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Remote Sens., Volume 5, Issue 12 (December 2013), Pages 6159-7016

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Research

Open AccessArticle Trends in Spring Phenology of Western European Deciduous Forests
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6159-6179; doi:10.3390/rs5126159
Received: 3 October 2013 / Revised: 12 November 2013 / Accepted: 13 November 2013 / Published: 25 November 2013
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (3137 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Plant phenology is changing because of recent global warming, and this change may precipitate changes in animal distribution (e.g., pests), alter the synchronization between species, and have feedback effects on the climate system through the alteration of biogeochemical and physical processes of vegetated
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Plant phenology is changing because of recent global warming, and this change may precipitate changes in animal distribution (e.g., pests), alter the synchronization between species, and have feedback effects on the climate system through the alteration of biogeochemical and physical processes of vegetated land surface. Here, ground observations (leaf unfolding/first leaf separation of six deciduous tree species) and satellite-derived start-of-growing season (SOS) are used to assess how the timing of leafing/SOS in Western European deciduous forest responded to climate variability between 2001 and 2011 and evaluate the reliability of satellite SOS estimates in tracking the response of forest leafing to climate variability in this area. Satellite SOS estimates are derived from the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) time series of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). Temporal trends in the SOS are quantified using linear regression, expressing SOS as a function of time. We demonstrated that the growing season was starting earlier between 2001 and 2011 for the majority of temperate deciduous forests in Western Europe, possibly influenced by regional spring warming effects experienced during the same period. A significant shift of up to 3 weeks to early leafing was found in both ground observations and satellite SOS estimates. We also show that the magnitude and trajectory of shifts in satellite SOS estimates are well comparable to that of in situ observations, hence highlighting the importance of satellite imagery in monitoring leaf phenology under a changing climate. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Novel Integrated Algorithm for Wind Vector Retrieval from Conically Scanning Scatterometers
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6180-6197; doi:10.3390/rs5126180
Received: 28 September 2013 / Revised: 12 November 2013 / Accepted: 13 November 2013 / Published: 25 November 2013
PDF Full-text (3201 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Due to the lower efficiency and the larger wind direction error of traditional algorithms, a novel integrated wind retrieval algorithm is proposed for conically scanning scatterometers. The proposed algorithm has the dual advantages of less computational cost and higher wind direction retrieval accuracy
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Due to the lower efficiency and the larger wind direction error of traditional algorithms, a novel integrated wind retrieval algorithm is proposed for conically scanning scatterometers. The proposed algorithm has the dual advantages of less computational cost and higher wind direction retrieval accuracy by integrating the wind speed standard deviation (WSSD) algorithm and the wind direction interval retrieval (DIR) algorithm. It adopts wind speed standard deviation as a criterion for searching possible wind vector solutions and retrieving a potential wind direction interval based on the change rate of the wind speed standard deviation. Moreover, a modified three-step ambiguity removal method is designed to let more wind directions be selected in the process of nudging and filtering. The performance of the new algorithm is illustrated by retrieval experiments using 300 orbits of SeaWinds/QuikSCAT L2A data (backscatter coefficients at 25 km resolution) and co-located buoy data. Experimental results indicate that the new algorithm can evidently enhance the wind direction retrieval accuracy, especially in the nadir region. In comparison with the SeaWinds L2B Version 2 25 km selected wind product (retrieved wind fields), an improvement of 5.1° in wind direction retrieval can be made by the new algorithm for that region. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Landslide Activity Maps Generation by Means of Persistent Scatterer Interferometry
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6198-6222; doi:10.3390/rs5126198
Received: 18 September 2013 / Revised: 11 November 2013 / Accepted: 13 November 2013 / Published: 25 November 2013
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (3526 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper a methodology is proposed to elaborate landslide activity maps through the use of PS (Persistent Scatterer) data. This is illustrated through the case study of Tramuntana Range in the island of Majorca (Spain), where ALOS (Advanced Land Observing Satellite) images
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In this paper a methodology is proposed to elaborate landslide activity maps through the use of PS (Persistent Scatterer) data. This is illustrated through the case study of Tramuntana Range in the island of Majorca (Spain), where ALOS (Advanced Land Observing Satellite) images have been processed through a Persistent Scatterer Interferometry (PSI) technique during the period of 2007–2010. The landslide activity map provides, for every monitored landslide, an assessment of the PS visibility according to the relief, land use, and satellite acquisition parameters. Landslide displacement measurements are projected along the steepest slope, in order to compare landslide velocities with different slope orientations. Additionally, a ground motion activity map is also generated, based on active PS clusters not included within any known landslide phenomenon, but even moving, potentially referred to unmapped landslides or triggered by other kinds of geomorphological processes. In the Tramuntana range, 42 landslides were identified as active, four as being potential to produce moderate damage, intersecting the road Ma-10, which represents the most important road of the island and, thus, the main element at risk. In order to attest the reliability of measured displacements to represent landslide dynamics, a confidence degree evaluation is proposed. In this test site, seven landslides exhibit a high confidence degree, medium for 93 of them, and low for 51. A low confidence degree was also attributed to 615 detected active clusters with a potential to cause moderate damage, as their mechanism of the triggering cause is unknown. From this total amount, 18 of them intersect the Ma-10, representing further potentially hazardous areas. The outcomes of this work reveal the usefulness of landslide activity maps for environmental planning activities, being exportable to other radar data and different geomorphological settings. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Satellite Regional Cloud Climatology over the Great Lakes
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6223-6240; doi:10.3390/rs5126223
