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Regression-Based Retrieval of Boreal Forest Biomass in Sloping Terrain Using P-Band SAR Backscatter Intensity Data

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3 Author(s)
Soja, M.J. ; Department of Earth and Space Sciences, Chalmers University of Technology , Gothenburg, Sweden ; Sandberg, G. ; Ulander, L.M.H.

A new biomass retrieval model for boreal forest using polarimetric P-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) backscatter is presented. The model is based on two main SAR quantities: the HV backscatter and the HH/VV backscatter ratio. It also includes a topographic correction based on the ground slope. The model is developed from analysis of stand-wise data from two airborne P-band SAR campaigns: BioSAR 2007 (test site: Remningstorp, southern Sweden, biomass range: 10–287 tons/ha, slope range: 0–4$^{circ}$ ) and BioSAR 2008 (test site: Krycklan, northern Sweden, biomass range: 8–257 tons/ha, slope range: 0–19$^{circ}$). The new model is compared to five other models in a set of tests to evaluate its performance in different conditions. All models are first tested on data sets from Remningstorp with different moisture conditions, acquired during three periods in the spring of 2007. Thereafter, the models are tested in topographic terrain using SAR data acquired for different flight headings in Krycklan. The models are also evaluated across sites, i.e., training on one site followed by validation on the other site. Using the new model with parameters estimated on Krycklan data, biomass in Remningstorp is retrieved with RMSE of 40–59 tons/ha, or 22–33% of the mean biomass, which is lower compared to the other models. In the inverse scenario, the examined site is not well represented in the training data set, and the results are therefore not conclusive.

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Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:51 ,  Issue: 5 )