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Changing Earth

Planet Earth is continuously changing. Measurements, developments in measurement techniques, modelling the change processes and understanding these processes broadly is a strategic research area of the Finnish Geodetic Institute. Methods for updating maps are needed so that maps remain up to date. Information regarding changes in land cover, the built environment and vegetation is requested by mapping authorities and organisations related to global change. Measuring the Earth’s orientation in space and its temporal variation is necessary in order to maintain our frames of reference and continue to use navigational satellites. Tectonic motion causes changes in our reference systems. Glacial Isostatic Adjustment and enormous mass transportation during global glacial cycles affect climate, the sea level and glaciers. Measuring and understanding the phenomena affecting our lives requires a full set of modern observation techniques. On a local scale, nuclear safety, flood protection or anthropogenic changes in urban areas are examples of changes in our environment. Additionally, it is necessary to visualise and present these changes. All these aspects are covered under the Changing Earth research area of the FGI.

Changing Earth processes that are of interest to the FGI include updating maps for all conditions, changes in the land cover, vegetation growth, changes in the topography of the land, changes in the built environment, postglacial rebound, deformation studies, sea level variation, the Earth’s orientation in space, gravity changes and environmental aspects.