Received: 8 October 2013 / Revised: 14 November 2013 / Accepted: 15 November 2013 / Published: 25 November 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (4996 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Thirty-one years of imager data from polar orbiting satellites are composited to produce a satellite climate data set of cloud amount for the Great Lakes region. A trend analysis indicates a slight decreasing trend in cloud cover over the region during this time
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Thirty-one years of imager data from polar orbiting satellites are composited to produce a satellite climate data set of cloud amount for the Great Lakes region. A trend analysis indicates a slight decreasing trend in cloud cover over the region during this time period. The trend is significant and largest (~2% per decade) over the water bodies. A strong seasonal cycle of cloud cover is observed over both land and water surfaces. Winter cloud amounts are greater over the water bodies than land due to heat and moisture flux into the atmosphere. Late spring through early autumn cloud amounts are lower over the water bodies than land due to stabilization of the boundary layer by relatively cooler lake waters. The influence of the lakes on cloud cover also extends beyond their shores, affecting cloud cover and properties far down wind. Cloud amount composited by wind direction demonstrate that the increasing cloud amounts downwind of the lakes is greatest during autumn and winter. Cold air flows over relatively warm lakes in autumn and winter generate wind parallel convective cloud bands. The cloud properties of these wind parallel cloud bands over the lakes during winter are presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere)
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Open AccessArticle Progress towards an Autonomous Field Deployable Diode-Laser-Based Differential Absorption Lidar (DIAL) for Profiling Water Vapor in the Lower Troposphere
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6241-6259; doi:10.3390/rs5126241
Received: 31 August 2013 / Revised: 2 November 2013 / Accepted: 13 November 2013 / Published: 25 November 2013
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (1005 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A laser transmitter has been developed and incorporated into a micro-pulse differential absorption lidar (DIAL) for water vapor profiling in the lower troposphere as an important step towards long-term autonomous field operation. The laser transmitter utilizes two distributed Bragg reflector (DBR) diode lasers
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A laser transmitter has been developed and incorporated into a micro-pulse differential absorption lidar (DIAL) for water vapor profiling in the lower troposphere as an important step towards long-term autonomous field operation. The laser transmitter utilizes two distributed Bragg reflector (DBR) diode lasers to injection seed a pulsed tapered semiconductor optical amplifier (TSOA), and is capable of producing up to 10 mJ of pulse energy with a 1 ms pulse duration and a 10 kHz pulse repetition frequency. The on-line wavelength of the laser transmitter can operate anywhere along the water vapor absorption feature centered at 828.187 nm (in vacuum) depending on the prevailing atmospheric conditions, while the off-line wavelength operates at 828.287 nm. This laser transmitter has been incorporated into a DIAL instrument utilizing a 35.6 cm Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope and fiber coupled avalanche photodiode (APD) operating in the photon counting mode. The performance of the DIAL instrument was demonstrated over a ten-day observation period. During this observation period, data from radiosondes were used to retrieve water vapor number density profiles for comparisons with the number density profiles retrieved from the DIAL data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere)
Open AccessArticle Semi-Automatic Registration of Airborne and Terrestrial Laser Scanning Data Using Building Corner Matching with Boundaries as Reliability Check
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6260-6283; doi:10.3390/rs5126260
Received: 26 August 2013 / Revised: 25 October 2013 / Accepted: 8 November 2013 / Published: 25 November 2013
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (2555 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Data registration is a prerequisite for the integration of multi-platform laser scanning in various applications. A new approach is proposed for the semi-automatic registration of airborne and terrestrial laser scanning data with buildings without eaves. Firstly, an automatic calculation procedure for thresholds in
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Data registration is a prerequisite for the integration of multi-platform laser scanning in various applications. A new approach is proposed for the semi-automatic registration of airborne and terrestrial laser scanning data with buildings without eaves. Firstly, an automatic calculation procedure for thresholds in density of projected points (DoPP) method is introduced to extract boundary segments from terrestrial laser scanning data. A new algorithm, using a self-extending procedure, is developed to recover the extracted boundary segments, which then intersect to form the corners of buildings. The building corners extracted from airborne and terrestrial laser scanning are reliably matched through an automatic iterative process in which boundaries from two datasets are compared for the reliability check. The experimental results illustrate that the proposed approach provides both high reliability and high geometric accuracy (average error of 0.44 m/0.15 m in horizontal/vertical direction for corresponding building corners) for the final registration of airborne laser scanning (ALS) and tripod mounted terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) data. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A New Laser Based Approach for Measuring Atmospheric Greenhouse Gases
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6284-6304; doi:10.3390/rs5126284
Received: 23 September 2013 / Revised: 12 November 2013 / Accepted: 18 November 2013 / Published: 25 November 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1570 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In 2012, we developed a proof-of-concept system for a new open-path laser absorption spectrometer concept for measuring atmospheric CO2. The measurement approach utilizes high-reliability all-fiber-based, continuous-wave laser technology, along with a unique all-digital lock-in amplifier method that, together, enables simultaneous transmission
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In 2012, we developed a proof-of-concept system for a new open-path laser absorption spectrometer concept for measuring atmospheric CO2. The measurement approach utilizes high-reliability all-fiber-based, continuous-wave laser technology, along with a unique all-digital lock-in amplifier method that, together, enables simultaneous transmission and reception of multiple fixed wavelengths of light. This new technique, which utilizes very little transmitted energy relative to conventional lidar systems, provides high signal-to-noise (SNR) measurements, even in the presence of a large background signal. This proof-of-concept system, tested in both a laboratory environment and a limited number of field experiments over path lengths of 680 m and 1,600 m, demonstrated SNR values >1,000 for received signals of ~18 picoWatts averaged over 60 s. A SNR of 1,000 is equivalent to a measurement precision of ±0.001 or ~0.4 ppmv. The measurement method is expected to provide new capability for automated monitoring of greenhouse gas at fixed sites, such as carbon sequestration facilities, volcanoes, the short- and long-term assessment of urban plumes, and other similar applications. In addition, this concept enables active measurements of column amounts from a geosynchronous orbit for a network of ground-based receivers/stations that would complement other current and planned space-based measurement capabilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere)
