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Remote Sens., Volume 4, Issue 2 (February 2012), Pages 327-560

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Research

Open AccessArticle Vegetation Cover Analysis of Hazardous Waste Sites in Utah and Arizona Using Hyperspectral Remote Sensing
Remote Sens. 2012, 4(2), 327-353; doi:10.3390/rs4020327
Received: 6 December 2011 / Revised: 16 January 2012 / Accepted: 17 January 2012 / Published: 31 January 2012
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (3154 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study investigated the usability of hyperspectral remote sensing for characterizing vegetation at hazardous waste sites. The specific objectives of this study were to: (1) estimate leaf-area-index (LAI) of the vegetation using three different methods (i.e., vegetation indices, red-edge positioning (REP), and machine learning regression trees), and (2) map the vegetation cover using machine learning decision trees based on either the scaled reflectance data or mixture tuned matched filtering (MTMF)-derived metrics and vegetation indices. HyMap airborne data (126 bands at 2.3 × 2.3 m spatial resolution), collected over the U.S. Department of Energy uranium processing sites near Monticello, Utah and Monument Valley, Arizona, were used. Grass and shrub species were mixed on an engineered disposal cell cover at the Monticello site while shrub species were dominant in the phytoremediation plantings at the Monument Valley site. Regression trees resulted in the best calibration performance of LAI estimation (R2 > 0.80. The use of REPs failed to accurately predict LAI (R2 < 0.2). The use of the MTMF-derived metrics (matched filter scores and infeasibility) and a range of vegetation indices in decision trees improved the vegetation mapping when compared to the decision tree classification using just the scaled reflectance. Results suggest that hyperspectral imagery are useful for characterizing biophysical characteristics (LAI) and vegetation cover on capped hazardous waste sites. However, it is believed that the vegetation mapping would benefit from the use of higher spatial resolution hyperspectral data due to the small size of many of the vegetation patches ( < 1 m) found on the sites. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Inter-Sensor Comparison between THEOS and Landsat 5 TM Data in a Study of Two Crops Related to Biofuel in Thailand
Remote Sens. 2012, 4(2), 354-376; doi:10.3390/rs4020354
Received: 8 December 2011 / Revised: 16 January 2012 / Accepted: 19 January 2012 / Published: 1 February 2012
PDF Full-text (1619 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Knowledge of the spatial distribution of biofuel crops is an important criterion to determine the sustainability of biofuel energy production. Remotely sensed image analysis is a proven and effective tool for describing the spatial distribution of crops using vegetation characteristics. Increases in the number of options and availability of satellite sensors have expanded the horizon of choices of imagery sources for appropriate image acquisitions. The Thailand Earth Observation System (THEOS) satellite is one of the newest satellite sensors. The growing number of satellite sensors warrants their comparative evaluation and the standardization of data obtained from various sensors. This study conducted an inter-sensor comparison of the visible/near-infrared surface reflectance and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data collected from the Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM) and THEOS. The surface reflectance and the derived NDVI of the sensors were randomly obtained for two biofuel crops, namely, cassava and sugarcane. These crops had low values of visible surface reflectance, which were not significantly (p < 0.05) different. In contrast, the crops had high values of near-infrared surface reflectance that differed significantly (p > 0.05) between the crops. Strong linear relationships between the remote sensing products for the examined sensors were obtained for both cassava and sugarcane. The regression models that were developed can be used to compute the NDVI for THEOS using those determined from Landsat 5 TM and vice versa for the given biofuel crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing for Sustainable Energy Systems)
Open AccessArticle Tree Species Detection Accuracies Using Discrete Point Lidar and Airborne Waveform Lidar
Remote Sens. 2012, 4(2), 377-403; doi:10.3390/rs4020377
Received: 2 December 2011 / Revised: 30 January 2012 / Accepted: 30 January 2012 / Published: 2 February 2012
Cited by 26 | PDF Full-text (3693 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Species information is a key component of any forest inventory. However, when performing forest inventory from aerial scanning Lidar data, species classification can be very difficult. We investigated changes in classification accuracy while identifying five individual tree species (Douglas-fir, western redcedar, bigleaf [...] Read more.
