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Modelling patterned ground distribution in Finnish Lapland: an integration of topographical, ground and remote sensing information

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New data technologies and modelling methods have gained more attention in the field of periglacial geomorphology during the last decade. In this paper we present a new modelling approach that integrates topographical, ground and remote sensing information in predictive geomorphological mapping using generalized additive modelling (GAM). First, we explored the roles of different environmental variable groups in determining the occurrence of non-sorted and sorted patterned ground in a fell region of 100 km2 at the resolution of 1 ha in northern Finland. Second, we compared the predictive accuracy of ground-topography- and remote-sensing-based models.

The results indicate that non-sorted patterned ground is more common at lower altitudes where the ground moisture and vegetation abundance is relatively high, whereas sorted patterned ground is dominant at higher altitudes with relatively high slope angle and sparse vegetation cover. All modelling results were from good to excellent in model evaluation data using the area under the curve (AUC) values, derived from receiver operating characteristic (ROC) plots. Generally, models built with remotely sensed data were better than ground-topography-based models and combination of all environmental variables improved the predictive ability of the models. This paper confirms the potential utility of remote sensing information for modelling patterned ground distribution in subarctic landscapes.
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Keywords: generalized additive modelling; patterned ground; periglacial; remote sensing

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Geography, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland 2: Finnish Environment Institute, Helsinki, Finland

Publication date: 2006-03-01

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