Open AccessArticle Calving Fronts of Antarctica: Mapping and Classification
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6305-6322; doi:10.3390/rs5126305
Received: 25 September 2013 / Revised: 6 November 2013 / Accepted: 7 November 2013 / Published: 25 November 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (7121 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Antarctica is surrounded by a variety of large, medium and small sized ice shelves, glacier tongues and coastal areas without offshore floating ice masses. We used the mosaic of the Radarsat-1 Antarctica Mapping Project (RAMP) Antarctic Mapping Mission 1 (AMM) to classify the
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Antarctica is surrounded by a variety of large, medium and small sized ice shelves, glacier tongues and coastal areas without offshore floating ice masses. We used the mosaic of the Radarsat-1 Antarctica Mapping Project (RAMP) Antarctic Mapping Mission 1 (AMM) to classify the coastline of Antarctica in terms of surface structure patterns close to the calving front. With the aid of an automated edge detection method, complemented by manual control, the surface structures of all ice shelves and glacier tongues around Antarctica were mapped. We found dense and less dense patterns of surface structures unevenly distributed over the ice shelves and ice tongues. Dense surface patterns are frequent on fast flowing ice masses (ice streams), whereas most ice shelves show a dense surface pattern only close to the grounding line. Flow line analyses on ten ice shelves reveal that the time of residence of the ice along a flow path and—associated with it—the healing of surface crevasses can explain the different surface structure distribution close to the grounding line and the calving front on many ice shelves. Based on the surface structures relative to the calving front within a 15 km-wide seaward strip, the ice shelf fronts can be separated into three classes. The resulting map of the classified calving fronts around Antarctica and their description provide a detailed picture of crevasse formation and the observed dominant iceberg shapes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cryospheric Remote Sensing)
Open AccessArticle Trait Estimation in Herbaceous Plant Assemblages from in situ Canopy Spectra
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6323-6345; doi:10.3390/rs5126323
Received: 23 September 2013 / Revised: 7 November 2013 / Accepted: 13 November 2013 / Published: 25 November 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1218 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Estimating plant traits in herbaceous plant assemblages from spectral reflectance data requires aggregation of small scale trait variations to a canopy mean value that is ecologically meaningful and corresponds to the trait content that affects the canopy spectral signal. We investigated estimation capacities
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Estimating plant traits in herbaceous plant assemblages from spectral reflectance data requires aggregation of small scale trait variations to a canopy mean value that is ecologically meaningful and corresponds to the trait content that affects the canopy spectral signal. We investigated estimation capacities of plant traits in a herbaceous setting and how different trait-aggregation methods influence estimation accuracies. Canopy reflectance of 40 herbaceous plant assemblages was measured in situ and biomass was analysed for N, P and C concentration, chlorophyll, lignin, phenol, tannin and specific water concentration, expressed on a mass basis (mg∙g−1). Using Specific Leaf Area (SLA) and Leaf Area Index (LAI), traits were aggregated to two additional expressions: mass per leaf surface (mg∙m−2) and mass per canopy surface (mg∙m−2). All traits were related to reflectance using partial least squares regression. Accuracy of trait estimation varied between traits but was mainly influenced by the trait expression. Chlorophyll and traits expressed on canopy surface were least accurately estimated. Results are attributed to damping or enhancement of the trait signal upon conversion from mass based trait values to leaf and canopy surface expressions. A priori determination of the most appropriate trait expression is viable by considering plant growing strategies. Full article
Open AccessArticle An Improved Image Fusion Approach Based on Enhanced Spatial and Temporal the Adaptive Reflectance Fusion Model
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6346-6360; doi:10.3390/rs5126346
Received: 1 August 2013 / Revised: 8 November 2013 / Accepted: 11 November 2013 / Published: 26 November 2013
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (1355 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
High spatiotemporal resolution satellite imagery is useful for natural resource management and monitoring for land-use and land-cover change and ecosystem dynamics. However, acquisitions from a single satellite can be limited, due to trade-offs in either spatial or temporal resolution. The spatial and temporal
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High spatiotemporal resolution satellite imagery is useful for natural resource management and monitoring for land-use and land-cover change and ecosystem dynamics. However, acquisitions from a single satellite can be limited, due to trade-offs in either spatial or temporal resolution. The spatial and temporal adaptive reflectance fusion model (STARFM) and the enhanced STARFM (ESTARFM) were developed to produce new images with high spatial and high temporal resolution using images from multiple sources. Nonetheless, there were some shortcomings in these models, especially for the procedure of searching spectrally similar neighbor pixels in the models. In order to improve these models’ capacity and accuracy, we developed a modified version of ESTARFM (mESTARFM) and tested the performance of two approaches (ESTARFM and mESTARFM) in three study areas located in Canada and China at different time intervals. The results show that mESTARFM improved the accuracy of the simulated reflectance at fine resolution to some extent. Full article
Open AccessArticle Airborne Thermal Data Identifies Groundwater Discharge at the North-Western Coast of the Dead Sea
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6361-6381; doi:10.3390/rs5126361
Received: 20 September 2013 / Revised: 8 November 2013 / Accepted: 8 November 2013 / Published: 26 November 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (6716 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A qualitative and quantitative monitoring of groundwater discharge was conducted based on an airborne thermal campaign undertaken along the north-western coast of the Dead Sea in January 2011 to contribute to the relatively scarce information on groundwater discharge to date in the region.
