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Operational Large-Area Forest Monitoring in Siberia Using ALOS PALSAR Summer Intensities and Winter Coherence

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3 Author(s)
Thiel, C.J. ; Earth Obs. Dept., Friedrich Schiller Univ. of Jena, Jena, Germany ; Thiel, C. ; Schmullius, C.C.

Focusing on Siberia, the feasibility of using Advanced Land Observing Satellite Phased Arrayed L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR) summer-intensity and winter-coherence images for large-area forest monitoring was investigated. Fine beam dual horizontal/horizontal and horizontal/vertical (polarization) intensity strip images were acquired during the summer of 2007. The processing consisted of radiometric calibration, orthorectification, and topographic normalization. The coherence was estimated from interferometric pairs with 46-day repeat-pass intervals. The pairs were acquired during the winters of 2006/2007 and 2007/2008. During both winters, suitable weather conditions that allow for low temporal decorrelation had been reported. By using PALSAR intensities and winter-coherence data, areas of forest and nonforest were separated. By combining both data types, a minimal overlap of the class signatures was observed, even though the analysis was conducted at the pixel level and no speckle filter was applied. The study concludes that the operational delineation of forest cover using PALSAR data is feasible. By applying a segmentation-based classification, an accuracy of 93% was obtained.

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Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:47 ,  Issue: 12 )