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Remote Sens., Volume 9, Issue 11 (November 2017)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) This paper was written as part of a PhD project aiming to improve greenhouse gas emissions [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle An Improved Rotation Forest for Multi-Feature Remote-Sensing Imagery Classification
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1205; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111205
Received: 21 September 2017 / Revised: 19 November 2017 / Accepted: 21 November 2017 / Published: 22 November 2017
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Abstract
Multi-feature, especially multi-temporal, remote-sensing data have the potential to improve land cover classification accuracy. However, sometimes it is difficult to utilize all the features efficiently. To enhance classification performance based on multi-feature imagery, an improved rotation forest, combining Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and
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Multi-feature, especially multi-temporal, remote-sensing data have the potential to improve land cover classification accuracy. However, sometimes it is difficult to utilize all the features efficiently. To enhance classification performance based on multi-feature imagery, an improved rotation forest, combining Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and a boosting naïve Bayesian tree (NBTree), is proposed. First, feature extraction was carried out with PCA. The feature set was randomly split into several disjoint subsets; then, PCA was applied to each subset, and new training data for linear extracted features based on original training data were obtained. These steps were repeated several times. Second, based on the new training data, a boosting naïve Bayesian tree was constructed as the base classifier, which aims to achieve lower prediction error than a decision tree in the original rotation forest. At the classification phase, the improved rotation forest has two-layer voting. It first obtains several predictions through weighted voting in a boosting naïve Bayesian tree; then, the first-layer vote predicts by majority to obtain the final result. To examine the classification performance, the improved rotation forest was applied to multi-feature remote-sensing images, including MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) imagery time series, MODIS Surface Reflectance products and ancillary data in Shandong Province for 2013. The EVI imagery time series was preprocessed using harmonic analysis of time series (HANTS) to reduce the noise effects. The overall accuracy of the final classification result was 89.17%, and the Kappa coefficient was 0.71, which outperforms the original rotation forest and other classifier ensemble results, as well as the NASA land cover product. However, this new algorithm requires more computational time, meaning the efficiency needs to be further improved. Generally, the improved rotation forest has a potential advantage in remote-sensing classification. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Reconstruction of Daily Sea Surface Temperature Based on Radial Basis Function Networks
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1204; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111204
Received: 6 November 2017 / Revised: 17 November 2017 / Accepted: 18 November 2017 / Published: 22 November 2017
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Abstract
A radial basis function network (RBFN) method is proposed to reconstruct daily Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) with limited SST samples. For the purpose of evaluating the SSTs using this method, non-biased SST samples in the Pacific Ocean (10°N–30°N, 115°E–135°E) are selected when the
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A radial basis function network (RBFN) method is proposed to reconstruct daily Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) with limited SST samples. For the purpose of evaluating the SSTs using this method, non-biased SST samples in the Pacific Ocean (10°N–30°N, 115°E–135°E) are selected when the tropical storm Hagibis arrived in June 2014, and these SST samples are obtained from the Reynolds optimum interpolation (OI) v2 daily 0.25° SST (OISST) products according to the distribution of AVHRR L2p SST and in-situ SST data. Furthermore, an improved nearest neighbor cluster (INNC) algorithm is designed to search for the optimal hidden knots for RBFNs from both the SST samples and the background fields. Then, the reconstructed SSTs from the RBFN method are compared with the results from the OI method. The statistical results show that the RBFN method has a better performance of reconstructing SST than the OI method in the study, and that the average RMSE is 0.48 °C for the RBFN method, which is quite smaller than the value of 0.69 °C for the OI method. Additionally, the RBFN methods with different basis functions and clustering algorithms are tested, and we discover that the INNC algorithm with multi-quadric function is quite suitable for the RBFN method to reconstruct SSTs when the SST samples are sparsely distributed. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Sea Surface Temperature Retrievals from Remote Sensing)
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Open AccessArticle Mechanisms of SAR Imaging of Shallow Water Topography of the Subei Bank
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1203; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111203
Received: 27 September 2017 / Revised: 12 November 2017 / Accepted: 20 November 2017 / Published: 22 November 2017
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Abstract
In this study, the C-band radar backscatter features of the shallow water topography of Subei Bank in the Southern Yellow Sea are statistically investigated using 25 ENVISAT (Environmental Satellite) ASAR (advanced synthetic aperture radar) and ERS-2 (European Remote-Sensing Satellite-2) SAR images acquired between
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In this study, the C-band radar backscatter features of the shallow water topography of Subei Bank in the Southern Yellow Sea are statistically investigated using 25 ENVISAT (Environmental Satellite) ASAR (advanced synthetic aperture radar) and ERS-2 (European Remote-Sensing Satellite-2) SAR images acquired between 2006 and 2010. Different bathymetric features are found on SAR imagery under different sea states. Under low to moderate wind speeds (3.1~6.3 m/s), the wide bright patterns with an average width of 6 km are shown and correspond to sea surface imprints of tidal channels formed by two adjacent sand ridges, while the sand ridges appear as narrower (only 1 km wide), fingerlike, quasi-linear features on SAR imagery in high winds (5.4~13.9 m/s). Two possible SAR imaging mechanisms of coastal bathymetry are proposed in the case where the flow is parallel to the major axes of tidal channels or sand ridges. When the surface Ekman current is opposite to the mean tidal flow, two vortexes will converge at the central line of the tidal channel in the upper layer and form a convergent zone over the sea surface. Thus, the tidal channels are shown as wide and bright stripes on SAR imagery. For the SAR imaging of sand ridges, all the SAR images were acquired at low tidal levels. In this case, the ocean surface waves are possibly broken up under strong winds when propagating from deep water to the shallower water, which leads to an increase of surface roughness over the sand ridges. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Estimating Leaf Area Density of Individual Trees Using the Point Cloud Segmentation of Terrestrial LiDAR Data and a Voxel-Based Model
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1202; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111202
Received: 19 September 2017 / Revised: 19 November 2017 / Accepted: 20 November 2017 / Published: 22 November 2017
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Abstract
The leaf area density (LAD) within a tree canopy is very important for the understanding and modeling of photosynthetic studies of the tree. Terrestrial light detection and ranging (LiDAR) has been applied to obtain the three-dimensional structural properties of vegetation and estimate the
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The leaf area density (LAD) within a tree canopy is very important for the understanding and modeling of photosynthetic studies of the tree. Terrestrial light detection and ranging (LiDAR) has been applied to obtain the three-dimensional structural properties of vegetation and estimate the LAD. However, there is concern about the efficiency of available approaches. Thus, the objective of this study was to develop an effective means for the LAD estimation of the canopy of individual magnolia trees using high-resolution terrestrial LiDAR data. The normal difference method based on the differences in the structures of the leaf and non-leaf components of trees was proposed and used to segment leaf point clouds. The vertical LAD profiles were estimated using the voxel-based canopy profiling (VCP) model. The influence of voxel size on the LAD estimation was analyzed. The leaf point cloud’s extraction accuracy for two magnolia trees was 86.53% and 84.63%, respectively. Compared with the ground measured leaf area index (LAI), the retrieved accuracy was 99.9% and 90.7%, respectively. The LAD (as well as LAI) was highly sensitive to the voxel size. The spatial resolution of point clouds should be the appropriate estimator for the voxel size in the VCP model. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Satellite and Ground Observations of Snow Cover in Tibet during 2001–2015
