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Japanese Earth Resources Satellite 1 (JERS-1) synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data were evaluated to map areas of deforestation in a Brazilian Amazoˆnia test-site. The results were compared with information derived from a Landsat TM multitemporal series. Unambiguous detection of deforested areas was observed only when the entire deforestation process (slash, burning, and terrain clearing) had already occurred. This result recommends further investigations on the effectiveness of horizontal polarization SAR data to map deforestation in a consistent basis. The cross-polarized (horizontal-vertical) channel designed to be in the ALOS/PALSAR system is expected to improve the distinction between forested and recently deforested areas.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2005