Species information is a key component of any forest inventory. However, when performing forest inventory from aerial scanning Lidar data, species classification can be very difficult. We investigated changes in classification accuracy while identifying five individual tree species (Douglas-fir, western redcedar, bigleaf maple, red alder, and black cottonwood) in the Pacific Northwest United States using two data sets: discrete point Lidar data alone and discrete point data in combination with waveform Lidar data. Waveform information included variables which summarize the frequency domain representation of all waveforms crossing individual trees. Discrete point data alone provided 79.2 percent overall accuracy (kappa = 0.74) for all 5 species and up to 97.8 percent (kappa = 0.96) when comparing individual pairs of these 5 species. Incorporating waveform information improved the overall accuracy to 85.4 percent (kappa = 0.817) for five species, and in several two-species comparisons. Improvements were most notable in comparing the two conifer species and in comparing two of the three hardwood species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Laser Scanning in Forests)
Open AccessArticle An Object-Based Image Analysis Method for Monitoring Land Conversion by Artificial Sprawl Use of RapidEye and IRS Data
Remote Sens. 2012, 4(2), 404-423; doi:10.3390/rs4020404
Received: 21 December 2011 / Revised: 17 January 2012 / Accepted: 17 January 2012 / Published: 2 February 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1365 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In France, in the peri-urban context, urban sprawl dynamics are particularly strong with huge population growth as well as a land crisis. The increase and spreading of built-up areas from the city centre towards the periphery takes place to the detriment of [...] Read more.
In France, in the peri-urban context, urban sprawl dynamics are particularly strong with huge population growth as well as a land crisis. The increase and spreading of built-up areas from the city centre towards the periphery takes place to the detriment of natural and agricultural spaces. The conversion of land with agricultural potential is all the more worrying as it is usually irreversible. The French Ministry of Agriculture therefore needs reliable and repeatable spatial-temporal methods to locate and quantify loss of land at both local and national scales. The main objective of this study was to design a repeatable method to monitor land conversion characterized by artificial sprawl: (i) We used an object-based image analysis to extract artificial areas from satellite images; (ii) We built an artificial patch that consists of aggregating all the peripheral areas that characterize artificial areas. The “artificialized” patch concept is an innovative extension of the urban patch concept, but differs in the nature of its components and in the continuity distance applied; (iii) The diachronic analysis of artificial patch maps enables characterization of artificial sprawl. The method was applied at the scale of four departments (similar to provinces) along the coast of Languedoc-Roussillon, in the South of France, based on two satellite datasets, one acquired in 1996–1997 (Indian Remote Sensing) and the other in 2009 (RapidEye). In the four departments, we measured an increase in artificial areas of from 113,000 ha in 1997 to 133,000 ha in 2009, i.e., an 18% increase in 12 years. The package comes in the form of a 1/15,000 valid cartography, usable at the scale of a commune (the smallest territorial division used for administrative purposes in France) that can be adapted to departmental and regional scales. The method is reproducible in homogenous spatial-temporal terms, so that it could be used periodically to assess changes in land conversion rates in France as a whole. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing in Support of Environmental Policy)
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Open AccessArticle Burned Area Mapping in Greece Using SPOT-4 HRVIR Images and Object-Based Image Analysis
Remote Sens. 2012, 4(2), 424-438; doi:10.3390/rs4020424
Received: 6 December 2011 / Revised: 17 January 2012 / Accepted: 21 January 2012 / Published: 3 February 2012
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (1114 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The devastating series of fire events that occurred during the summers of 2007 and 2009 in Greece made evident the need for an operational mechanism to map burned areas in an accurate and timely fashion to be developed. In this work, Système [...] Read more.