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1201; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111201
Received: 24 September 2017 / Revised: 28 October 2017 / Accepted: 20 November 2017 / Published: 22 November 2017
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Abstract
The seasonal snow cover of the Tibetan Plateau exerts a profound environmental influence both regionally and globally. Daily observations of snow depth at 37 meteorological stations in Tibet and MODIS eight-day snow products (MOD10A2) during the period 2001–2015 are analyzed with respect to
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The seasonal snow cover of the Tibetan Plateau exerts a profound environmental influence both regionally and globally. Daily observations of snow depth at 37 meteorological stations in Tibet and MODIS eight-day snow products (MOD10A2) during the period 2001–2015 are analyzed with respect to the frequency and spatial distribution of snow cover for each season and for various altitude ranges. The results show that the average snow cover percentage was 16%. Snow cover frequency was less than 21% for 70% of the Tibetan area, while it was more than 40% in eastern Tibet and in the Himalayas. We also estimated the variations in the starting times of snow accumulation and ablation. During the 15 years, both datasets revealed a significant trend of earlier onset of ablation, but no evident trend for the start of accumulation. The two datasets differed slightly with respect to the seasonal variation of snow cover. MODIS data showed more snow in winter than in other seasons, but the ground data showed most snow in early spring. For the station locations, the correlation between ground and MODIS snow cover percentage (number of snow-covered stations/number of cloud-free stations) is 0.77. Combining the advantages of remote sensing data and ground observation data is the best way to investigate snow in Tibet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cryospheric Remote Sensing II)
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Open AccessArticle A Phenological Approach to Spectral Differentiation of Low-Arctic Tundra Vegetation Communities, North Slope, Alaska
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1200; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111200
Received: 12 October 2017 / Revised: 15 November 2017 / Accepted: 20 November 2017 / Published: 22 November 2017
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Abstract
Arctic tundra ecosystems exhibit small-scale variations in species composition, micro-topography as well as significant spatial and temporal variations in moisture. These attributes result in similar spectral characteristics between distinct vegetation communities. In this study we examine spectral variability at three phenological phases of
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Arctic tundra ecosystems exhibit small-scale variations in species composition, micro-topography as well as significant spatial and temporal variations in moisture. These attributes result in similar spectral characteristics between distinct vegetation communities. In this study we examine spectral variability at three phenological phases of leaf-out, maximum canopy, and senescence of ground-based spectroscopy, as well as a simulated Environmental Mapping and Analysis Program (EnMAP) and simulated Sentinel-2 reflectance spectra, from five dominant low-Arctic tundra vegetation communities in the Toolik Lake Research Area, Alaska, in order to inform spectral differentiation and subsequent vegetation classification at both the ground and satellite scale. We used the InStability Index (ISI), a ratio of between endmember and within endmember variability, to determine the most discriminative phenophase and wavelength regions for identification of each vegetation community. Our results show that the senescent phase was the most discriminative phenophase for the identification of the majority of communities when using both ground-based and simulated EnMAP reflectance spectra. Maximum canopy was the most discriminative phenophase for the majority of simulated Sentinel-2 reflectance data. As with previous ground-based spectral characterization of Alaskan low-Arctic tundra, the blue, red, and red-edge parts of the spectrum were most discriminative for all three reflectance datasets. Differences in vegetation colour driven by pigment dynamics appear to be the optimal areas of the spectrum for differentiation using high spectral resolution field spectroscopy and simulated hyperspectral EnMAP and multispectral Sentinel-2 reflectance spectra. The phenological aspect of this study highlights the potential exploitation of more extreme colour differences in vegetation observed during senescence when hyperspectral data is available. The results provide insight into both the community and seasonal dynamics of spectral variability to better understand and interpret currently used broadband vegetation indices and also for improved spectral unmixing of hyperspectral aerial and satellite data which is useful for a wide range of applications from fine-scale monitoring of shifting vegetation composition to the identification of vegetation vigor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Arctic Tundra)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Heat Wave Conditions on Aerosol Optical Properties Derived from Satellite and Ground-Based Remote Sensing over Poland
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1199; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111199
Received: 8 October 2017 / Revised: 12 November 2017 / Accepted: 20 November 2017 / Published: 22 November 2017
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Abstract
During an exceptionally warm September in 2016, unique and stable weather conditions contributed to a heat wave over Poland, allowing for observations of aerosol optical properties, using a variety of ground-based and satellite remote sensors. The data set collected during 11–16 September 2016
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During an exceptionally warm September in 2016, unique and stable weather conditions contributed to a heat wave over Poland, allowing for observations of aerosol optical properties, using a variety of ground-based and satellite remote sensors. The data set collected during 11–16 September 2016 was analysed in terms of aerosol transport (HYbrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory model (HYSPLIT)), aerosol load model simulations (Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS), Navy Aerosol Analysis and Prediction System (NAAPS), Global Environmental Multiscale-Air Quality (GEM-AQ), columnar aerosol load measured at ground level (Aerosol Robotic NETwork (AERONET), Polish Aerosol Research Network (PolandAOD)) and from satellites (Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI), Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)), as well as with 24/7 PollyXT Raman Lidar observations at the European Aerosol Research Lidar Network (EARLINET) site in Warsaw. Analyses revealed a single day of a relatively clean background aerosol related to an Arctic air-mass inflow, surrounded by a few days with a well increased aerosol load of differing origin: pollution transported from Germany and biomass burning from Ukraine. Such conditions proved excellent to test developed-in-house algorithms designed for near real-time aerosol optical depth (AOD) derivation from the SEVIRI sensor. The SEVIRI AOD maps derived over the territory of Poland, with an exceptionally high resolution (every 15 min; 5.5 × 5.5 km2), revealed on an hourly scale, very low aerosol variability due to heat wave conditions. Comparisons of SEVIRI with NAAPS and CAMS AOD maps show strong qualitative similarities; however, NAAPS underestimates AOD and CAMS tends to underestimate it on relatively clean days (<0.2), and overestimate it for a high aerosol load (>0.4). A slight underestimation of the SEVIRI AOD is reported for pixel-to-column comparisons with AODs of several radiometers (AERONET, PolandAOD) and Lidar (EARLINET) with high correlation coefficients (r2 of 0.8–0.91) and low root-mean-square error (RMSE of 0.03–0.05). A heat wave driven increase of the boundary layer height of 10% is accompanied with the AOD increase of 8–12% for an urban site dominated by anthropogenic pollution. Contrary trend, with an AOD decrease of around 4% for a rural site dominated by a long-range transported biomass burning aerosol is reported. There is a positive feedback of heat wave conditions on local and transported pollution and an extenuating effect on transported biomass burning aerosol. The daytime mean SEVIRI PM2.5 converted from the SEVIRI AODs at a pixel representative for Warsaw is in agreement with the daily mean PM2.5 surface measurements, whereby SEVIRI PM2.5 and Lidar-derived Ångström exponent are anti-correlated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aerosol Remote Sensing)
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Open AccessArticle Airport Detection Using End-to-End Convolutional Neural Network with Hard Example Mining
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1198; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111198
Received: 10 October 2017 / Revised: 14 November 2017 / Accepted: 18 November 2017 / Published: 21 November 2017
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Abstract
Deep convolutional neural network (CNN) achieves outstanding performance in the field of target detection. As one of the most typical targets in remote sensing images (RSIs), airport has attracted increasing attention in recent years. However, the essential challenge for using deep CNN to
