Remote Sens. 2012, 4(9), 2866-2889; doi:10.3390/rs4092866
Article

Mapping Vegetation Density in a Heterogeneous River Floodplain Ecosystem Using Pointable CHRIS/PROBA Data

1 Image Processing Laboratory, Department of Earth Physics and Thermodynamics, University of Valencia, P.O. Box 22085, E-46071 Paterna (Valencia), Spain 2 Laboratory for Geo-Information and Remote Sensing, Wageningen University and Research Centre, Droevendaalsesteeg 3, 6708 PB Wageningen, The Netherlands
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 August 2012; in revised form: 14 September 2012 / Accepted: 17 September 2012 / Published: 24 September 2012
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Abstract: River floodplains in the Netherlands serve as water storage areas, while they also have the function of nature rehabilitation areas. Floodplain vegetation is therefore subject to natural processes of vegetation succession. At the same time, vegetation encroachment obstructs the water flow into the floodplains and increases the flood risk for the hinterland. Spaceborne pointable imaging spectroscopy has the potential to quantify vegetation density on the basis of leaf area index (LAI) from a desired view zenith angle. In this respect, hyperspectral pointable CHRIS data were linked to the ray tracing canopy reflectance model FLIGHT to retrieve vegetation density estimates over a heterogeneous river floodplain. FLIGHT enables simulating top-of-canopy reflectance of vegetated surfaces either in turbid (e.g., grasslands) or in 3D (e.g., forests) mode. By inverting FLIGHT against CHRIS data, LAI was computed for three main classified vegetation types, ‘herbaceous’, ‘shrubs’ and ‘forest’, and for the CHRIS view zenith angles in nadir, backward (−36°) and forward (+36°) scatter direction. The −36° direction showed most LAI variability within the vegetation types and was best validated, closely followed by the nadir direction. The +36° direction led to poorest LAI retrievals. The class-based inversion process has been implemented into a GUI toolbox which would enable the river manager to generate LAI maps in a semiautomatic way.
Keywords: pointable sensors; CHRIS/PROBA; leaf area index (LAI); inversion; radiative transfer (RT) model; FLIGHT; river floodplain ecosystem; vegetation density; hydraulic roughness

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MDPI and ACS Style

Verrelst, J.; Romijn, E.; Kooistra, L. Mapping Vegetation Density in a Heterogeneous River Floodplain Ecosystem Using Pointable CHRIS/PROBA Data. Remote Sens. 2012, 4, 2866-2889.

AMA Style

Verrelst J, Romijn E, Kooistra L. Mapping Vegetation Density in a Heterogeneous River Floodplain Ecosystem Using Pointable CHRIS/PROBA Data. Remote Sensing. 2012; 4(9):2866-2889.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Verrelst, Jochem; Romijn, Erika; Kooistra, Lammert. 2012. "Mapping Vegetation Density in a Heterogeneous River Floodplain Ecosystem Using Pointable CHRIS/PROBA Data." Remote Sens. 4, no. 9: 2866-2889.

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