Soil Study Shows Australia at Its Most Stripped Back


New research from The Australian National University (ANU) and Geoscience Australia could provide a much clearer picture of the Australian landscape, and how to better manage it under a changing climate.

The study, published in Nature Communications, shows the Australian continent at its ‘barest’ – or least vegetated.

Dr Dale Roberts designed a new mathematical algorithm that accurately estimates the earth’s reflected light at every location from satellite imagery.

This new algorithm gives a more accurate understanding of the composition of the top layer of the earth’s surface through satellite imagery.

The algorithm was then applied across the whole of Australia in collaboration with Dr John Wilford from Geoscience Australia.

“In addition to the enormous scale of the data, the challenge with estimating this from satellite images is they can be masked by clouds or vegetation, or atmospheric conditions that change over time,” Dr Roberts said.

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Image via Australia National University