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Deep convolutional neural network (CNN) achieves outstanding performance in the field of target detection. As one of the most typical targets in remote sensing images (RSIs), airport has attracted increasing attention in recent years. However, the essential challenge for using deep CNN to detect airport is the great imbalance between the number of airports and background examples in large-scale RSIs, which may lead to over-fitting. In this paper, we develop a hard example mining and weight-balanced strategy to construct a novel end-to-end convolutional neural network for airport detection. The initial motivation of the proposed method is that backgrounds contain an overwhelming number of easy examples and a few hard examples. Therefore, we design a hard example mining layer to automatically select hard examples by their losses, and implement a new weight-balanced loss function to optimize CNN. Meanwhile, the cascade design of proposal extraction and object detection in our network releases the constraint on input image size and reduces spurious false positives. Compared with geometric characteristics and low-level manually designed features, the hard example mining based network could extract high-level features, which is more robust for airport detection in complex environment. The proposed method is validated on a multi-scale dataset with complex background collected from Google Earth. The experimental results demonstrate that our proposed method is robust, and superior to the state-of-the-art airport detection models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensing Image Processing)
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Open AccessArticle Soil Moisture Retrieval and Spatiotemporal Pattern Analysis Using Sentinel-1 Data of Dahra, Senegal
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1197; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111197
Received: 16 September 2017 / Revised: 15 November 2017 / Accepted: 18 November 2017 / Published: 21 November 2017
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Abstract
The spatiotemporal pattern of soil moisture is of great significance for the understanding of the water exchange between the land surface and the atmosphere. The two-satellite constellation of the Sentinel-1 mission provides C-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) observations with high spatial and temporal
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The spatiotemporal pattern of soil moisture is of great significance for the understanding of the water exchange between the land surface and the atmosphere. The two-satellite constellation of the Sentinel-1 mission provides C-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) observations with high spatial and temporal resolutions, which are suitable for soil moisture monitoring. In this paper, we aim to assess the capability of pattern analysis based on the soil moisture retrieved from Sentinel-1 time-series data of Dahra in Senegal. The look-up table (LUT) method is used in the retrieval with the backscattering coefficients that are simulated by the advanced integrated equation Model (AIEM) for the soil layer and the Michigan microwave canopy scattering (MIMICS) model for the vegetation layer. The temporal trend of Sentinel-1A soil moisture is evaluated by the ground measurements from the site at Dahra, with an unbiased root-mean-squared deviation (ubRMSD) of 0.053 m3/m3, a mean average deviation (MAD) of 0.034 m3/m3, and an R value of 0.62. The spatial variation is also compared with the existing microwave products at a coarse scale, which confirms the reliability of the Sentinel-1A soil moisture. The spatiotemporal patterns are analyzed by empirical orthogonal functions (EOF), and the geophysical factors that are affecting soil moisture are discussed. The first four EOFs of soil moisture explain 77.2% of the variance in total and the primary EOF explains 66.2%, which shows the dominant pattern at the study site. Soil texture and the normalized difference vegetation index are more closely correlated with the primary pattern than the topography and temperature in the study area. The investigation confirms the potential for soil moisture retrieval and spatiotemporal pattern analysis using Sentinel-1 images. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensing in Geology, Geomorphology and Hydrology)
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Open AccessArticle Hyperspectral Super-Resolution with Spectral Unmixing Constraints
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1196; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111196
Received: 18 October 2017 / Revised: 15 November 2017 / Accepted: 16 November 2017 / Published: 21 November 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (7247 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Hyperspectral sensors capture a portion of the visible and near-infrared spectrum with many narrow spectral bands. This makes it possible to better discriminate objects based on their reflectance spectra and to derive more detailed object properties. For technical reasons, the high spectral resolution
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Hyperspectral sensors capture a portion of the visible and near-infrared spectrum with many narrow spectral bands. This makes it possible to better discriminate objects based on their reflectance spectra and to derive more detailed object properties. For technical reasons, the high spectral resolution comes at the cost of lower spatial resolution. To mitigate that problem, one may combine such images with conventional multispectral images of higher spatial, but lower spectral resolution. The process of fusing the two types of imagery into a product with both high spatial and spectral resolution is called hyperspectral super-resolution. We propose a method that performs hyperspectral super-resolution by jointly unmixing the two input images into pure reflectance spectra of the observed materials, along with the associated mixing coefficients. Joint super-resolution and unmixing is solved by a coupled matrix factorization, taking into account several useful physical constraints. The formulation also includes adaptive spatial regularization to exploit local geometric information from the multispectral image. Moreover, we estimate the relative spatial and spectral responses of the two sensors from the data. That information is required for the super-resolution, but often at most approximately known for real-world images. In experiments with five public datasets, we show that the proposed approach delivers up to 15% improved hyperspectral super-resolution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensing Image Processing)
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Open AccessArticle Estimating Snow Depth Using Multi-Source Data Fusion Based on the D-InSAR Method and 3DVAR Fusion Algorithm
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1195; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111195
Received: 24 September 2017 / Revised: 6 November 2017 / Accepted: 17 November 2017 / Published: 21 November 2017
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Abstract
Snow depth is a general input variable in many models of agriculture, hydrology, climate, and ecology. However, there are some uncertainties in the retrieval of snow depth by remote sensing. Errors occurred in snow depth evaluation under the D-InSAR methods will affect the
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Snow depth is a general input variable in many models of agriculture, hydrology, climate, and ecology. However, there are some uncertainties in the retrieval of snow depth by remote sensing. Errors occurred in snow depth evaluation under the D-InSAR methods will affect the accuracy of snow depth inversion to a certain extent. This study proposes a scheme to estimate spatial snow depth that combines remote sensing with site observation. On the one hand, this scheme adopts the Sentinel-1 C-band of the European Space Agency (ESA), making use of the two-pass method of differential interferometry for inversion of spatial snow depth. On the other hand, the 3DVAR (three dimensional variational) fusion algorithm is used to integrate actual snow depth data of virtual stations and real-world observation stations into the snow depth inversion results. Thus, the accuracy of snow inversion will be improved. This scheme is applied in the study area of Bayanbulak Basin, which is located in the central hinterland of Tianshan Mountains in Xinjiang, China. Observation data from stations in different altitudes are selected to test the fusion method. According to the results, most of the obtained snow depth values using interferometry are lower than the observed ones. However, after the fusion using the 3DVAR algorithm, the snow depth accuracy is slightly higher than it was in the inversion results (R2 = 0.31 vs. R2 = 0.50, RMSE = 2.51 cm vs. RMSE = 1.96 cm; R2 = 0.27 vs. R2 = 0.46, RMSE = 4.04 cm vs. RMSE = 3.65 cm). When compared with the inversion results, the relative error (RE) improved by 6.97% and 3.59%, respectively. This study shows that the scheme can effectively improve the accuracy of regional snow depth estimation. Therefore, its future application is of great potential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Snow Remote Sensing)
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Open AccessArticle The 2015–2016 Ground Displacements of the Shanghai Coastal Area Inferred from a Combined COSMO-SkyMed/Sentinel-1 DInSAR Analysis
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1194; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111194
