Special Issue "Early Career Scientists’ (ECS) Contributions to Geographies"

A special issue of Geographies (ISSN 2673-7086).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Adriano Ribolini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Pisa, via S. Maria 53, 56126 Pisa, Italy
Interests: geomorphology; permafrost detection and landforms; geophysical applications to geomorphology and geoarchaeology; glacial and periglacial landforms
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Special Issue of Geographies aims to examine the scientific contribution of Early Career Researchers exploring all interdisciplinary aspects of the Geographical Sciences.

Each manuscript will be peer-reviewed with at least two referees, in accordance with the peer review policy of the journal. Manuscripts are reviewed as quickly as possible, with an editorial decision usually reached within 3 to 4 weeks following submission.

As this Special Issue is dedicated to researchers at the beginning of their academic career, it aims to make the publication process as transparent as possible and to give additional guidance on how to address reviewers’ comments. Nonetheless, the research work will be assessed as rigorously as any other paper submitted to Geographies

Prof. Dr. Adriano Ribolini
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Geographies is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • geomorphology
  • biogeography & landscape ecology
  • geomatics
  • human–environment interaction
  • cartography and mapping
  • soil geography
  • land-use change
  • spatial analysis
  • geographical analysis
  • lithosphere
  • geoponics
  • hydrosphere
  • atmosphere
  • pedosphere
  • glaciology
  • climatology
  • geoarchaeology
  • geophysical applications (ground penetrating radar, electrical resistivity tomography, seismic)

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Article
Land-Use Changes in the Sele River Basin Landscape (Southern Italy) between 1960 and 2012: Comparisons and Implications for Soil Erosion Assessment
Geographies 2021, 1(3), 315-332; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geographies1030017 - 23 Nov 2021
Viewed by 267
Abstract
In river basins, the deep interrelationships between land-use changes, soil erosion and rivers and shoreline dynamics are clearer than at a national or regional scale. Southern Italy is an ecologically fragile, desertification-prone territory where land-use changes in the last decades were significant. Notwithstanding [...] Read more.
In river basins, the deep interrelationships between land-use changes, soil erosion and rivers and shoreline dynamics are clearer than at a national or regional scale. Southern Italy is an ecologically fragile, desertification-prone territory where land-use changes in the last decades were significant. Notwithstanding this, studies dealing with multidecadal land-use changes in large-sized river basins of Southern Italy and their implications on soil erosion are missing. In this study, we assessed the land-use changes that occurred between 1960 and 2012 in the 3245 km2-wide Sele River basin. We carried out GIS-aided comparisons and analysis of two land-use maps and interpreted the results in terms of soil erosion intensity based on a detailed review of the scientific literature. The results confirmed the trend of the inner areas of Italy and, in particular, of the Campania region moving towards more pristine conditions, with an increase in forest cover, mainly at the expense of grasslands. Agricultural areas remained substantially unchanged, while the area of urban settlements increased. The diffuse afforestation of slopes suggested an overall decrease in soil erosion intensity, which was fully coherent with the geomorphological evolution of both the Sele River and local shoreline reported in literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Career Scientists’ (ECS) Contributions to Geographies)
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Article
The Spatiotemporal Characteristics and Dynamic Changes of Tidal Flats in Florida from 1984 to 2020
Geographies 2021, 1(3), 292-314; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geographies1030016 - 19 Nov 2021
Viewed by 223
Abstract
Tidal flats are playing a critical role in the coastal environment, which mainly rely on satellite images to map the distribution on large spatiotemporal scales. Much effort has been made to monitor and analyze the spatiotemporal dynamics of tidal flats in order to [...] Read more.
Tidal flats are playing a critical role in the coastal environment, which mainly rely on satellite images to map the distribution on large spatiotemporal scales. Much effort has been made to monitor and analyze the spatiotemporal dynamics of tidal flats in order to provide worthwhile references for scientists and lawmakers. Instead of considering the dynamics of tidal flats only, this study implemented a series of comprehensive analyses on the tidal flats along the coast of Florida during the period 1984–2020. First, the analyses on the pixel level examined the spatiotemporal characteristics of tidal flat dynamics and the interactions with lands and permanent water. Second, the contiguous pixels of tidal flats were assembled as objects, and two geometric attributes were calculated and used to track the temporal patterns of tidal flat dynamics on this level. Finally, the Mann–Kendall test and Sen’s slope estimator were applied to identify and quantify the significant trends of tidal flat dynamics on the two levels. The results highlighted the differences in tidal flat distributions and dynamics between the Gulf Coast and Atlantic Coast, which further verified effective GIS representations and analyses that could be applied to other coastal studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Career Scientists’ (ECS) Contributions to Geographies)
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Article
Local Linear Scale Factors in Map Projections of an Ellipsoid
Geographies 2021, 1(3), 238-250; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geographies1030014 - 09 Nov 2021
Viewed by 261
Abstract
The main problem in cartography is that it is not possible to map/project/transform a spherical or ellipsoidal surface into a plane without distortions. The distortions of areas, angles, and/or distances are immanent to all maps. It is known that scale changes from point [...] Read more.
The main problem in cartography is that it is not possible to map/project/transform a spherical or ellipsoidal surface into a plane without distortions. The distortions of areas, angles, and/or distances are immanent to all maps. It is known that scale changes from point to point, and at certain points, the scale usually depends on the direction. The local linear scale factor c is one of the most important indicators of distortion distribution in the theory of map projections. It is not possible to find out the values of the local linear scale factor c in directions of coordinate axes x and y immediately from the definition of c. To solve this problem, in this paper, we derive new formulae for the calculation of c for a rotational ellipsoid. In addition, we derive the formula for computing c in any direction defined by dx and dy. We also considered the position and magnitude of the extreme values of c and derived new formulae for a rotational ellipsoid. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Career Scientists’ (ECS) Contributions to Geographies)
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Article
The Utility of Sentinel-2 MSI Data to Estimate Wetland Vegetation Leaf Area Index in Natural and Rehabilitated Wetlands
Geographies 2021, 1(3), 178-191; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geographies1030011 - 16 Oct 2021
Viewed by 290
Abstract
Wetland ecosystems are being modified and threatened due to anthropogenic activities and climate change, hence the urgent need for wetland restoration. Wetland rehabilitation is important in the reversal of these dire conditions, and this can be pursued through restoring damaged wetland ecosystems and [...] Read more.
Wetland ecosystems are being modified and threatened due to anthropogenic activities and climate change, hence the urgent need for wetland restoration. Wetland rehabilitation is important in the reversal of these dire conditions, and this can be pursued through restoring damaged wetland ecosystems and recovering wetland vegetation. Wetland biophysical properties such as leaf area index (LAI) are important indicators of vegetation productivity and stress. Therefore, the study sought to test the potential of Sentinel-2 multispectral instrument (MSI) derived standard bands, traditional vegetation indices and red-edge derived vegetation indices in estimating wetland vegetation LAI across natural and rehabilitated wetlands. Traditional field surveys were carried out for LAI measurement of wetland vegetation using the LAI-2200 Plant Canopy Analyser. Partial Least Squares Regression (PLSR) algorithms were used to compare the estimation strength of models derived from all Sentinel-2 MSI bands, conventional vegetation indices and red-edge derived vegetation indices. Leave-one-out cross-validation (LOOCV) was completed on a selected measured dataset to evaluate the performance and accuracy of the estimation models. The optimal models for estimating wetland vegetation LAI were produced based on red-edge bands centred between the 705–783 nm as well as the 865 nm (Band 8a) of the electromagnetic spectrum. The results showed that vegetation indices derived from red-edge bands performed better at estimating LAI for both wetlands with a root mean square error of prediction (RMSE) of 0.32 m2/m2 and R2 of 0.61 for the natural wetland, and RMSE of 0.51 m2/m2 and R2 of 0.75 for the rehabilitated wetland. The optimal model for predicting LAI across natural and rehabilitated wetlands was attained based on red-edge bands centred at 705 nm (Band 5), 740 nm (Band 6), 783 nm (Band 7) as well as 865 nm (Band 8a) yielding a RMSE of 0.51 m2/m2 and R2 of 0.54. Overall, the results underscore the importance of remotely sensed derived data and vegetation indices in the optimal characterisation of wetland vegetation productivity which can be utilized in the monitoring and management of wetland ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Career Scientists’ (ECS) Contributions to Geographies)
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Review