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A qualitative and quantitative monitoring of groundwater discharge was conducted based on an airborne thermal campaign undertaken along the north-western coast of the Dead Sea in January 2011 to contribute to the relatively scarce information on groundwater discharge to date in the region. The application of airborne thermal data exploits thermal contrasts that exist between discharging groundwater and background sea surface temperatures of the Dead Sea. Using these contrasts, 72 discharge sites were identified from which only 42 were known from previous in situ measurements undertaken at terrestrial springs by the Israel Hydrological Service. Six of these sites represent submarine springs and at a further 24 locations groundwater appears to seep through the sediment. Although the abundance of groundwater seepage sites suggests a significant, but so far unknown groundwater source, the main contribution appears to originate from terrestrial springs. In an attempt to provide a quantitative approach for terrestrial springs, a linear bootstrap regression model between in situ spring discharge and respective thermal discharge plumes (r2 = 0.87 p < 0.001) is developed and presented here. While the results appear promising and could potentially be applied to derive discharge values at unmonitored sites, several influence factors need to be clarified before a robust and reliable model to efficiently derive a complete quantitative picture of groundwater discharge can be proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Remote Sensing)
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Open AccessArticle Seamless Mapping of River Channels at High Resolution Using Mobile LiDAR and UAV-Photography
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6382-6407; doi:10.3390/rs5126382
Received: 10 October 2013 / Revised: 6 November 2013 / Accepted: 18 November 2013 / Published: 27 November 2013
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (4230 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Accurate terrain models are a crucial component of studies of river channel evolution. In this paper we describe a new methodology for creating high-resolution seamless digital terrain models (DTM) of river channels and their floodplains. We combine mobile laser scanning and low-altitude unmanned
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Accurate terrain models are a crucial component of studies of river channel evolution. In this paper we describe a new methodology for creating high-resolution seamless digital terrain models (DTM) of river channels and their floodplains. We combine mobile laser scanning and low-altitude unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) photography-based methods for creating both a digital bathymetric model of the inundated river channel and a DTM of a point bar of a meandering sub-arctic river. We evaluate mobile laser scanning and UAV-based photogrammetry point clouds against terrestrial laser scanning and combine these data with an optical bathymetric model to create a seamless DTM of two different measurement periods. Using this multi-temporal seamless data, we calculate a DTM of difference that allows a change detection of the meander bend over a one-year period. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Multi-Decadal Mangrove Forest Change Detection and Prediction in Honduras, Central America, with Landsat Imagery and a Markov Chain Model
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6408-6426; doi:10.3390/rs5126408
Received: 30 September 2013 / Revised: 22 November 2013 / Accepted: 25 November 2013 / Published: 27 November 2013
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (4565 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mangrove forests play an important role in providing ecological and socioeconomic services for human society. Coastal development, which converts mangrove forests to other land uses, has often ignored the services that mangrove may provide, leading to irreversible environmental degradation. Monitoring the spatiotemporal distribution
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Mangrove forests play an important role in providing ecological and socioeconomic services for human society. Coastal development, which converts mangrove forests to other land uses, has often ignored the services that mangrove may provide, leading to irreversible environmental degradation. Monitoring the spatiotemporal distribution of mangrove forests is thus critical for natural resources management of mangrove ecosystems. This study investigates spatiotemporal changes in Honduran mangrove forests using Landsat imagery during the periods 1985–1996, 1996–2002, and 2002–2013. The future trend of mangrove forest changes was projected by a Markov chain model to support decision-making for coastal management. The remote sensing data were processed through three main steps: (1) data pre-processing to correct geometric errors between the Landsat imageries and to perform reflectance normalization; (2) image classification with the unsupervised Otsu’s method and change detection; and (3) mangrove change projection using a Markov chain model. Validation of the unsupervised Otsu’s method was made by comparing the classification results with the ground reference data in 2002, which yielded satisfactory agreement with an overall accuracy of 91.1% and Kappa coefficient of 0.82. When examining mangrove changes from 1985 to 2013, approximately 11.9% of the mangrove forests were transformed to other land uses, especially shrimp farming, while little effort (3.9%) was applied for mangrove rehabilitation during this 28-year period. Changes in the extent of mangrove forests were further projected until 2020, indicating that the area of mangrove forests could be continuously reduced by 1,200 ha from 2013 (approximately 36,700 ha) to 2020 (approximately 35,500 ha). Institutional interventions should be taken for sustainable management of mangrove ecosystems in this coastal region. Full article
Open AccessArticle Openness as Visualization Technique for Interpretative Mapping of Airborne Lidar Derived Digital Terrain Models
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6427-6442; doi:10.3390/rs5126427
Received: 16 October 2013 / Revised: 25 November 2013 / Accepted: 26 November 2013 / Published: 28 November 2013
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (1639 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Openness is proposed as a visualization technique for the archaeological interpretation of digital terrain models derived from airborne laser scanning. In contrast to various shading techniques, openness is not subject to directional bias and relief features highlighted by openness do not contain any