Received: 21 September 2017 / Revised: 10 November 2017 / Accepted: 15 November 2017 / Published: 21 November 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (47319 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In this work, ground deformation of the Shanghai coastal area is inferred by using the multiple-satellite Differential Synthetic Aperture Radar interferometry (DInSAR) approach, also known as the minimum acceleration (MinA) combination algorithm. The MinA technique allows discrimination and time-evolution monitoring of the inherent
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In this work, ground deformation of the Shanghai coastal area is inferred by using the multiple-satellite Differential Synthetic Aperture Radar interferometry (DInSAR) approach, also known as the minimum acceleration (MinA) combination algorithm. The MinA technique allows discrimination and time-evolution monitoring of the inherent two-dimensional components (i.e., with respect to east-west and up-down directions) of the ongoing deformation processes. It represents an effective post-processing tool that allows an easy combination of preliminarily-retrieved multiple-satellite Line-Of-Sight-projected displacement time-series, obtained by using one (or more) of the currently available multi-pass DInSAR toolboxes. Specifically, in our work, the well-known small baseline subset (SBAS) algorithm has been exploited to recover LOS deformation time-series from two sets of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data relevant to the coast of Shanghai, collected from 2014 to 2017 by the COSMO-SkyMed (CSK) and the Sentinel-1A (S1-A) sensors. The achieved results evidence that the Shanghai ocean-reclaimed areas were still subject to residual deformations in 2016, with maximum subsidence rates of about 30 mm/year. Moreover, the investigation has revealed that the detected deformations are predominantly vertical, whereas the east-west deformations are less significant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radar Interferometry for Geohazards)
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Open AccessArticle Developing a Random Forest Algorithm for MODIS Global Burned Area Classification
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1193; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111193
Received: 7 October 2017 / Revised: 15 November 2017 / Accepted: 16 November 2017 / Published: 21 November 2017
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Abstract
This paper aims to develop a global burned area (BA) algorithm for MODIS BRDF-corrected images based on the Random Forest (RF) classifier. Two RF models were generated, including: (1) all MODIS reflective bands; and (2) only the red (R) and near infrared (NIR)
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This paper aims to develop a global burned area (BA) algorithm for MODIS BRDF-corrected images based on the Random Forest (RF) classifier. Two RF models were generated, including: (1) all MODIS reflective bands; and (2) only the red (R) and near infrared (NIR) bands. Active fire information, vegetation indices and auxiliary variables were taken into account as well. Both RF models were trained using a statistically designed sample of 130 reference sites, which took into account the global diversity of fire conditions. For each site, fire perimeters were obtained from multitemporal pairs of Landsat TM/ETM+ images acquired in 2008. Those fire perimeters were used to extract burned and unburned areas to train the RF models. Using the standard MD43A4 resolution (500 × 500 m), the training dataset included 48,365 burned pixels and 6,293,205 unburned pixels. Different combinations of number of trees and number of parameters were tested. The final RF models included 600 trees and 5 attributes. The RF full model (considering all bands) provided a balanced accuracy of 0.94, while the RF RNIR model had 0.93. As a first assessment of these RF models, they were used to classify daily MCD43A4 images in three test sites for three consecutive years (2006–2008). The selected sites included different ecosystems: Australia (Tropical), Boreal (Canada) and Temperate (California), and extended coverage (totaling more than 2,500,000 km2). Results from both RF models for those sites were compared with national fire perimeters, as well as with two existing BA MODIS products; the MCD45 and MCD64. Considering all three years and three sites, commission error for the RF Full model was 0.16, with an omission error of 0.23. For the RF RNIR model, these errors were 0.19 and 0.21, respectively. The existing MODIS BA products had lower commission errors, but higher omission errors (0.09 and 0.33 for the MCD45 and 0.10 and 0.29 for the MCD64) than those obtained with the RF models, and therefore they showed less balanced accuracies. The RF models developed here should be applicable to other biomes and years, as they were trained with a global set of reference BA sites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Remote Sensing)
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Open AccessArticle Validation and Calibration of QAA Algorithm for CDOM Absorption Retrieval in the Changjiang (Yangtze) Estuarine and Coastal Waters
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1192; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111192
Received: 29 August 2017 / Revised: 9 November 2017 / Accepted: 18 November 2017 / Published: 21 November 2017
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Abstract
Distribution, migration and transformation of chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) in coastal waters are closely related to marine biogeochemical cycle. Ocean color remote sensing retrieval of CDOM absorption coefficient (ag(λ)) can be used as an indicator to trace
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Distribution, migration and transformation of chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) in coastal waters are closely related to marine biogeochemical cycle. Ocean color remote sensing retrieval of CDOM absorption coefficient (ag(λ)) can be used as an indicator to trace the distribution and variation characteristics of the Changjiang diluted water, and further to help understand estuarine and coastal biogeochemical processes in large spatial and temporal scales. The quasi-analytical algorithm (QAA) has been widely applied to remote sensing inversions of optical and biogeochemical parameters in water bodies such as oceanic and coastal waters, however, whether the algorithm can be applicable to highly turbid waters (i.e., Changjiang estuarine and coastal waters) is still unknown. In this study, large amounts of in situ data accumulated in the Changjiang estuarine and coastal waters from 9 cruise campaigns during 2011 and 2015 are used to verify and calibrate the QAA. Furthermore, the QAA is remodified for CDOM retrieval by employing a CDOM algorithm (QAA_CDOM). Consequently, based on the QAA and the QAA_CDOM, we developed a new version of algorithm, named QAA_cj, which is more suitable for highly turbid waters, e.g., Changjiang estuarine and coastal waters, to decompose ag from adg (CDOM and non-pigmented particles absorption coefficient). By comparison of matchups between Geostationary Ocean Color Imager (GOCI) retrievals and in situ data, it reveals that the accuracy of retrievals from calibrated QAA is significantly improved. The root mean square error (RMSE), mean absolute relative error (MARE) and bias of total absorption coefficients (a(λ)) are lower than 1.17, 0.52 and 0.66 m−1, and ag(λ) at 443 nm are lower than 0.07, 0.42 and 0.018 m−1. These results indicate that the calibrated algorithm has a better applicability and prospect for highly turbid coastal waters with extremely complicated optical properties. Thus, reliable CDOM products from the improved QAA_cj can advance our understanding of the land-ocean interaction process by earth observations in monitoring spatial-temporal distribution of the river plume into sea. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Stochastic Models of Very High-Rate (50 Hz) GPS/BeiDou Code and Phase Observations
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1188; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111188
Received: 23 October 2017 / Revised: 12 November 2017 / Accepted: 17 November 2017 / Published: 21 November 2017
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Abstract
In recent years, very high-rate (10–50 Hz) Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) has gained a rapid development and has been widely applied in seismology, natural hazard early warning system and structural monitoring. However, existing studies on stochastic models of GNSS observations are limited
