The optoelectronic properties of InAs/GaAs quantum dots can be tuned by rapid thermal annealing. In this study, the morphology change of InAs/GaAs quantum dots layers induced by rapid thermal annealing was investigated at the atomic-scale by cross-sectional scanning tunneling microscopy. Finite elements calculations that model the outward relaxation of the cleaved surface were used to determine the indium composition profile of the wetting layer and the quantum dots prior and post rapid thermal annealing. The results show that the wetting layer is broadened upon annealing. This broadening could be modeled by assuming a random walk of indium atoms. Furthermore, we show that the stronger strain gradient at the location of the quantum dots enhances the intermixing. Photoluminescence measurements show a blueshift and narrowing of the photoluminescence peak. Temperature dependent photoluminescence measurements show a lower activation energy for the annealed sample. These results are in agreement with the observed change in morphology.