Multisensory satellite observations of the expansion of the Batagaika crater and succession of vegetation in its interior from 1991 to 2018
Vishakh Vadakkedath, Jarosław Zawadzki, Karol Przeździecki
On-site monitoring in large areas located in inaccessible regions can be difficult and costly. Thus remote sensing is an essential tool for mapping and monitoring changes in such regions. Therefore, this paper describes long-term multisensory satellite observations of the expansion of the Batagaika crater in Northern Siberia and natural succession of vegetation in its interior from 1991 to 2018. Landsat 5 TM, Landsat 7 + ETM, Landsat 8 OLI/TIRS imageries were mainly used as a data source for analyses, although Sentinel-2A imagery and DEM image from ASTER satellite were also employed for calculating a vegetation index and expansion in the crater area. The observations were conducted in years 1991–2018 and were made in a summer season. The results reveal that the crater area increased by almost three times during these 27 years and that the fastest expansion took place between 2010 and 2014 with 22.7% increment. The analysis of elevation of the crater revealed that in 2018 its maximum depth was ca 70 m and that depth was decreasing towards its north-east tail. Additionally, the satellite imagery of land surface temperature which is a driving force of crater expansion was visualized for chosen hot days within the time frame 2010–2018. The study of temporal and spatial changes in NDVI spatial distributions inside the crater revealed also a high rate of the succession of vegetation, which may reduce melting of permafrost inside the Batagaika crater and its further expansion.