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Multitemporal interferometric European Remote Sensing 1 and 2 satellite tandem pairs from a forest test site in Finland are examined in order to determine the stem volume retrieval accuracy. A form of multitemporal filtering is introduced to investigate what forest stands show a multitemporal consistency in coherence. It is found that a large stand size is a major factor to obtain accurate retrievals. The effect of heterogeneity of forest stands is also discussed. Based on the stands showing highest multitemporal consistency different models for scattering and coherence are compared. The interferometric water cloud model is chosen for stem volume retrieval. The variation of the model parameters with meteorological parameters is investigated and the results illustrate that the best imaging conditions are obtained for subzero temperatures and windy conditions. It is shown that for the 20 stands showing highest multitemporal consistency the stem volume can be retrieved with a relative error of 21%, deteriorating when the number of testing stands is increased, e.g., for 80 stands the error is 48%. For 37 large forest stands representing 48% of the investigated area the relative stem volume error is 26%. With experience from another site in Sweden we may conclude that the error level for a multitemporal interferometric synthetic aperture radar evaluation of stem volume for large forest stands (>2 ha) in a well managed and homogeneous boreal forest may be expected to be in the 15% to 25% range, deteriorating for small and heterogeneous stands and for images acquired under nonwinter conditions.
Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:43 , Issue: 6 )
Date of Publication: June 2005