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Review
Bibliometric Analysis of Remote Sensing of Inland Waters Publications from 1985 to 2020
Geographies 2021, 1(3), 346-361; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geographies1030019 - 04 Dec 2021
Viewed by 161
Abstract
Over the past few decades, there has been a significant increase in the number of studies about the use of remote sensing techniques for the monitoring of inland waters. Since these aquatic environments have multiple uses for mankind, monitoring them is essential for [...] Read more.
Over the past few decades, there has been a significant increase in the number of studies about the use of remote sensing techniques for the monitoring of inland waters. Since these aquatic environments have multiple uses for mankind, monitoring them is essential for the environment, society, and the economy. The use of Earth Observations data for the monitoring of inland waters is important for water quantity and quality management. Because of this, the goal of the present study is to systematically analyze and visualize the evolution of publications in this field. This study will not focus on algorithm comparisons or descriptions; instead, it will use a co-citation analysis to map the relationship among publications. Using the Web of Science database, publications related to the terms, “remote sensing” + “inland waters”, were analyzed using the entire database. The bibliometric analysis showed how research topics evolved from measuring optical properties and understanding their signal to the development of remote sensing algorithms and their applications to satellite imagery. This study provides the historical development of the scientific publications in this field and points out what could be the direction for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Career Scientists’ (ECS) Contributions to Geographies)
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Other

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Technical Note
Spatiotemporal Land-Use Changes of Batticaloa Municipal Council in Sri Lanka from 1990 to 2030 Using Land Change Modeler
Geographies 2021, 1(3), 166-177; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geographies1030010 - 28 Sep 2021
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Abstract
Land-use change is a predictable and principal driving force of potential environmental changes on all spatial and temporal scales. A land-use change model is a tool that supports the analysis of the sources and consequences of land-use dynamics. This study aims to assess [...] Read more.
Land-use change is a predictable and principal driving force of potential environmental changes on all spatial and temporal scales. A land-use change model is a tool that supports the analysis of the sources and consequences of land-use dynamics. This study aims to assess the spatiotemporal land-use changes that occurred during 1990–2020 in the municipal council limits of Batticaloa. A land change modeler has been used as an innovative land planning and decision support system in this study. The main satellite data were retrieved from Landsat in 1990, 2000, 2010, and 2020. For classification, the supervised classification method was employed, particularly with the medium resolution satellite images. Land-use classes were analyzed by the machine learning algorithm in theland change modeler. The Markov chain method was also used to predict future land-use changes. The results of the study reveal that only one land-use type, homestead, has gradually increased, from 12.1% to 34.1%, during the above-mentioned period. Agriculture land use substantially declined from 26.9% to 21.9%. Bare lands decreased from 11.5% to 5.0%, and wetlands declined from 13.9% to 9.6%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Career Scientists’ (ECS) Contributions to Geographies)
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