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In recent years, very high-rate (10–50 Hz) Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) has gained a rapid development and has been widely applied in seismology, natural hazard early warning system and structural monitoring. However, existing studies on stochastic models of GNSS observations are limited to sampling rates not higher than 1 Hz. To support very high-rate GNSS applications, we assess the precisions, cross correlations and time correlations of very high-rate (50 Hz) Global Positioning System (GPS)/BeiDou code and phase observations. The method of least-squares variance component estimation is applied with the geometry-based functional model using the GNSS single-differenced observations. The real-data experimental results show that the precisions are elevation-dependent at satellite elevation angles below 40° and nearly constant at satellite elevation angles above 40°. The precisions of undifferenced observations are presented, exhibiting different patterns for different observation types and satellites, especially for BeiDou because different types of satellites are involved. GPS and BeiDou have comparable precisions at high satellite elevation angles, reaching 0.91–1.26 mm and 0.13–0.17 m for phase and code, respectively, while, at low satellite elevation angles, GPS precisions are generally lower than BeiDou ones. The cross correlation between dual-frequency phase is very significant, with the coefficients of 0.773 and 0.927 for GPS and BeiDou, respectively. The cross correlation between dual-frequency code is much less significant, and no correlation can be found between phase and code. Time correlations exist for GPS/BeiDou phase and code at time lags within 1 s. At very small time lags of 0.02–0.12 s, time correlations of 0.041–0.293 and 0.858–0.945 can be observed for phase and code observations, respectively, indicating that the correlations in time should be taken into account in very high-rate applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Davos-Laret Remote Sensing Field Laboratory: 2016/2017 Winter Season L-Band Measurements Data-Processing and Analysis
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1185; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111185
Received: 16 October 2017 / Revised: 9 November 2017 / Accepted: 15 November 2017 / Published: 21 November 2017
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Abstract
The L-band radiometry data and in-situ ground and snow measurements performed during the 2016/2017 winter campaign at the Davos-Laret remote sensing field laboratory are presented and discussed. An improved version of the procedure for the computation of L-band brightness temperatures from ELBARA radiometer
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The L-band radiometry data and in-situ ground and snow measurements performed during the 2016/2017 winter campaign at the Davos-Laret remote sensing field laboratory are presented and discussed. An improved version of the procedure for the computation of L-band brightness temperatures from ELBARA radiometer raw data is introduced. This procedure includes a thorough explanation of the calibration and filtering including a refined radio frequency interference (RFI) mitigation approach. This new mitigation approach not only performs better than conventional “normality” tests (kurtosis and skewness) but also allows for the quantification of measurement uncertainty introduced by non-thermal noise contributions. The brightness temperatures of natural snow covered areas and areas with a reflector beneath the snow are simulated for varying amounts of snow liquid water content distributed across the snow profile. Both measured and simulated brightness temperatures emanating from natural snow covered areas and areas with a reflector beneath the snow reveal noticeable sensitivity with respect to snow liquid water. This indicates the possibility of estimating snow liquid water using L-band radiometry. It is also shown that distinct daily increases in brightness temperatures measured over the areas with the reflector placed on the ground indicate the onset of the snow melting season, also known as “early-spring snow”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Snow Remote Sensing)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluating the Applicability of Four Latest Satellite–Gauge Combined Precipitation Estimates for Extreme Precipitation and Streamflow Predictions over the Upper Yellow River Basins in China
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1176; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111176
Received: 7 October 2017 / Revised: 12 November 2017 / Accepted: 14 November 2017 / Published: 21 November 2017
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Abstract
This study aimed to statistically and hydrologically assess the performance of the four latest and widely used satellite–gauge combined precipitation estimates (SGPEs), namely CRT (CMORPH CRT), BLD (CMORPH BLD), CDR (PERSIANN CDR), 3B42 (TMPA 3B42 version 7) over the upper yellow river basins
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This study aimed to statistically and hydrologically assess the performance of the four latest and widely used satellite–gauge combined precipitation estimates (SGPEs), namely CRT (CMORPH CRT), BLD (CMORPH BLD), CDR (PERSIANN CDR), 3B42 (TMPA 3B42 version 7) over the upper yellow river basins (UYRB) in china during 2001–2012 time period. The performances of the SGPEs were compared with the Chinese Meteorological Administration (CMA) datasets using the hydrologic model called Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) which is known as a land surface hydrologic model. Results indicated that irrespective of the slight underestimation in the western mountains and overestimation in the southeast, the four SGPEs could generally captured the spatial distribution of precipitation well. Although 3B42 exhibited a better performance in capturing the spatial distribution of daily average precipitation, BLD agreed best with CMA in the time series of watershed average precipitation, which resulted in BLD having a comparable performance to the CMA in the long-term hydrological simulations. Moreover, the potential for disastrous heavy rain mainly occurs in southeastern corner of the basin, and CRT and BLD comparisons showed to be closer to the CMA in the distribution of extreme precipitation events while 3B42 and CDR overestimated the extreme precipitation especially over the southeast of UYRB region. Therefore, CRT and BLD were able to match the high peak discharges very well for the wet seasons, while 3B42 and CDR overrated the high peak discharges. In addition, the four SGPEs performed well for the 2005 flood event but exhibited poorly when tested for the 2012 flood event. Results indicate that the application of the four SGPEs should be used with caution in simulating massive flood events over UYRB region. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Advancing the PROSPECT-5 Model to Simulate the Spectral Reflectance of Copper-Stressed Leaves
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1191; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111191
Received: 26 September 2017 / Revised: 14 November 2017 / Accepted: 17 November 2017 / Published: 20 November 2017
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Abstract
This paper proposes a modified model based on the PROSPECT-5 model to simulate the spectral reflectance of copper-stressed leaves. Compared with PROSPECT-5, the modified model adds the copper content of leaves as one of input variables, and the specific absorption coefficient related to
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This paper proposes a modified model based on the PROSPECT-5 model to simulate the spectral reflectance of copper-stressed leaves. Compared with PROSPECT-5, the modified model adds the copper content of leaves as one of input variables, and the specific absorption coefficient related to copper (Kcu) was estimated and fixed in the modified model. The specific absorption coefficients of other biochemical components (chlorophyll, carotenoid, water, dry matter) were the same as those in PROSPECT-5. Firstly, based on PROSPECT-5, we estimated the leaf structure parameters (N), using biochemical contents (chlorophyll, carotenoid, water, and dry matter) and the spectra of all the copper-stressed leaves (samples). Secondly, the specific absorption coefficient related to copper (Kcu) was estimated by fitting the simulated spectra to the measured spectra using 22 samples. Thirdly, other samples were used to verify the effectiveness of the modified model. The spectra with the new model are closer to the measured spectra when compared to that with PROSPECT-5. Moreover, for all the datasets used for validation and calibration, the root mean square errors (RMSEs) from the new model are less than that from PROSPECT-5. The differences between simulated reflectance and measured reflectance at key wavelengths with the new model are nearer to zero than those with the PROSPECT-5 model. This study demonstrated that the modified model could get more accurate spectral reflectance from copper-stressed leaves when compared with PROSPECT-5, and would provide theoretical support for monitoring the vegetation stressed by copper using remote sensing. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sparse Weighted Constrained Energy Minimization for Accurate Remote Sensing Image Target Detection
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1190; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111190
Received: 9 October 2017 / Revised: 15 November 2017 / Accepted: 15 November 2017 / Published: 20 November 2017
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Abstract
Target detection is an important task for remote sensing images, while it is still difficult to obtain satisfied performance when some images possess complex and confusion spectrum information, for example, the high similarity between target and background spectrum under some circumstance. Traditional detectors