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Openness is proposed as a visualization technique for the archaeological interpretation of digital terrain models derived from airborne laser scanning. In contrast to various shading techniques, openness is not subject to directional bias and relief features highlighted by openness do not contain any horizontal displacement. Additionally, it offers a clear distinction between relief features and the surrounding topography, while it highlights both the highest and lowest parts of features. This makes openness an ideal tool for mapping and outlining of archaeological features. A comparison with sky-view factor and local relief model visualizations helps to evaluate advantages and limits of the technique. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives of Remote Sensing for Archaeology)
Open AccessArticle Spatiotemporal Patterns of Urban Encroachment on Cropland and Its Impacts on Potential Agricultural Productivity in China
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6443-6460; doi:10.3390/rs5126443
Received: 15 October 2013 / Revised: 20 November 2013 / Accepted: 25 November 2013 / Published: 29 November 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1770 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Rapid urbanization and population growth in China have raised great concerns regarding food security caused by the loss of limited cultivated land. In this study, we used remotely sensed data and an agricultural productivity estimation model to characterize the spatiotemporal patterns of the
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Rapid urbanization and population growth in China have raised great concerns regarding food security caused by the loss of limited cultivated land. In this study, we used remotely sensed data and an agricultural productivity estimation model to characterize the spatiotemporal patterns of the conversion of cropland into urban land and quantify its impacts on agricultural productivity potential during China’s rapid urbanization period, from 1990 to 2010. The results show that urban development has transformed approximately 4.18 Mha, or 2.26%, of the total cropland in China. From 1990 to 2000, approximately 1.50 Mha of cropland was developed, while roughly 1.8 times this amount (2.68 Mha) was converted over the period of 2000 to 2010. Most of the conversion is located in the central and eastern coastal provinces and is mainly concentrated on the periphery of the major urban areas. The transformation has, consequently, caused a 71.45 Tg, or 2.65%, loss of potential light-temperature agricultural productivity (PLTAP); losses were 24.33 Tg in the first decade of the study and 47.11 Tg in the second. At the provincial scale, the largest percentages of PLTAP loss are mainly concentrated in the developed provinces on the eastern coast, such as Shanghai, Beijing, Zhejiang, Tianjin, and Jiangsu. Considering that these areas can accommodate more people and produce higher economic output on unit area of built-up land and, yet, scarce land that can be reclaimed, this study suggests that the dynamic balance of total farmland policy in China should be varied provincially according to the major function of the province. The policy adjustment will help maximize the utilization efficiency of land. Full article
Open AccessArticle Canopy Fuel Load Mapping of Mediterranean Pine Sites Based on Individual Tree-Crown Delineation
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6461-6480; doi:10.3390/rs5126461
Received: 28 August 2013 / Revised: 25 November 2013 / Accepted: 26 November 2013 / Published: 2 December 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1992 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study presents an individual tree-crown-based approach for canopy fuel load estimation and mapping in two Mediterranean pine stands. Based on destructive sampling, an allometric equation was developed for the estimation of crown fuel weight considering only pine crown width, a tree characteristic
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This study presents an individual tree-crown-based approach for canopy fuel load estimation and mapping in two Mediterranean pine stands. Based on destructive sampling, an allometric equation was developed for the estimation of crown fuel weight considering only pine crown width, a tree characteristic that can be estimated from passive imagery. Two high resolution images were used originally for discriminating Aleppo and Calabrian pines crown regions through a geographic object based image analysis approach. Subsequently, the crown region images were segmented using a watershed segmentation algorithm and crown width was extracted. The overall accuracy of the tree crown isolation expressed through a perfect match between the reference and the delineated crowns was 34.00% for the Kassandra site and 48.11% for the Thessaloniki site, while the coefficient of determination between the ground measured and the satellite extracted crown width was 0.5. Canopy fuel load values estimated in the current study presented mean values from 1.29 ± 0.6 to 1.65 ± 0.7 kg/m2 similar to other conifers worldwide. Despite the modest accuracies attained in this first study of individual tree crown fuel load mapping, the combination of the allometric equations with satellite-based extracted crown width information, can contribute to the spatially explicit mapping of canopy fuel load in Mediterranean areas. These maps can be used among others in fire behavior prediction, in fuel reduction treatments prioritization and during active fire suppression. Full article
Open AccessArticle Seasonal Composite Landsat TM/ETM+ Images Using the Medoid (a Multi-Dimensional Median)
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6481-6500; doi:10.3390/rs5126481
Received: 16 October 2013 / Revised: 11 November 2013 / Accepted: 28 November 2013 / Published: 2 December 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (11731 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Multi-temporal satellite imagery can be composited over a season (or other time period) to produce imagery which is representative of that period, using techniques which will reduce contamination by cloud and other problems. For the purposes of vegetation monitoring, a commonly used technique
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Multi-temporal satellite imagery can be composited over a season (or other time period) to produce imagery which is representative of that period, using techniques which will reduce contamination by cloud and other problems. For the purposes of vegetation monitoring, a commonly used technique is the Maximum NDVI Composite, used in conjunction with variety of other constraints. The current paper proposes an alternative based on the medoid (in reflectance space) over the time period (the medoid is a multi-dimensional analogue of the median), which is robust against extreme values, and appears to be better at producing imagery which is representative of the time period. For each pixel, the medoid is always selected from the available dates, so the result is always a single observation for that pixel, thus preserving relationships between bands. The method is applied to Landsat TM/ETM+ imagery to create seasonal reflectance images (four per year), with the aim being a regular time series of reflectance values which captures the variability at seasonal time scales. Analysis of the seasonal reflectance values suggests that resulting temporal image composites are more representative of the time series than the maximum NDVI seasonal composite. Full article
