Environmental Remote Sensing Laboratory

General research interests

The primary research interests of Dr. Liu’s group lie in remote sensing, geographical information sciences and their applications to environmental analysis and modeling. Recent research projects have been funded by NSF, NASA, and NOAA Sea Grant programs. These projects have generated various algorithms and software tools for processing remote sensing and GIS data as well as journal publications in a wide range of geo-scientific topics.


Remote sensing research



  • Remote Sensing for inland water quality
  • Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR stereo and interferometry)
  • Terrestrial and marine LiDAR
  • Hyperspectral and multi-spectral image data
  • Object-based image analysis
  • Image segmentation
  • Image texture analysis (Gabor filter banks and wavelet transforms)
  • Inversion model based on global optimization algorithms

GIS & spatial data analysis



  • Object-based data structure
  • Dynamic segmentation model for linear geographical features
  • Terrain surface information extraction and representation
  • Contour tree & Reeb graphs
  • Spatial clustering
  • Spatial interpolation and locally weighted  regression
  • Spatiotemporal techniques and models (Kalman filter based data assimilation)
  • Cellular Automaton (CA) models

Application areas

  • Hydrological simulation and modeling
  • Shoreline and coastal morphology
  • Coral reefs and benthic habitats
  • Urban land use and land cover changes
  • Snow melting, glacial dynamics, and mass balance