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Target detection is an important task for remote sensing images, while it is still difficult to obtain satisfied performance when some images possess complex and confusion spectrum information, for example, the high similarity between target and background spectrum under some circumstance. Traditional detectors always detect target without any preprocessing procedure, which can increase the difference between target spectrum and background spectrum. Therefore, these methods could not discriminate the target from complex or similar background effectively. In this paper, sparse representation was introduced to weight each pixel for further increasing the difference between target and background spectrum. According to sparse reconstruction error matrix of pixels on images, adaptive weights will be assigned to each pixel for improving the difference between target and background spectrum. Furthermore, the sparse weighted-based constrained energy minimization method only needs to construct target dictionary, which is easier to acquire. Then, according to more distinct spectrum characteristic, the detectors can distinguish target from background more effectively and efficiency. Comparing with state-of-the-arts of target detection on remote sensing images, the proposed method can obtain more sensitive and accurate detection performance. In addition, the method is more robust to complex background than the other methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensing Image Processing)
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Open AccessArticle Photochemical Reflectance Index (PRI) for Detecting Responses of Diurnal and Seasonal Photosynthetic Activity to Experimental Drought and Warming in a Mediterranean Shrubland
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1189; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111189
Received: 12 October 2017 / Revised: 14 November 2017 / Accepted: 17 November 2017 / Published: 20 November 2017
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (4447 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Climatic warming and drying are having profound impacts on terrestrial carbon cycling by altering plant physiological traits and photosynthetic processes, particularly for species in the semi-arid Mediterranean ecosystems. More effective methods of remote sensing are needed to accurately assess the physiological responses and
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Climatic warming and drying are having profound impacts on terrestrial carbon cycling by altering plant physiological traits and photosynthetic processes, particularly for species in the semi-arid Mediterranean ecosystems. More effective methods of remote sensing are needed to accurately assess the physiological responses and seasonal photosynthetic activities of evergreen species to climate change. We evaluated the stand reflectance in parallel to the diurnal and seasonal changes in gas exchange, fluorescence and water contents of leaves and soil for a Mediterranean evergreen shrub, Erica multiflora, submitted to long-term experimental warming and drought. We also calculated a differential photochemical reflectance index (ΔPRI, morning PRI subtracted from midday PRI) to assess the diurnal responses of photosynthesis (ΔA) to warming and drought. The results indicated that the PRI, but not the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), was able to assess the seasonal changes of photosynthesis. Changes in water index (WI) were consistent with seasonal foliar water content (WC). In the warming treatment, ΔA value was higher than control in winter but ΔYield was significantly lower in both summer and autumn, demonstrating the positive effect of the warming on the photosynthesis in winter and the negative effect in summer and autumn, i.e., increased photosynthetic midday depression in summer and autumn, when temperatures were much higher than in winter. Drought treatment increased the midday depression of photosynthesis in summer. Importantly, ΔPRI was significantly correlated with ΔA both under warming and drought, indicating the applicability of ΔPRI for tracking the midday depression of photosynthetic processes. Using PRI and ΔPRI to monitor the variability in photosynthesis could provide a simple method to remotely sense photosynthetic seasonality and midday depression in response to ongoing and future environmental stresses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Arid/Semiarid Lands)
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Open AccessArticle Photogrammetric UAV Mapping of Terrain under Dense Coastal Vegetation: An Object-Oriented Classification Ensemble Algorithm for Classification and Terrain Correction
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1187; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111187
Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 9 November 2017 / Accepted: 13 November 2017 / Published: 19 November 2017
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Abstract
Photogrammetric UAV sees a surge in use for high-resolution mapping, but its use to map terrain under dense vegetation cover remains challenging due to a lack of exposed ground surfaces. This paper presents a novel object-oriented classification ensemble algorithm to leverage height, texture
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Photogrammetric UAV sees a surge in use for high-resolution mapping, but its use to map terrain under dense vegetation cover remains challenging due to a lack of exposed ground surfaces. This paper presents a novel object-oriented classification ensemble algorithm to leverage height, texture and contextual information of UAV data to improve landscape classification and terrain estimation. Its implementation incorporates multiple heuristics, such as multi-input machine learning-based classification, object-oriented ensemble, and integration of UAV and GPS surveys for terrain correction. Experiments based on a densely vegetated wetland restoration site showed classification improvement from 83.98% to 96.12% in overall accuracy and from 0.7806 to 0.947 in kappa value. Use of standard and existing UAV terrain mapping algorithms and software produced reliable digital terrain model only over exposed bare grounds (mean error = −0.019 m and RMSE = 0.035 m) but severely overestimated the terrain by ~80% of mean vegetation height in vegetated areas. The terrain correction method successfully reduced the mean error from 0.302 m to −0.002 m (RMSE from 0.342 m to 0.177 m) in low vegetation and from 1.305 m to 0.057 m (RMSE from 1.399 m to 0.550 m) in tall vegetation. Overall, this research validated a feasible solution to integrate UAV and RTK GPS for terrain mapping in densely vegetated environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensing in Agriculture and Vegetation)
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Open AccessArticle Wave Height Estimation from First-Order Backscatter of a Dual-Frequency High Frequency Radar
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1186; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111186
Received: 28 September 2017 / Revised: 16 November 2017 / Accepted: 17 November 2017 / Published: 18 November 2017
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Abstract
Second-order scattering based wave height measurement with high-frequency (HF) radar has always been subjected to problems such as distance limitation and external interference especially under low or moderate sea state. The performance is further exacerbated for a compact system with small antennas. First-order
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Second-order scattering based wave height measurement with high-frequency (HF) radar has always been subjected to problems such as distance limitation and external interference especially under low or moderate sea state. The performance is further exacerbated for a compact system with small antennas. First-order Bragg scattering has been investigated to relate wave height to the stronger Bragg backscatter, but calibrating the echo power along distance and direction is challenging. In this paper, a new method is presented to deal with the calibration and improve the Bragg scattering based wave height estimation from dual-frequency radar data. The relative difference of propagation attenuation and directional spreading between two operating frequencies has been found to be identifiable along range and almost independent of direction, and it is employed to effectively reduce the fitting requirements of in situ wave buoys. A 20-day experiment was performed over the Taiwan Strait of China to validate this method. Comparison of wave height measured by radar and buoys at distance of 15 km and 70 km shows that the root-mean-square errors are 0.34 m and 0.56 m, respectively, with correlation coefficient of 0.82 and 0.84. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Instruments and Methods for Ocean Observation and Monitoring)
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Open AccessArticle In-Season Crop Mapping with GF-1/WFV Data by Combining Object-Based Image Analysis and Random Forest
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1184; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111184
Received: 17 October 2017 / Revised: 8 November 2017 / Accepted: 16 November 2017 / Published: 17 November 2017
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Abstract
Producing accurate crop maps during the current growing season is essential for effective agricultural monitoring. Substantial efforts have been made to study regional crop distribution from year to year, but less attention is paid to the dynamics of composition and spatial extent of
