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Research Group Bartsch

Research Topic

Land Surface Remote Sensing

Research Interest

Permafrost is an essential climate variable. It is a subsurface phenomenon, which cannot be directly measured with remotely sensed data. However, many parameters, which influence the ground thermal regime and surface indicators, can be captured with satellite data. We focus on changes of landscape hydrology and their impact in the Arctic. This includes monitoring of thaw lakes, snow conditions and surface moisture with satellite data.

PD Dipl.-Geogr., Annett Bartsch, PhD

Managing director of b.geos


Twitter: @CciPermafrost


  • Helena Bergstedt (PhD), b.geos
  • Barbara Widhalm (PhD), b.geos
  • Elin Högström (MSc), PhD student (Vienna University of Technology)
  • Aleksandra Efimova (MSc), b.geos
  • Clemens von Baeckmann (BSc), b.geos, Master student
  • Xaver Muri (BSc), b.geos, Master student

Helena Bergstedt, PhD


Barbara Widhalm, PhD


Aleksandra Efimova, MSc


Clemens von Baeckmann, BSc


Xaver Muri, BSc

Selected Publications

  • Miner, K.R., Turetsky, M.R., Malina, E., Bartsch, A., Tamminen, J., McGuire A.D., Fix, A., Sweeney, C., Elder, C.D., Miller, C.E. Permafrost carbon emissions in a changing Arctic. Nat Rev Earth Environ 3, 55–67 (2022).
  • A. Bartsch, G. Pointner, I. Nitze, A. Efimova, D. Jakober, S. Ley, E. Högström,G. Grosse, P. Schweitzer (2021): Expanding infrastructure and growing anthropogenic impacts along Arctic coasts. Environmental Research Letters.
  • Pointner, G., Bartsch, A., Dvornikov, Y. A., and Kouraev, A. V. (2021): Mapping potential signs of gas emissions in ice of Lake Neyto, Yamal, Russia, using synthetic aperture radar and multispectral remote sensing data. The Cryosphere, 15, 1907–1929,
  • Pointner, G.; Bartsch, A. (2021): Mapping Arctic Lake Ice Backscatter Anomalies Using Sentinel-1 Time Series on Google Earth Engine. Remote Sensing13, 1626.
  • Swingedouw, D., Speranza, C., Bartsch, A., Durand, G., Jamet, C., Beaugrand, G., Conversi, A. (2020) Early Warning from Space for a Few Key Tipping Points in Physical, Biological, and Social-Ecological Systems. Surveys in Geophysics 41,  1237–1284.
  • Lissak, C., Bartsch, A., De Michele, M., Gomez C., Maquaire O., Raucoules D. & T. Roulland (2020) Remote Sensing for Assessing Landslides and Associated Hazards. Surveys in Geophysics  41, 1391–1435.
  • Bartsch A., Ley S. Nitze I., Pointner G., Vieira G. (2020) Feasibility Study for the Application of Synthetic Aperture Radar for Coastal Erosion Rate Quantification Across the Arctic. Frontiers in Environmental Science 8, 143
  • Bartsch, A., Pointner, G., Ingeman-Nielsen, T., Lu, W. (2020) Towards Circumpolar Mapping of Arctic Settlements and Infrastructure Based on Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2. Remote Sensing, 12, 2368. ,
  • Pointner, G., Bartsch, A. (2020) Interannual Variability of Lake Ice Backscatter Anomalies on Lake Neyto, Yamal, Russia. GI_Forum 2020, Volume 8, Issue 1, 47 – 62, 10.1553/giscience2020_01_s47
  • Bergstedt, H., Bartsch, A., Duguay, C., Jones, B. (2020) Influence of surface water on coarse resolution C-band backscatter: Implications for freeze/thaw retrieval from scatterometer data. Remote Sensing of Environment, 247,
  • Beamish, A., Raynolds M. K., Epstein H., Frost G. V., Macander M. J., Bergstedt H., Bartsch A., Kruse S., Miles V., Melih Tanis C., Heim B., Fuchs M., Chabrillat S., Shevtsova I., Verdonen M., Wagner J. (2020) Recent trends and remaining challenges for optical remote sensing of Arctic tundra vegetation: A review and outlook, Remote Sensing of Environment, 246, 2020,
  • Bergstedt, H., Bartsch, A., Neureiter, A., Hofler, A., Widhalm, B., Pepin, N., & Hjort, J. (2020) Deriving a frozen area fraction from Metop ASCAT backscatter based on Sentinel-1. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing.
