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Extracting strctural land cover components using small-footprint waveform lidar data

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14 Author(s)
McGlinchy, J. ; Rochester Inst. of Technol., Rochester, NY, USA ; Van Aardt, J. ; Rhody, H. ; Kerekes, J.
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Previous work has shown the ability of waveform LiDAR sensors to accurately describe various land cover types [1] and biomass estimates made in the field [2]. What is lacking, however, is a way to describe the different structural components that are embedded in the digitized backscattered energy from the LiDAR pulse. This study aims to extract structural components from waveform LiDAR data in terms of woody, herbaceous, and bare ground components from data collected over a savanna environment in and around Kruger National Park (KNP), South Africa. These components are comprised of metrics extracted from the waveforms and validated using biomass measurements made in field plots. Different size windows around plot centers, 3 × 3 pixels and 9 × 9 pixels (resulting in 1.5m and 4.5 m footprint, respectively), were used to examine scale effects of larger footprints. It was found that composite waveforms resembling plot sizes (9 × 9) most often are able to describe more than 80% of the woody biomass variability across the entire study site, and individually for two of the three land uses within the area. However, the herbaceous component of the waveform did not correlate well with the field measurements, while the bare ground component was verified visually in a side-by-side comparison with optical imagery.

Published in:

Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS), 2010 IEEE International

Date of Conference:

25-30 July 2010