The devastating series of fire events that occurred during the summers of 2007 and 2009 in Greece made evident the need for an operational mechanism to map burned areas in an accurate and timely fashion to be developed. In this work, Système pour l’Observation de la Terre (SPOT)-4 HRVIR images are introduced in an object-based classification environment in order to develop a classification procedure for burned area mapping. The development of the procedure was based on two images and then tested for its transferability to other burned areas. Results from the SPOT-4 HRVIR burned area mapping showed very high classification accuracies ( 0.86 kappa coefficient), while the object-based classification procedure that was developed proved to be transferable when applied to other study areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Remote Sensing of Wildland Fires)
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Open AccessArticle Satellite NDVI Assisted Monitoring of Vegetable Crop Evapotranspiration in California’s San Joaquin Valley
Remote Sens. 2012, 4(2), 439-455; doi:10.3390/rs4020439
Received: 23 December 2011 / Revised: 21 January 2012 / Accepted: 22 January 2012 / Published: 6 February 2012
Cited by 24 | PDF Full-text (708 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Reflective bands of Landsat-5 Thematic Mapper satellite imagery were used to facilitate the estimation of basal crop evapotranspiration (ETcb), or potential crop water use, in San Joaquin Valley fields during 2008. A ground-based digital camera measured green fractional cover (Fc) of 49 commercial fields planted to 18 different crop types (row crops, grains, orchard, vineyard) of varying maturity over 11 Landsat overpass dates. Landsat L1T terrain-corrected images were transformed to surface reflectance and converted to normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). A strong linear relationship between NDVI and Fc was observed (r2 = 0.96, RMSE = 0.062). The resulting regression equation was used to estimate Fc for crop cycles of broccoli, bellpepper, head lettuce, and garlic on nominal 7–9 day intervals for several study fields. Prior relationships developed by weighing lysimeter were used to transform Fc to fraction of reference evapotranspiration, also known as basal crop coefficient (Kcb). Measurements of grass reference evapotranspiration from the California Irrigation Management Information System were then used to calculate ETcb for each overpass date. Temporal profiles of Fc, Kcb, and ETcb were thus developed for the study fields, along with estimates of seasonal water use. Daily ETcb retrieval uncertainty resulting from error in satellite-based Fc estimation was < 0.5 mm/d, with seasonal uncertainty of 6–10%. Results were compared with FAO-56 irrigation guidelines and prior lysimeter observations for reference. Full article
Open AccessArticle How Robust Are Burn Severity Indices When Applied in a New Region? Evaluation of Alternate Field-Based and Remote-Sensing Methods
Remote Sens. 2012, 4(2), 456-483; doi:10.3390/rs4020456
Received: 10 January 2012 / Revised: 1 February 2012 / Accepted: 1 February 2012 / Published: 9 February 2012
Cited by 23 | PDF Full-text (2125 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Remotely sensed indices of burn severity are now commonly used by researchers and land managers to assess fire effects, but their relationship to field-based assessments of burn severity has been evaluated only in a few ecosystems. This analysis illustrates two cases in [...] Read more.
Remotely sensed indices of burn severity are now commonly used by researchers and land managers to assess fire effects, but their relationship to field-based assessments of burn severity has been evaluated only in a few ecosystems. This analysis illustrates two cases in which methodological refinements to field-based and remotely sensed indices of burn severity developed in one location did not show the same improvement when used in a new location. We evaluated three methods of assessing burn severity in the field: the Composite Burn Index (CBI)—a standardized method of assessing burn severity that combines ecologically significant variables related to burn severity into one numeric site index—and two modifications of the CBI that weight the plot CBI score by the percentage cover of each stratum. Unexpectedly, models using the CBI had higher R2 and better classification accuracy than models using the weighted versions of the CBI. We suggest that the weighted versions of the CBI have lower accuracies because weighting by percentage cover decreases the influence of the dominant tree stratum, which should have the strongest relationship to optically sensed reflectance, and increases the influence of the substrates strata, which should have the weakest relationship with optically sensed reflectance in forested ecosystems. Using a large data set of CBI plots (n = 251) from four fires and CBI scores derived from additional field-based assessments of burn severity (n = 388), we predicted two metrics of image-based burn severity, the Relative differenced Normalized Burn Ratio (RdNBR) and the differenced Normalized Burn Ratio (dNBR). Predictive models for RdNBR showed slightly better classification accuracy than for dNBR (overall accuracy = 62%, Kappa = 0.40, and overall accuracy = 59%, Kappa= 0.36, respectively), whereas dNBR had slightly better explanatory power, but strong differences were not apparent. RdNBR may provide little or no improvement over dNBR in systems where pre-fire reflectance is not highly variable, but may be more appropriate for comparing burn severity among regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Remote Sensing of Wildland Fires)
Open AccessArticle Estimating Biophysical Parameters of Individual Trees in an Urban Environment Using Small Footprint Discrete-Return Imaging Lidar
Remote Sens. 2012, 4(2), 484-508; doi:10.3390/rs4020484
Received: 25 November 2011 / Revised: 13 February 2012 / Accepted: 13 February 2012 / Published: 15 February 2012
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (586 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Quantification of biophysical parameters of urban trees is important for urban planning, and for assessing carbon sequestration and ecosystem services. Airborne lidar has been used extensively in recent years to estimate biophysical parameters of trees in forested ecosystems. However, similar studies are [...] Read more.
