Sensors 2012, 12(9), 12437-12454; doi:10.3390/s120912437
Article

A Method for Application of Classification Tree Models to Map Aquatic Vegetation Using Remotely Sensed Images from Different Sensors and Dates

1,2,†email, 1,†,* email, 1email and 1email
Received: 28 July 2012; in revised form: 27 August 2012 / Accepted: 29 August 2012 / Published: 12 September 2012
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensors)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: In previous attempts to identify aquatic vegetation from remotely-sensed images using classification trees (CT), the images used to apply CT models to different times or locations necessarily originated from the same satellite sensor as that from which the original images used in model development came, greatly limiting the application of CT. We have developed an effective normalization method to improve the robustness of CT models when applied to images originating from different sensors and dates. A total of 965 ground-truth samples of aquatic vegetation types were obtained in 2009 and 2010 in Taihu Lake, China. Using relevant spectral indices (SI) as classifiers, we manually developed a stable CT model structure and then applied a standard CT algorithm to obtain quantitative (optimal) thresholds from 2009 ground-truth data and images from Landsat7-ETM+, HJ-1B-CCD, Landsat5-TM and ALOS-AVNIR-2 sensors. Optimal CT thresholds produced average classification accuracies of 78.1%, 84.7% and 74.0% for emergent vegetation, floating-leaf vegetation and submerged vegetation, respectively. However, the optimal CT thresholds for different sensor images differed from each other, with an average relative variation (RV) of 6.40%. We developed and evaluated three new approaches to normalizing the images. The best-performing method (Method of 0.1% index scaling) normalized the SI images using tailored percentages of extreme pixel values. Using the images normalized by Method of 0.1% index scaling, CT models for a particular sensor in which thresholds were replaced by those from the models developed for images originating from other sensors provided average classification accuracies of 76.0%, 82.8% and 68.9% for emergent vegetation, floating-leaf vegetation and submerged vegetation, respectively. Applying the CT models developed for normalized 2009 images to 2010 images resulted in high classification (78.0%–93.3%) and overall (92.0%–93.1%) accuracies. Our results suggest that Method of 0.1% index scaling provides a feasible way to apply CT models directly to images from sensors or time periods that differ from those of the images used to develop the original models.
Keywords: aquatic vegetation; remote sensing; classification tree; sensor systems
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MDPI and ACS Style

Jiang, H.; Zhao, D.; Cai, Y.; An, S. A Method for Application of Classification Tree Models to Map Aquatic Vegetation Using Remotely Sensed Images from Different Sensors and Dates. Sensors 2012, 12, 12437-12454.

AMA Style

Jiang H, Zhao D, Cai Y, An S. A Method for Application of Classification Tree Models to Map Aquatic Vegetation Using Remotely Sensed Images from Different Sensors and Dates. Sensors. 2012; 12(9):12437-12454.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Jiang, Hao; Zhao, Dehua; Cai, Ying; An, Shuqing. 2012. "A Method for Application of Classification Tree Models to Map Aquatic Vegetation Using Remotely Sensed Images from Different Sensors and Dates." Sensors 12, no. 9: 12437-12454.

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