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Retrieval of Forest Biomass From ALOS PALSAR Data Using a Lookup Table Method

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6 Author(s)
Wenjian Ni ; State Key Lab. of Remote Sensing Sci., Beijing Normal Univ., Beijing, China ; Guoqing Sun ; Zhifeng Guo ; Zhiyu Zhang
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Mapping of forest biomass over large area and in higher accuracy becomes more and more important for researches on global carbon cycle and climate change. The feasibility and problems of forest biomass estimations based on lookup table (LUT) methods using ALOS PALSAR data are investigated in this study. Using of the forest structures from a forest growth model as inputs to a three dimensional radar backscattering model, a lookup table is built. Two types of searching methods (Nearest Distance (ND) and Distance Threshold (DT)) are used to find solutions from lookup table. When a simulated dataset is used to test the lookup table, the RMSE of biomass estimation are 39.133 Mg/ha (R2= 0.748) from ND and 26.699 Mg/ha (R2 = 0.886) from DT using dual-polarization data for forest with medium rough soil surface. All results show that DT is superior to ND. Comparisons of biomass from forest inventory data with that inversed from look up table using DT method over eight forest farms shows RMSE of 18.564 Mg/ha and 15.392 Mg/ha from PALSAR data with and without correction of the scattering mechanism, respectively. For the entire Lushuihe forest Bureau, the errors of the biomass estimation are - 13.8 Mg/ha (- 8.6%) and - 5.5 Mg/ha (- 3.5%) using PALSAR data with and without correction of scattering mechanisms due to terrain, respectively. The results shows that the radar image corrected data could be directly used for biomass estimation using the lookup table method.

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Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 2 )