Early Landsat IR image for structural mapping
Landsat TM for mapping mining operations

Using Meteosat imagery to map land cover change
First Gulf War. Monitoring oil slick

Forest fires and burn scars mapped with remote sensing
Mapping irrigation using Landsat 8
Monitoring irrigation changes using Landsat 8

Remote Sensing

Christopher has used satellite remote sensing as a tool in mineral exploration, mine reclamation, tropical forestry, disaster monitoring and tropical agriculture since the launch of the first Landsat satellite in 1974. Studies have been undertaken in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, as well as in Europe.

Christopher was ERTS-1 coordinator for the Zambia Geological Survey when data was first released in analogue form from Landat 1, and used single-band images for structural studies connected to a survey of hot springs. He later used colour composite images for groundwater exploration around Lusaka, and as part of an OECD-funded mineral exploration programme in the Tin Belt of the southern province.

Saudi Arabia proved an excllent country for remote sensing, and he used Landsat imagery for basic navigation, on the ground and in helicopters, before managing an airborne Daedelus scanner survey in the Hijaz mountains east and north of Jiddah, undertaken by Hunting Geology and Geophysics. His first experience of digital image processing was on the Hunting I2S system.

Christopher moved into full-time remote sensing in 1985, managing the application support team at the UK National Remote Sensing Centre in Farnborough, UK. During his time at the NRSC he worked with a range of different imagery, from Meteosat through AVHRR to Landsat TM and SPOT, and became proficient in digital image processing and GIS. He studied historical acquisitions of Landsat imagery over the British Isles as a guide to practical applications in agriculture. Projects included the evaluation of low-cost imagery for land-cover studies, including experiments with "super-resolution", the use of dual-band thermal imagery from meteorological satellites for lithological mapping, monitoring land reclamation after mining, the use of multi-polarisation radar imagery for agriculture and forestry, and monitoring oil-slicks.

Experience gained at the NRSC was put to practical use in mapping natural forest and forest plantations in Sri Lanka, and in building a protected forest management GIS in Indonesia. While in Jakarta he used remote sensing to monitor the disastrous Indonesian forest fires of 1997. When he moved to the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture in West Africa in 2000, he continued to use remote sensing applied to tropical agriculture.

Since returning to Britain in 2007, Christopher has continued to experiment with new satellite imagery, and to use remote sensing in geological and agricultural projects. Remote sensing has been used for mineral exploration in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Zambia and South Sudan, and for irrigation monitoring in Zambia as well as investigations of protected areas in Zambia.

A current project uses remote sensing (mainly Landsat 8 imagery) to monitor changes in the Banweulu ecosystem, one of the most important wetlands in Southern Africa. Seasonal flooding is very important for swamp and grassland vegetation, and for the wildlife which depend on them. Large wildfires affect the grasslands during the dry season.Download GIF time series of Landsat imagery of Bangweulu and then download GIF time series detailed view of northern edge of Bangweulu Swamps

Christopher has recently started to use Sentinel 2 imagery for landcover mapping and logistical planning in Zambia and Malawi.