How to describe heterogeneous patterns: An overview about existing metrics and methods

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Sabine Lennartz-Sassinek, Michael Hintz, Shaofeng Liu and Yaping Shao, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
Exchange processes of energy and matter are the main drivers for the interaction between the land surface and the atmosphere. These processes depend on the heterogeneity of the land-surface pattern. To study the influence of heterogeneity following questions arise: Which aspects of heterogeneity are important for the atmosphere, and to what extend is the information about the heterogeneity transferred from the surface to higher air layers? To investigate these questions via numerical simulations, it is necessary to describe heterogeneous pattern with metrics and methods. Many indices have been developed which can be applied to any categorized pattern. This presentation gives an overview about metrics describing the main aspects of heterogeneity. The aspects are the information, connectivity, structure, contrast, and anisotropy of a pattern. In addition to this overview, some applications of these metrics are presented to illustrate their performance on both land-surface patterns and the response of the atmosphere to these patterns.