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Single tree identification using airborne multibaseline SAR interferometry data


Magnard, Christophe; Morsdorf, Felix; Small, David; Stilla, Uwe; Schaepman, Michael E; Meier, Erich (2016). Single tree identification using airborne multibaseline SAR interferometry data. Remote Sensing of Environment, 186:567-580.

Abstract

Remote sensing data allowlarge scale observation of forested ecosystems. Forest assessment benefits from information about individual trees. Multibaseline SAR interferometry (InSAR) is able to generate dense point clouds of forest canopies, similar to airborne laser scanning (ALS). This type of point cloud was generated using data from the Ka-bandMEMPHIS system, acquired over a mainly coniferous forest near Vordemwald in the Swiss Midlands. This point cloud was segmented using an advanced clustering technique to detect individual trees and derive their positions, heights, and crown diameters. To evaluate the InSAR point cloud properties and limitations, it was compared to products derived from ALS and stereo-photogrammetry. All point clouds showed similar geolocation accuracies with 0.2–0.3mrelative shifts. Both InSAR and photogrammetry techniques yielded points predominantly located in the upper levels of the forest vegetation, while ALS provided points fromthe top of the canopy down to the understory and forest floor. The canopy height models agreed very well with each other, with R² values between 0.84 and 0.89. The detected trees and their estimated physical and structural parameters were validated by comparing them to reference forestry data. A detection rate of ~90% was achieved for larger trees, corresponding to half of the reference trees. The smaller trees were detected with a success rate of ~50%. The tree height was slightly underestimated, with a R² value of 0.63. The estimated crown diameter agreed on an average sense, however with a relatively low R² value of 0.19. Very high success rates (N90%) were obtained when matching the trees detected fromthe InSAR-datawith those detected fromthe ALS- and photogrammetry-data. There, InSAR tree heightswere in themean 1–1.5mlower,with high R² values ranging between 0.8 and 0.9. Our results demonstrate the use of millimeter wave SAR interferometry data as an alternative to ALS- and photogrammetry-based data for forest monitoring.

Abstract

Remote sensing data allowlarge scale observation of forested ecosystems. Forest assessment benefits from information about individual trees. Multibaseline SAR interferometry (InSAR) is able to generate dense point clouds of forest canopies, similar to airborne laser scanning (ALS). This type of point cloud was generated using data from the Ka-bandMEMPHIS system, acquired over a mainly coniferous forest near Vordemwald in the Swiss Midlands. This point cloud was segmented using an advanced clustering technique to detect individual trees and derive their positions, heights, and crown diameters. To evaluate the InSAR point cloud properties and limitations, it was compared to products derived from ALS and stereo-photogrammetry. All point clouds showed similar geolocation accuracies with 0.2–0.3mrelative shifts. Both InSAR and photogrammetry techniques yielded points predominantly located in the upper levels of the forest vegetation, while ALS provided points fromthe top of the canopy down to the understory and forest floor. The canopy height models agreed very well with each other, with R² values between 0.84 and 0.89. The detected trees and their estimated physical and structural parameters were validated by comparing them to reference forestry data. A detection rate of ~90% was achieved for larger trees, corresponding to half of the reference trees. The smaller trees were detected with a success rate of ~50%. The tree height was slightly underestimated, with a R² value of 0.63. The estimated crown diameter agreed on an average sense, however with a relatively low R² value of 0.19. Very high success rates (N90%) were obtained when matching the trees detected fromthe InSAR-datawith those detected fromthe ALS- and photogrammetry-data. There, InSAR tree heightswere in themean 1–1.5mlower,with high R² values ranging between 0.8 and 0.9. Our results demonstrate the use of millimeter wave SAR interferometry data as an alternative to ALS- and photogrammetry-based data for forest monitoring.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:03 Nov 2016 09:33
Last Modified:03 Nov 2016 09:34
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0034-4257
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2016.09.018

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