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Producing accurate crop maps during the current growing season is essential for effective agricultural monitoring. Substantial efforts have been made to study regional crop distribution from year to year, but less attention is paid to the dynamics of composition and spatial extent of crops within a season. Understanding how crops are distributed at the early developing stages allows for the timely adjustment of crop planting structure as well as agricultural decision making and management. To address this knowledge gap, this study presents an approach integrating object-based image analysis with random forest (RF) for mapping in-season crop types based on multi-temporal GaoFen satellite data with a spatial resolution of 16 meters. A multiresolution local variance strategy was used to create crop objects, and then object-based spectral/textural features and vegetation indices were extracted from those objects. The RF classifier was employed to identify different crop types at four crop growth seasons by integrating available features. The crop classification performance of different seasons was assessed by calculating F-score values. Results show that crop maps derived using seasonal features achieved an overall accuracy of more than 87%. Compared to the use of spectral features, a feature combination of in-season textures and multi-temporal spectral and vegetation indices performs best when classifying crop types. Spectral and temporal information is more important than texture features for crop mapping. However, texture can be essential information when there is insufficient spectral and temporal information (e.g., crop identification in the early spring). These results indicate that an object-based image analysis combined with random forest has considerable potential for in-season crop mapping using high spatial resolution imagery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensing in Agriculture and Vegetation)
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Open AccessTechnical Note Identification of C-Band Radio Frequency Interferences from Sentinel-1 Data
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1183; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111183
Received: 16 September 2017 / Revised: 10 November 2017 / Accepted: 15 November 2017 / Published: 17 November 2017
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Abstract
We propose the use of Sentinel-1 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) to provide a continuous and global monitoring of Radio Frequency Interferences (RFI) in C-band. We take advantage of the first 8–10 echo measures at the beginning of each burst, a 50–70 MHz wide
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We propose the use of Sentinel-1 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) to provide a continuous and global monitoring of Radio Frequency Interferences (RFI) in C-band. We take advantage of the first 8–10 echo measures at the beginning of each burst, a 50–70 MHz wide bandwidth and a ground beam coverage of ~25 km (azimuth) by 70 km (range). Such observations can be repeated with a frequency better than three days, by considering two satellites and both ascending and descending passes. These measures can be used to qualify the same Sentinel-1 (S1) dataset as well as to monitor the availability and the use of radio frequency spectrum for present and future spaceborne imagers and for policy makers. In the paper we investigate the feasibility and the limits of this approach, and we provide a first Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) map with continental coverage over Europe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in SAR: Sensors, Methodologies, and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Source Parameters of the 2016–2017 Central Italy Earthquake Sequence from the Sentinel-1, ALOS-2 and GPS Data
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1182; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111182
Received: 16 August 2017 / Revised: 11 November 2017 / Accepted: 15 November 2017 / Published: 17 November 2017
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Abstract
In this study, joint inversions of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and Global Position System (GPS) measurements are used to investigate the source parameters of four Mw > 5 events of the 2016–2017 Central Italy earthquake sequence. The results show that the four events
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In this study, joint inversions of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and Global Position System (GPS) measurements are used to investigate the source parameters of four Mw > 5 events of the 2016–2017 Central Italy earthquake sequence. The results show that the four events are all associated with a normal fault striking northwest–southeast and dipping southwest. The observations, in all cases, are consistent with slip on a rupture plane, with strike in the range of 157° to 164° and dip in the range of 39° to 44° that penetrates the uppermost crust to a depth of 0 to 8 km. The primary characteristics of these four events are that the 24 August 2016 Mw 6.2 Amatrice earthquake had pronounced heterogeneity of the slip distribution marked by two main slip patches, the 26 October 2016 Mw 6.1 Visso earthquake had a concentrated slip at 3–6 km, and the predominant slip of the 30 October 2016 Mw 6.6 Norcia earthquake occurred on the fault with a peak magnitude of 2.5 m at a depth of 0–6 km, suggesting that the rupture may have reached the surface, and the 18 January 2017 Mw 5.7 Campotosto earthquake had a large area of sliding at depth 3–9 km. The positive static stress changes on the fault planes of the latter three events demonstrate that the 24 August 2016 Amatrice earthquake may have triggered a cascading failure of earthquakes along the complex normal fault system in Central Italy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radar Interferometry for Geohazards)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle Tree-Species Classification in Subtropical Forests Using Airborne Hyperspectral and LiDAR Data
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1180; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111180
Received: 21 September 2017 / Revised: 7 November 2017 / Accepted: 15 November 2017 / Published: 17 November 2017
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Abstract
Accurate classification of tree-species is essential for sustainably managing forest resources and effectively monitoring species diversity. In this study, we used simultaneously acquired hyperspectral and LiDAR data from LiCHy (Hyperspectral, LiDAR and CCD) airborne system to classify tree-species in subtropical forests of southeast
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Accurate classification of tree-species is essential for sustainably managing forest resources and effectively monitoring species diversity. In this study, we used simultaneously acquired hyperspectral and LiDAR data from LiCHy (Hyperspectral, LiDAR and CCD) airborne system to classify tree-species in subtropical forests of southeast China. First, each individual tree crown was extracted using the LiDAR data by a point cloud segmentation algorithm (PCS) and the sunlit portion of each crown was selected using the hyperspectral data. Second, different suites of hyperspectral and LiDAR metrics were extracted and selected by the indices of Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and the mean decrease in Gini index (MDG) from Random Forest (RF). Finally, both hyperspectral metrics (based on whole crown and sunlit crown) and LiDAR metrics were assessed and used as inputs to Random Forest classifier to discriminate five tree-species at two levels of classification. The results showed that the tree delineation approach (point cloud segmentation algorithm) was suitable for detecting individual tree in this study (overall accuracy = 82.9%). The classification approach provided a relatively high accuracy (overall accuracy > 85.4%) for classifying five tree-species in the study site. The classification using both hyperspectral and LiDAR metrics resulted in higher accuracies than only hyperspectral metrics (the improvement of overall accuracies = 0.4–5.6%). In addition, compared with the classification using whole crown metrics (overall accuracies = 85.4–89.3%), using sunlit crown metrics (overall accuracies = 87.1–91.5%) improved the overall accuracies of 2.3%. The results also suggested that fewer of the most important metrics can be used to classify tree-species effectively (overall accuracies = 85.8–91.0%). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Remote Sensing)
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Open AccessArticle Data Assimilation to Extract Soil Moisture Information from SMAP Observations
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1179; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111179
Received: 3 October 2017 / Revised: 3 November 2017 / Accepted: 9 November 2017 / Published: 17 November 2017
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Abstract
This study compares different methods to extract soil moisture information through the assimilation of Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observations. Neural network (NN) and physically-based SMAP soil moisture retrievals were assimilated into the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Catchment model over the