Open AccessCommunication Videographic Analysis of Eriophorum Vaginatum Spatial Coverage in an Ombotrophic Bog
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6501-6512; doi:10.3390/rs5126501
Received: 16 October 2013 / Revised: 22 November 2013 / Accepted: 28 November 2013 / Published: 2 December 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (3155 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) as well as newer automated unmanned aerial vehicles is becoming a standard method in remote sensing studies requiring high spatial resolution (<1 m) and very precise temporal data to capture phenological events. In this study
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The use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) as well as newer automated unmanned aerial vehicles is becoming a standard method in remote sensing studies requiring high spatial resolution (<1 m) and very precise temporal data to capture phenological events. In this study we use a low cost rotorcraft to map Eriophorum vaginatum at Mer Bleue, an ombrotrophic bog located east of Ottawa, ON, Canada. We focus on E. vaginatum because this sedge plays an important role in methane (CH4) gas exchange in peatlands. Using the remote controlled rotorcraft we were able to record, process, and mosaic 11.1 hectares of 4.5 cm spatial resolution imagery extracted from individual frames of video recordings (post georegistration RMSE 4.90 ± 4.95 cm). Our results, based on a supervised classification (96% accuracy) of the red, green, blue image planes, indicate a total tussock cover of 2,417 m2. Because the basal area of the plant is more relevant for calculating its contribution to the CH4 flux, the tussock area was related to the basal area from field data (R2 = 0.88, p < 0.0001). Our final results indicate a total basal area of 1,786 ± 62.8 m2. Based on temporal measurements of CH4 flux from the peatland as a whole that vary over the growing season, we estimate the E. vaginatum contribution to range from 3.0% to 17.3% of that total. Overall, our low cost approach was an effective non-destructive way to derive E. vaginatum coverage and estimate CH4 exchange over the growing season. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Peatlands)
Open AccessArticle Combined Spatial and Temporal Effects of Environmental Controls on Long-Term Monthly NDVI in the Southern Africa Savanna
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6513-6538; doi:10.3390/rs5126513
Received: 15 September 2013 / Revised: 10 October 2013 / Accepted: 28 October 2013 / Published: 3 December 2013
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (2080 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Deconstructing the drivers of large-scale vegetation change is critical to predicting and managing projected climate and land use changes that will affect regional vegetation cover in degraded or threated ecosystems. We investigate the shared dynamics of spatially variable vegetation across three large watersheds
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Deconstructing the drivers of large-scale vegetation change is critical to predicting and managing projected climate and land use changes that will affect regional vegetation cover in degraded or threated ecosystems. We investigate the shared dynamics of spatially variable vegetation across three large watersheds in the southern Africa savanna. Dynamic Factor Analysis (DFA), a multivariate time-series dimension reduction technique, was used to identify the most important physical drivers of regional vegetation change. We first evaluated the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR)- vs. the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)-based Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) datasets across their overlapping period (2001–2010). NDVI follows a general pattern of cyclic seasonal variation, with distinct spatio-temporal patterns across physio-geographic regions. Both NDVI products produced similar DFA models, although MODIS was simulated better. Soil moisture and precipitation controlled NDVI for mean annual precipitation (MAP) < 750 mm, and above this, evaporation and mean temperature dominated. A second DFA with the full AVHRR (1982–2010) data found that for MAP < 750 mm, soil moisture and actual evapotranspiration control NDVI dynamics, followed by mean and maximum temperatures. Above 950 mm, actual evapotranspiration and precipitation dominate. The quantification of the combined spatio-temporal environmental drivers of NDVI expands our ability to understand landscape level changes in vegetation evaluated through remote sensing and improves the basis for the management of vulnerable regions, like the southern Africa savannas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring Global Vegetation with AVHRR NDVI3g Data (1981-2011))
Open AccessArticle Spatial Quality Assessment of Pan-Sharpened High Resolution Satellite Imagery Based on an Automatically Estimated Edge Based Metric
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6539-6559; doi:10.3390/rs5126539
Received: 6 September 2013 / Revised: 23 September 2013 / Accepted: 19 October 2013 / Published: 3 December 2013
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (5639 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Most of the existing pan-sharpening quality assessment methods consider only the spectral quality and there are just few investigations, which concentrate on spatial characteristics. Spatial quality of pan-sharpened images is vital in elaborating the capability of object extraction, identification, or reconstruction, especially regarding
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Most of the existing pan-sharpening quality assessment methods consider only the spectral quality and there are just few investigations, which concentrate on spatial characteristics. Spatial quality of pan-sharpened images is vital in elaborating the capability of object extraction, identification, or reconstruction, especially regarding man-made objects and their application for large scale mapping in urban areas. This paper presents an Edge based image Fusion Metric (EFM) for spatial quality evaluation of pan-sharpening in high resolution satellite imagery. Considering Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) as a precise measurement of edge response, MTFs of pan-sharpened images are assessed and compared to those obtained from the original multispectral or panchromatic images. Spatial quality assessment of pan-sharpening is done by comparison of MTF curves of the pan-sharpened and reference images. The capability of the proposed method is evaluated by quality assessment of two different residential and industrial urban areas of WorldView-2 pan-sharpened images. Obtained results clearly show the wide spatial discrepancy in quality of Pan-sharpened images, resulting from different fusion methods, and confirm the need for spatial quality assessment of fused products. The results also prove the capability of the proposed EFM as a powerful tool for evaluation and comparison of different image fusion techniques and products. Full article
