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Estimation of the Backscatter Vertical Profile of a Pine Forest Using Single Baseline P-Band (Pol-)InSAR Data

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2 Author(s)
Franck Garestier ; Continental and Coastal Morphodynamic Laboratory (M2C) UMR CNRS/INSU 6143, Université de Caen-Basse Normandie, Caen, France ; Thuy Le Toan

The vertical backscatter profile of a pine forest constituted by stands of different height is inverted from a single baseline P-band Pol-InSAR data in order to identify scatterers in the canopy. The proposed approach uses the Gaussian vertical backscatter profile model, which associates an interferometric coherence expression to a vertical scatterers' distribution characterized by relative standard deviation and elevation. The methodology, which uses in situ measurements of forest height and unbiased ground level estimation, is applied to HV and VV channels, providing accuracy given sufficiently low ground-to-canopy power ratios. Inverted backscatter profiles show maximum power converging toward the basis of the tree crown on highest forests, where the largest branches are located, indicating the high sensitivity of P-band measurements to the forest structure and to the vertical biomass distribution. Over lower stands with larger tree densities, the power peak is located in the upper part of the canopy, which can be explained by a stronger attenuation in the canopy.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing  (Volume:48 ,  Issue: 9 )