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SSF-Svalbard Science Forum

Multispectral analysis of the vegetation in "cadaver decomposition island" from reindeer on Svalbard – can drones be used to detect cadaver?

Tildelt: kr 69 999

This project will study how the vegetation changes in and around the "cadaver decomposition island" (CDI), in relation to areas without cadaver decomposition. During the decomposition process, the area where the carcass is located will consist of bare soil, while the vegetation around the carcass will be very lush. In places without carcass decomposition, there will be an intact vegetation cover without any area of bare soil. The fieldwork will involve studying a number of known carcasses from reindeer with associated control sites on Svalbard. Each carcass and control site will be taken pictures of with a drone that has hyper- and multispectral sensors. The drone pictures from the survey sites will give a spectral signature based on the reflection of colors coming from the ground or vegetation. This reflection involves the green and near infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum. The spectral signature will show how the colors of the ground or vegetation change from the center of the survey site to the edge, both for the CDI and the control sites. The spectral signature can give us information that lets us see a pattern in the vegetation. This pattern will help us to discover areas that are in a carcass decomposition process and separate these from areas that not have any carcass decomposition.


SSF-Svalbard Science Forum