Open AccessArticle Orthogonal Equations of Multi-Spectral Satellite Imagery for the Identification of Un-Excavated Archaeological Sites
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6560-6586; doi:10.3390/rs5126560
Received: 26 August 2013 / Revised: 26 November 2013 / Accepted: 27 November 2013 / Published: 3 December 2013
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (7694 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper aims to introduce new linear orthogonal equations for different satellite data derived from QuickBird; IKONOS; WorldView-2; GeoEye-1, ASTER; Landsat 4 TM and Landsat 7 ETM+ sensors, in order to enhance the exposure of crop marks. The latest are of significant value
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This paper aims to introduce new linear orthogonal equations for different satellite data derived from QuickBird; IKONOS; WorldView-2; GeoEye-1, ASTER; Landsat 4 TM and Landsat 7 ETM+ sensors, in order to enhance the exposure of crop marks. The latest are of significant value for the detection of buried archaeological features using remote sensing techniques. The proposed transformations, re-projects the initial VNIR bands of the satellite image, into a new 3D coordinate system where the first component is the so called “crop mark”, the second component “vegetation” and the third component “soil”. For the purpose of this study, a large ground spectral signature database has been explored and analyzed separately for each different satellite image. The narrow band reflectance has been re-calculated using the Relative Spectral Response filters of each sensor, and then a PCA analysis was carried out. Subsequently, the first three PCA components were rotated in order to enhance the detection of crop marks. Finally, all proposed transformations have been successfully evaluated in different existing archaeological sites and some interesting crop marks have been exposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives of Remote Sensing for Archaeology)
Open AccessArticle Temporal and Seasonal Variations of the Hot Spring Basin Hydrothermal System, Yellowstone National Park, USA
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6587-6610; doi:10.3390/rs5126587
Received: 18 September 2013 / Revised: 15 November 2013 / Accepted: 18 November 2013 / Published: 3 December 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (5643 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Monitoring Yellowstone National Park’s hydrothermal systems and establishing hydrothermal baselines are the main goals of an ongoing collaborative effort between Yellowstone National Park’s Geology program and Utah State University’s Remote Sensing Services Laboratory. During the first years of this research effort, improvements were
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Monitoring Yellowstone National Park’s hydrothermal systems and establishing hydrothermal baselines are the main goals of an ongoing collaborative effort between Yellowstone National Park’s Geology program and Utah State University’s Remote Sensing Services Laboratory. During the first years of this research effort, improvements were made in image acquisition, processing and calibration. In 2007, a broad-band, forward looking infrared (FLIR) camera (8–12 microns) provided reliable airborne images for a hydrothermal baseline of the Hot Spring Basin hydrothermal system. From 2008 to 2011, night-time, airborne thermal infrared image acquisitions during September yielded temperature maps that established the temporal variability of the hydrothermal system. A March 2012 airborne image acquisition provided an initial assessment of seasonal variability. The consistent, high-spatial resolution imagery (~1 m) demonstrates that the technique is robust and repeatable for generating corrected (atmosphere and emissivity) and calibrated temperature maps of the Hot Spring Basin hydrothermal system. Atmospheric conditions before and at flight-time determine the usefulness of the thermal infrared imagery for geohydrologic applications, such as hydrothermal monitoring. Although these ground-surface temperature maps are easily understood, quantification of radiative heat from the Hot Spring Basin hydrothermal system is an estimate of the system’s total energy output. Area is a key parameter for calculating the hydrothermal system’s heat output. Preliminary heat calculations suggest a radiative heat output of ~56 MW to 62 MW for the central Hot Spring Basin hydrothermal system. Challenges still remain in removing the latent solar component within the calibrated, atmospherically adjusted, and emissivity corrected night-time imagery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Remote Sensing)
Open AccessArticle Indoor Localization Algorithms for an Ambulatory Human Operated 3D Mobile Mapping System
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6611-6646; doi:10.3390/rs5126611
Received: 18 October 2013 / Revised: 25 November 2013 / Accepted: 28 November 2013 / Published: 3 December 2013
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (8768 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Indoor localization and mapping is an important problem with many applications such as emergency response, architectural modeling, and historical preservation. In this paper, we develop an automatic, off-line pipeline for metrically accurate, GPS-denied, indoor 3D mobile mapping using a human-mounted backpack system consisting
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Indoor localization and mapping is an important problem with many applications such as emergency response, architectural modeling, and historical preservation. In this paper, we develop an automatic, off-line pipeline for metrically accurate, GPS-denied, indoor 3D mobile mapping using a human-mounted backpack system consisting of a variety of sensors. There are three novel contributions in our proposed mapping approach. First, we present an algorithm which automatically detects loop closure constraints from an occupancy grid map. In doing so, we ensure that constraints are detected only in locations that are well conditioned for scan matching. Secondly, we address the problem of scan matching with poor initial condition by presenting an outlier-resistant, genetic scan matching algorithm that accurately matches scans despite a poor initial condition. Third, we present two metrics based on the amount and complexity of overlapping geometry in order to vet the estimated loop closure constraints. By doing so, we automatically prevent erroneous loop closures from degrading the accuracy of the reconstructed trajectory. The proposed algorithms are experimentally verified using both controlled and real-world data. The end-to-end system performance is evaluated using 100 surveyed control points in an office environment and obtains a mean accuracy of 10 cm. Experimental results are also shown on three additional datasets from real world environments including a 1500 meter trajectory in a warehouse sized retail shopping center. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mobile Laser Scanning and Mobile Mapping)
