Satellite soils monitoring – a system of subsequent soil studies using aerial and space imagery of Earth surface. Its objective is to identify and prevent negative events leading to diminishing of fertility, contamination, soil deterioration and other unfavorable consequences.

Aerial and space imagery data register reflection of light and self-radiation of Earth in different spectrum intervals of wave length. From the standpoint of usefulness for soil monitoring these data may be divided into 4 groups which differ by the speed of obtaining data, spectral range and magnification ratio:

  • Scanning space imagery – immediate obtaining of data in various spectral zones in the wave length interval of 0.32–12.5 µm with relatively low resolution;
  • Space photo – practically scheduled imagery (exposure image with high resolution of 2–5 meters), black-and-white integral, narrow-band, color multiband, etc.;
  • Aerial photo – exposure image with very high resolution;
  • Special types of imagery (spectral photometric measurements, thermal survey, radar survey, etc.) allow for obtaining additional parameters of some landscape components.

Most of soil disturbances are identified through aerial and space imagery, but field work is required to define the level if soil properties change. Data obtained through aerial and space surveys are used mainly for creating baseline databases on soil conditions and environmental situation as of the moment of starting the survey reflecting all man-induces phenomena causing environmental disturbance of soils.