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Remote Sens. 2013, 5(11), 5449-5462; doi:10.3390/rs5115449
Article

Detection of Forest Clear-Cuts with Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) and Tandem-X InSAR Data

1,* , 1
 and
2
1 Norwegian Forest and Landscape Institute, National Forest Inventory, NO-1432 Ås, Norway 2 Land and Airsystems Division, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, NO-2027 Kjeller, Norway
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 September 2013 / Revised: 17 October 2013 / Accepted: 18 October 2013 / Published: 24 October 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analysis of Remote Sensing Image Data)
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Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine whether forest clear-cuts during 2000–2011 could be detected as a decrease in surface height by combining Digital Surface Models (DSMs) from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) and Tandem-X, and to evaluate the performance of this method using SRTM X- and C-band data as references representing the heights before logging. The study area was located in a Norway spruce-dominated forest estate in southeastern Norway. We interpolated 11-year DSM changes into a 10 m × 10 m raster, and averaged these changes per forest stand. Based on threshold values for DSM decreases we classified the pixels and stands into the categories “clear-cut” and “not clear-cut”, and compared this to a complete record of logged stands during 2000–2011. The classification accuracy was moderate or fairly good. A correct detection was achieved for 59%–67% of the clear-cut stands. Omission errors were most common, occurring in 33%–42% of the stands. Commission errors were found in 13%–21% of the clear-cut stands. The results obtained for X-band SRTM were only marginally better than for C-band. In conclusion, the combination of SRTM and Tandem-X has the potential of providing near global data sets for the recent 12 years’ logging, which should be particularly valuable for deforestation mapping.
Keywords: forest monitoring; clear-cut; digital surface model; Tandem-X; 3D; InSAR forest monitoring; clear-cut; digital surface model; Tandem-X; 3D; InSAR
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Solberg, S.; Astrup, R.; Weydahl, D.J. Detection of Forest Clear-Cuts with Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) and Tandem-X InSAR Data. Remote Sens. 2013, 5, 5449-5462.

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