look at the recently discovered crop marks with a thermal camera.

The survey was hastily arranged to get in ahead of the rain, which duly arrived the following morning. Luckily the flight had some success and the thermal anomalies above the archaeological features can be seen in inset image below.

Darker (cooler) areas indicate transpiring plants which are accessing moisture present in deeper archaeological features. The cooler heat fluxes leaving the plants are in contrast to the surrounding, warmer canopy which has regulated its temperature by stomatal closure.

Darker anomalies to the west of the monument are a cooling effect from wind moving through the canopy. Further noise within the signal may be attributed to cloud shadow passing at the time of the survey.

Many thanks to David Redhouse of Newgrange Farm for facilitating access.


Map of the Month for July

Continuing our focus on the weather, Teagasc’s map of the month for July looks at the different ways we have been tracking the extreme conditions across the country. Specifically it shows how, at least up to the end of June, the weather anomalies are largely national events but the impacts, as measured by satellite, vary from region-to-region.

We can see in the images produced by visiting Erasmus scholar Simone Falzoi that grass growth in June is holding up in the north and west, this is mostly due to the “heavy” nature of the soils in this region and how they can hold on to moisture much longer than the free draining soils of south and east.

High resolution image here




2 PhD opportunities in EO in Maynooth

Maynooth University are seeking to recruit 2 x PhD students as part of a Science Foundation

Ireland (SFI) funded research project, entitled “Integrating multidisciplinary geoscientific

data into forecasting models to monitor and predict coastal change: Proof of concept in

Dublin Bay”. The two successful PhD students will form part of a multi-disciplinary, multiinstitute

research cluster comprised of Dublin City University, Maynooth University and

University College Cork.


PhD 1

“Developing Earth Observation (EO) & Environmental Monitoring

methodologies to detect and map physical and bio-chemical interactions over

Dublin Bay”


PhD 2

“Joint earth observation, ground truth, and drone analytics for environmental



Stipend & Fees

The studentships are for 48 months and include a stipend of €18,500 p.a. and the payment of

academic fees up to a maximum of €5,500 per annum, as well as a computer and travel allowance.

Application Procedure

Submit an electronic copy of Curriculum Vitae and a letter of interest to: with either SFI PREDICT PHD1 or SFI PREDICT PHD2 clearly indicated in the subject line

Closing Date

17th August 2018

EO & environmental monitoring PhDs MU