Date of Award


Degree Name

Physical Science


College of Science

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Ralph E. Oberly

Second Advisor

Dewey Sanderson

Third Advisor

James O. Brumfield

Fourth Advisor

Leonard J. Deutsch


Surface coal mining activity has effects on watershed and lake morphology within the Appalachian Mountains that continue to be problematic. A watershed’s natural dynamic balance has been subject to the influence of various natural and anthropogenic parameters such as mining sediment transport, wind, wave effects and currents. Many techniques have been developed to improve image processing in geobiophysical modeling, which can assist scientists, government officials, and industry personal with decisions affecting environmental concerns. One of the more advanced techniques involves 3D visualization and geobiophysical modeling. This process was used in combining remotely sensed digital aerial imagery with Digital Elevation Models (DEM). This assisted the analyst by creating a much more accurate geobiophysical model of the earth’s surface. This was accomplished as a result of simulating the moderate to high topographic relief found within the mountainous terrain environments of the Appalachian Mountain’s coalfields. Feature extraction was improved as well as visual interpretation.

The research objective was to develop and evaluate new techniques for combining 3D Models with feature extraction processes and thereby creating more accurate thematic information classification maps. Improved techniques result from radiometric corrections, increased resolution, and data enhancement from the DEM’s. The method used incorporated the advantages of several software packages (ER Mapper, Surfer, and ArcView). These packages provide different image processing and geographic information system capability. Clusters were identified in ER Mapper with classification techniques for feature extraction. This was the process used to identify clusters of similar data in the frequency domain of an image that correlate to different vegetation, urban and/or rural areas. The research results show a substantial improvement in feature extraction and 3D-geobiophysical modeling.


Three-dimensional imaging in biology – Technological innovations.

Included in

Geology Commons