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Remote Sens. 2011, 3(9), 1957-1982; doi:10.3390/rs3091957

ICESat/GLAS Data as a Measurement Tool for Peatland Topography and Peat Swamp Forest Biomass in Kalimantan, Indonesia

1
Biology Department II, GeoBio Center, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Grosshaderner Strasse 2, D-82152 Planegg-Martinsried, Germany
2
Remote Sensing Solutions GmbH, Isarstrasse 3, D-82065 München, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 July 2011 / Revised: 22 August 2011 / Accepted: 26 August 2011 / Published: 2 September 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Laser Scanning in Forests)
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Abstract

Indonesian peatlands are one of the largest near-surface pools of terrestrial organic carbon. Persistent logging, drainage and recurrent fires lead to huge emission of carbon each year. Since tropical peatlands are highly inaccessible, few measurements on peat depth and forest biomass are available. We assessed the applicability of quality filtered ICESat/GLAS (a spaceborne LiDAR system) data to measure peatland topography as a proxy for peat volume and to estimate peat swamp forest Above Ground Biomass (AGB) in a thoroughly investigated study site in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Mean Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) elevation was correlated to the corresponding ICESat/GLAS elevation. The best results were obtained from the waveform centroid (R2 = 0.92; n = 4,186). ICESat/GLAS terrain elevation was correlated to three 3D peatland elevation models derived from SRTM data (R2 = 0.90; overall difference = −1.0 m, ±3.2 m; n = 4,045). Based on the correlation of in situ peat swamp forest AGB and airborne LiDAR data (R2 = 0.75, n = 36) an ICESat/GLAS AGB prediction model was developed (R2 = 0.61, n = 35). These results demonstrate that ICESat/GLAS data can be used to measure peat topography and to collect large numbers of forest biomass samples in remote and highly inaccessible peatland forests.
Keywords: ICESat/GLAS; LiDAR; SRTM; tropical peatlands; carbon; above ground biomass; peat swamp forest; Indonesia ICESat/GLAS; LiDAR; SRTM; tropical peatlands; carbon; above ground biomass; peat swamp forest; Indonesia
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ballhorn, U.; Jubanski, J.; Siegert, F. ICESat/GLAS Data as a Measurement Tool for Peatland Topography and Peat Swamp Forest Biomass in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Remote Sens. 2011, 3, 1957-1982.

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