  • Bartsch A., Widhalm B., Leibman M., Ermokhina K., Kumpula T., Skarin A., Wilcox E.J., Jones B.M., Frost G. V., Höfler A., Pointner G. (2020) Feasibility of tundra vegetation height retrieval from Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 data. Remote Sensing of Environment, Volume 237, 111515 DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2019.111515.
  • Chen, X., Liu, L., Bartsch, A. (2019) Detecting soil freeze/thaw onsets in Alaska using SMAP and ASCAT data. Remote Sensing of Environment 220, 59-70.
  • Bartsch, A., Pointer, G., Forbes, B., Kumpula, T. (2018) The role of lake size and local phenomena for monitoring ground-fast lake ice. International Journal of Remote Sensing. DOI: 10.1080/01431161.2018.1519281
  • Kroisleitner, C., Bartsch, A., Bergstedt, H. (2018) Circumpolar patterns of potential mean annual ground temperature based on surface state obtained from microwave satellite data. The Cryosphere 12, 2349-2370.
  • Högström, E., Heim, B., Bartsch, A., Pointner, G. (2018) Evaluation of a MetOp ASCAT‐Derived Surface Soil Moisture Product in Tundra Environments. JGR Earth Surface 123(12), 3190-3205.
  • Dvornikov, Y., Leibman, M., Heim, B., Barstch, A. et al. (2018) Terrestrial CDOM in Lakes of Yamal Peninsula: Connection to Lake and Lake Catchment Properties. Remote Sensing 10(2), 167.
  • Bergstedt, H., Zwieback, S., Bartsch, A., Leibman, M. (2018) Dependence of C-Band Backscatter on Ground Temperature, Air Temperature and Snow Depth in Arctic Permafrost Regions. Remote Sensing 10(1), 142.
  • Bartsch, A., Pointer, G., Leibman, M.O., Dvornikov, Y., Khomutov, A., Trofaier, A.M. (2017) Circumpolar mapping of ground-fast lake ice. Frontiers in Earth Science 5. doi:10.3389/feart.2017.00012
  • Bartsch, A., Höfler, A., Kroisleitner, C., Trofaier, A.M. (2016) Land Cover Mapping in Northern High Latitude Permafrost Regions with Satellite Data: Achievements and Remaining Challenges. Remote Sens. 8, 979. doi:10.3390/rs8120979
  • Bartsch, A., Widhalm, B., Kuhry, P., Hugelius, G., Palmtag, J., and Siewert, M. B. (2016) Can C-band synthetic aperture radar be used to estimate soil organic carbon storage in tundra? Biogeosciences 13, 5453-5470, doi:10.5194/bg-13-5453-2016
  • Zwieback, S., Liu, X., Antonova, S., Heim, B., Bartsch, A., Boike, J., Hajnsek, I. (2016) A Statistical Test of Phase Closure to Detect Influences on DInSAR Deformation Estimates Besides Displacements and Decorrelation Noise: Two Case Studies in High-Latitude Regions. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing,  DOI:10.1109/TGRS.2016.2569435.
  • Dvornikov, Y., Leibmann, M., Heim, B., Bartsch, A., Haas, A., Khomutov, A., Gubarkov, A., Mikhaylova, M., Mullanurov, D., Widhalm, B., Skorospekhova, T., Fedorova, I. (2016) Geodatabase and WebGIS project for long-term permafrost monitoring at the Vaskiny Dachi research station, Yamal, Russia. Polarforschung 85(2). DOI:10.2312/polfor.2016.007
  • Widhalm, B.; Bartsch, A.; Heim, B. (2015) A novel approach for the characterization of tundra wetland regions with C-band SAR satellite data. Int. J. Remote Sens. 36, 5537–5556. doi: 10.1080/01431161.2015.1101505
  • Bartsch, A., Kumpula, T., Forbes, B., Stammler, F. (2010) Detection of snow surface thawing and refreezing in the Eurasian Arctic using QuikSCAT: implications for reindeer herding. Ecological Applications 20(8): 2346-2358. DOI: 10.1890/09-1927
  • Bartsch, A., Trofaier, A., Hayman, G., Sabel, D., Schlaffer, S., Clark D. & E. Blyth (2012) Detection of open water dynamics with ENVISAT ASAR in support of land surface modelling at high latitudes; Biogeosciences, 9, 703-714. DOI:10.5194/bg-9-703-2012.
  • Wilson, R.R., Bartsch A, Joly, K., Reynolds, J.H., Orlando, A., Loya, W.M. (2013) Frequency, timing, extent, and size of winter thaw-refreeze events in Alaska 2001–2008 detected by remotely sensed microwave backscatter data. Polar Biology, DOI 10.1007/s00300-012-1272-6