Quantification of biophysical parameters of urban trees is important for urban planning, and for assessing carbon sequestration and ecosystem services. Airborne lidar has been used extensively in recent years to estimate biophysical parameters of trees in forested ecosystems. However, similar studies are largely lacking for individual trees in urban landscapes. Prediction models to estimate biophysical parameters such as height, crown area, diameter at breast height, and biomass for over two thousand individual trees were developed using best subsets multiple linear regression for a study area in central Oklahoma, USA using point cloud distributional metrics from an Optech ALTM 2050 lidar system. A high level of accuracy was attained for estimating individual tree height (R2 = 0.89), dbh (R2 = 0.82), crown diameter (R2 = 0.90), and biomass (R2 = 0.67) using lidar-based metrics for pooled data of all tree species. More variance was explained in species-specific estimates of biomass (R2 = 0.68 for Juniperus virginiana to 0.84 for Ulmus parviflora) than in estimates from broadleaf deciduous (R2 = 0.63) and coniferous (R2 = 0.45) taxonomic groups—or the data set analysed as a whole (R2 = 0.67). The metric crown area performed particularly well for most of the species-specific biomass equations, which suggests that tree crowns should be delineated accurately, whether manually or using automatic individual tree detection algorithms, to obtain a good estimation of biomass using lidar-based metrics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Laser Scanning in Forests)
Open AccessArticle Recovery of Forest Canopy Parameters by Inversion of Multispectral LiDAR Data
Remote Sens. 2012, 4(2), 509-531; doi:10.3390/rs4020509
Received: 30 December 2011 / Revised: 13 February 2012 / Accepted: 15 February 2012 / Published: 17 February 2012
Cited by 24 | PDF Full-text (1065 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We describe the use of Bayesian inference techniques, notably Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) and reversible jump MCMC (RJMCMC) methods, to recover forest structural and biochemical parameters from multispectral LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data. We use a variable dimension, multi-layered model [...] Read more.
We describe the use of Bayesian inference techniques, notably Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) and reversible jump MCMC (RJMCMC) methods, to recover forest structural and biochemical parameters from multispectral LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data. We use a variable dimension, multi-layered model to represent a forest canopy or tree, and discuss the recovery of structure and depth profiles that relate to photochemical properties. We first demonstrate how simple vegetation indices such as the Normalized Differential Vegetation Index (NDVI), which relates to canopy biomass and light absorption, and Photochemical Reflectance Index (PRI) which is a measure of vegetation light use efficiency, can be measured from multispectral data. We further describe and demonstrate our layered approach on single wavelength real data, and on simulated multispectral data derived from real, rather than simulated, data sets. This evaluation shows successful recovery of a subset of parameters, as the complete recovery problem is ill-posed with the available data. We conclude that the approach has promise, and suggest future developments to address the current difficulties in parameter inversion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Laser Scanning in Forests)
Open AccessArticle Two Linear Unmixing Algorithms to Recognize Targets Using Supervised Classification and Orthogonal Rotation in Airborne Hyperspectral Images
Remote Sens. 2012, 4(2), 532-560; doi:10.3390/rs4020532
Received: 5 December 2011 / Revised: 31 January 2012 / Accepted: 1 February 2012 / Published: 21 February 2012
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (3184 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The goal of the paper is to detect pixels that contain targets of known spectra. The target can be present in a sub- or above pixel. Pixels without targets are classified as background pixels. Each pixel is treated via the content of [...] Read more.
The goal of the paper is to detect pixels that contain targets of known spectra. The target can be present in a sub- or above pixel. Pixels without targets are classified as background pixels. Each pixel is treated via the content of its neighborhood. A pixel whose spectrum is different from its neighborhood is classified as a “suspicious point”. In each suspicious point there is a mix of target(s) and background. The main objective in a supervised detection (also called “target detection”) is to search for a specific given spectral material (target) in hyperspectral imaging (HSI) where the spectral signature of the target is known a priori from laboratory measurements. In addition, the fractional abundance of the target is computed. To achieve this we present two linear unmixing algorithms that recognize targets with known (given) spectral signatures. The CLUN is based on automatic feature extraction from the target’s spectrum. These features separate the target from the background. The ROTU algorithm is based on embedding the spectra space into a special space by random orthogonal transformation and on the statistical properties of the embedded result. Experimental results demonstrate that the targets’ locations were extracted correctly and these algorithms are robust and efficient. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hyperspectral Remote Sensing)

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