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Analysing kettle holes in Mecklenburg in the last 225 years using an interdisciplinary virtual research laboratory

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Shaker Verlag


Kettle holes are hollow forms smaller than 1 ha, of which some are filled with water. Until today, they are characteristical elements of the landscape of northern Europe, being originated glacially, quasi-natural or anthropogenic. Still, knowledge on the genesis and the embedding of these landscape elements is rather poor. Within the research project described here, our long term objective is to qualify the form of origin and development of each individual kettle hole. The research is done based on a virtual research environment for interdisciplinary research focusing on the landscape of the historical Mecklenburg (Bill/Walter, 2011). Georeferenced old maps from 1786, 1788 and 1877-1889 covering complete Mecklenburg are combined with current geo-information such as digital landscape/terrain models (DLM/DTM) and digital orthophotos (DOP) to support spatio-temporal research aspects in different scales in space (regional 1:200,000 to local 1:25,000) and time (nearly 225 years in three time steps). The Virtual Laboratory for Cultural Landscape Research (VKLandLab) is designed and developed by the Chair of Geodesy and Geoinformatics, hosted at the Computing Centre (ITMZ) and linked to the Digital Library (UB) at Rostock University. VKLandLab includes new developments such as wikis, blogs, data tagging, etc. and proven components already integrated in various data-related infrastructures such as InternetGIS, data repositories and authentication structures. The focus is to build a data-related infrastructure and a work platform that supports students as well as professional researchers from different disciplines in their research in space and time. With respect to kettle holes the time series of maps are used to extract several parameters giving a hint of the genesis. Amongst others, this includes existence, the geometric shape, the location in the glacier landscape as well as in the terrain and the distance to the next brickyard. With the help of automated methods like automatic colour recognition more than 50,000 water filled kettles were identified in the topographic base maps from 1889, revealing that until today lots of elements have disappeared and others are added. In this project all kettle holes in the large investigation area (15,500 km²) are considered, while previous investigations mostly focused on a few single objects. To facilitate successive researches, all gained attributes are saved in a VKLandLab database.


Mai, Annelie; Bill, Ralf (2011): Analysing kettle holes in Mecklenburg in the last 225 years using an interdisciplinary virtual research laboratory. Innovations in Sharing Environmental Observations and Information. Aachen: Shaker Verlag. Modeling and Simulation - Survey and Applications. Ispra. 2011