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This study compares different methods to extract soil moisture information through the assimilation of Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observations. Neural network (NN) and physically-based SMAP soil moisture retrievals were assimilated into the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Catchment model over the contiguous United States for April 2015 to March 2017. By construction, the NN retrievals are consistent with the global climatology of the Catchment model soil moisture. Assimilating the NN retrievals without further bias correction improved the surface and root zone correlations against in situ measurements from 14 SMAP core validation sites (CVS) by 0.12 and 0.16, respectively, over the model-only skill, and reduced the surface and root zone unbiased root-mean-square error (ubRMSE) by 0.005 m 3 m 3 and 0.001 m 3 m 3 , respectively. The assimilation reduced the average absolute surface bias against the CVS measurements by 0.009 m 3 m 3 , but increased the root zone bias by 0.014 m 3 m 3 . Assimilating the NN retrievals after a localized bias correction yielded slightly lower surface correlation and ubRMSE improvements, but generally the skill differences were small. The assimilation of the physically-based SMAP Level-2 passive soil moisture retrievals using a global bias correction yielded similar skill improvements, as did the direct assimilation of locally bias-corrected SMAP brightness temperatures within the SMAP Level-4 soil moisture algorithm. The results show that global bias correction methods may be able to extract more independent information from SMAP observations compared to local bias correction methods, but without accurate quality control and observation error characterization they are also more vulnerable to adverse effects from retrieval errors related to uncertainties in the retrieval inputs and algorithm. Furthermore, the results show that using global bias correction approaches without a simultaneous re-calibration of the land model processes can lead to skill degradation in other land surface variables. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Retrieval, Validation and Application of Satellite Soil Moisture Data)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation and Aggregation Properties of Thermal Infra-Red-Based Evapotranspiration Algorithms from 100 m to the km Scale over a Semi-Arid Irrigated Agricultural Area
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1178; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111178
Received: 23 August 2017 / Revised: 31 October 2017 / Accepted: 10 November 2017 / Published: 17 November 2017
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Abstract
Evapotranspiration (ET) estimates are particularly needed for monitoring the available water of arid lands. Remote sensing data offer the ideal spatial and temporal coverage needed by irrigation water management institutions to deal with increasing pressure on available water. Low spatial resolution (LR) products
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Evapotranspiration (ET) estimates are particularly needed for monitoring the available water of arid lands. Remote sensing data offer the ideal spatial and temporal coverage needed by irrigation water management institutions to deal with increasing pressure on available water. Low spatial resolution (LR) products present strong advantages. They cover larger zones and are acquired more frequently than high spatial resolution (HR) products. Current sensors such as Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) offer a long record history. However, validation of ET products at LR remains a difficult task. In this context, the objective of this study is to evaluate scaling properties of ET fluxes obtained at high and low resolution by two commonly used Energy Balance models, the Surface Energy Balance System (SEBS) and the Two-Source Energy Balance model (TSEB). Both are forced by local meteorological observations and remote sensing data in Visible, Near Infra-Red and Thermal Infra-Red spectral domains. Remotely sensed data stem from Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) and MODIS sensors, respectively, resampled at 100 m and 1000 m resolutions. The study zone is a square area of 4 by 4 km2 located in a semi-arid irrigated agricultural zone in the northwest of Mexico. Wheat is the dominant crop, followed by maize and vegetables. The HR ASTER dataset includes seven dates between the 30 December 2007 and 13 May 2008 and the LR MODIS products were retrieved for the same overpasses. ET retrievals from HR ASTER products provided reference ET maps at LR once linearly aggregated at the km scale. The quality of this retrieval was assessed using eddy covariance data at seven locations within the 4 by 4 km2 square. To investigate the impact of input aggregation, we first compared to the reference dataset all fluxes obtained by running TSEB and SEBS models using ASTER reflectances and radiances previously aggregated at the km scale. Second, we compared to the same reference dataset all fluxes obtained with SEBS and TSEB models using MODIS data. LR fluxes obtained by both models driven by aggregated ASTER input data compared well with the reference simulations and illustrated the relatively good accuracy achieved using aggregated inputs (relative bias of about 3.5% for SEBS and decreased to less than 1% for TSEB). Results also showed that MODIS ET estimates compared well with the reference simulation (relative bias was down to about 2% for SEBS and 3% for TSEB). Discrepancies were mainly related to fraction cover mapping for TSEB and to surface roughness length mapping for SEBS. This was consistent with the sensitivity analysis of those parameters previously published. To improve accuracy from LR estimates obtained using the 1 km surface temperature product provided by MODIS, we tested three statistical and one deterministic aggregation rules for the most sensible input parameter, the surface roughness length. The harmonic and geometric averages appeared to be the most accurate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensing in Agriculture and Vegetation)
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Open AccessArticle Automated Detection of Buildings from Heterogeneous VHR Satellite Images for Rapid Response to Natural Disasters
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1177; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111177
Received: 22 August 2017 / Revised: 3 November 2017 / Accepted: 14 November 2017 / Published: 17 November 2017
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Abstract
In this paper, we present a novel approach for automatically detecting buildings from multiple heterogeneous and uncalibrated very high-resolution (VHR) satellite images for a rapid response to natural disasters. In the proposed method, a simple and efficient visual attention method is first used
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In this paper, we present a novel approach for automatically detecting buildings from multiple heterogeneous and uncalibrated very high-resolution (VHR) satellite images for a rapid response to natural disasters. In the proposed method, a simple and efficient visual attention method is first used to extract built-up area candidates (BACs) from each multispectral (MS) satellite image. After this, morphological building indices (MBIs) are extracted from all the masked panchromatic (PAN) and MS images with BACs to characterize the structural features of buildings. Finally, buildings are automatically detected in a hierarchical probabilistic model by fusing the MBI and masked PAN images. The experimental results show that the proposed method is comparable to supervised classification methods in terms of recall, precision and F-value. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensing Image Processing)
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Open AccessArticle Monitoring Thermal Pollution in Rivers Downstream of Dams with Landsat ETM+ Thermal Infrared Images
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1175; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111175
Received: 19 September 2017 / Revised: 14 November 2017 / Accepted: 14 November 2017 / Published: 16 November 2017
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Abstract
Dams play a significant role in altering the spatial pattern of temperature in rivers and contribute to thermal pollution, which greatly affects the river aquatic ecosystems. Understanding the temporal and spatial variation of thermal pollution caused by dams is important to prevent or
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Dams play a significant role in altering the spatial pattern of temperature in rivers and contribute to thermal pollution, which greatly affects the river aquatic ecosystems. Understanding the temporal and spatial variation of thermal pollution caused by dams is important to prevent or mitigate its harmful effect. Assessments based on in-situ measurements are often limited in practice because of the inaccessibility of water temperature records and the scarcity of gauges along rivers. By contrast, thermal infrared remote sensing provides an alternative approach to monitor thermal pollution downstream of dams in large rivers, because it can cover a large area and observe the same zone repeatedly. In this study, Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) thermal infrared imagery were applied to assess the thermal pollution caused by two dams, the Geheyan Dam and the Gaobazhou Dam, located on the Qingjiang River, a tributary of the Yangtze River downstream of the Three Gorges Reservoir in Central China. The spatial and temporal characteristics of thermal pollution were analyzed with water temperatures estimated from 54 cloud-free Landsat ETM+ scenes acquired in the period from 2000 to 2014. The results show that water temperatures downstream of both dams are much cooler than those upstream of both dams in summer, and the water temperature remains stable along the river in winter, showing evident characteristic of the thermal pollution caused by dams. The area affected by the Geheyan Dam reaches beyond 20 km along the downstream river, and that affected by the Gaobazhou Dam extends beyond the point where the Qingjiang River enters the Yangtze River. Considering the long time series and global coverage of Landsat ETM+ imagery, the proposed technique in the current study provides a promising method for globally monitoring the thermal pollution caused by dams in large rivers. Full article
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