Open AccessArticle Stem Water Potential Monitoring in Pear Orchards through WorldView-2 Multispectral Imagery
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6647-6666; doi:10.3390/rs5126647
Received: 27 September 2013 / Revised: 15 November 2013 / Accepted: 26 November 2013 / Published: 4 December 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (462 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Remote sensing can provide good alternatives for traditional in situ water status measurements in orchard crops, such as stem water potential (Ψstem). However, the heterogeneity of these cropping systems causes significant differences with regards to remote sensing products within one orchard
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Remote sensing can provide good alternatives for traditional in situ water status measurements in orchard crops, such as stem water potential (Ψstem). However, the heterogeneity of these cropping systems causes significant differences with regards to remote sensing products within one orchard and between orchards. In this study, robust spectral indicators of Ψstem were sought after, independent of sensor viewing geometry, orchard architecture and management. To this end, Ψstem was monitored throughout three consecutive growing seasons in (deficit) irrigated and rainfed pear orchards and related to spectral observations of leaves, canopies and WorldView-2 imagery. On a leaf and canopy level, high correlations were observed between the shortwave infrared reflectance and in situ measured Ψstem. Additionally, for canopy measurements, visible and near-infrared wavelengths (R530/R600, R530/R700 and R720/R800) showed significant correlations. Therefore, the Red-edge Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (ReNDVI) was applied on fully sunlit satellite imagery and found strongly related with Ψstem (R2 = 0.47; RMSE = 0.36 MPa), undoubtedly showing the potential of WorldView-2 to monitor water stress in pear orchards. The relationship between ReNDVI and Ψstem was independent of management, irrigation setup, phenology and environmental conditions. In addition, results showed that this relation was also independent of off-nadir viewing angle and almost independent of viewing geometry, as the correlation decreased after the inclusion of fully shaded scenes. With further research focusing on issues related to viewing geometry and shadows, high spatial water status monitoring with space borne remote sensing is achievable. Full article
Open AccessArticle Hierarchical Bayesian Data Analysis in Radiometric SAR System Calibration: A Case Study on Transponder Calibration with RADARSAT-2 Data
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6667-6690; doi:10.3390/rs5126667
Received: 19 October 2013 / Revised: 20 November 2013 / Accepted: 28 November 2013 / Published: 4 December 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (3961 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A synthetic aperture radar (SAR) system requires external absolute calibration so that radiometric measurements can be exploited in numerous scientific and commercial applications. Besides estimating a calibration factor, metrological standards also demand the derivation of a respective calibration uncertainty. This uncertainty is currently
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A synthetic aperture radar (SAR) system requires external absolute calibration so that radiometric measurements can be exploited in numerous scientific and commercial applications. Besides estimating a calibration factor, metrological standards also demand the derivation of a respective calibration uncertainty. This uncertainty is currently not systematically determined. Here for the first time it is proposed to use hierarchical modeling and Bayesian statistics as a consistent method for handling and analyzing the hierarchical data typically acquired during external calibration campaigns. Through the use of Markov chain Monte Carlo simulations, a joint posterior probability can be conveniently derived from measurement data despite the necessary grouping of data samples. The applicability of the method is demonstrated through a case study: The radar reflectivity of DLR’s new C-band Kalibri transponder is derived through a series of RADARSAT-2 acquisitions and a comparison with reference point targets (corner reflectors). The systematic derivation of calibration uncertainties is seen as an important step toward traceable radiometric calibration of synthetic aperture radars. Full article
Open AccessArticle Dynamic Hydrological Modeling in Drylands with TRMM Based Rainfall
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6691-6716; doi:10.3390/rs5126691
Received: 17 October 2013 / Revised: 25 November 2013 / Accepted: 26 November 2013 / Published: 4 December 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (6200 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper introduces and evaluates DryMOD, a dynamic water balance model of the key hydrological process in drylands that is based on free, public-domain datasets. The rainfall model of DryMOD makes optimal use of spatially disaggregated Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) datasets to
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This paper introduces and evaluates DryMOD, a dynamic water balance model of the key hydrological process in drylands that is based on free, public-domain datasets. The rainfall model of DryMOD makes optimal use of spatially disaggregated Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) datasets to simulate hourly rainfall intensities at a spatial resolution of 1-km. Regional-scale applications of the model in seasonal catchments in Tunisia and Senegal characterize runoff and soil moisture distribution and dynamics in response to varying rainfall data inputs and soil properties. The results highlight the need for hourly-based rainfall simulation and for correcting TRMM 3B42 rainfall intensities for the fractional cover of rainfall (FCR). Without FCR correction and disaggregation to 1 km, TRMM 3B42 based rainfall intensities are too low to generate surface runoff and to induce substantial changes to soil moisture storage. The outcomes from the sensitivity analysis show that topsoil porosity is the most important soil property for simulation of runoff and soil moisture. Thus, we demonstrate the benefit of hydrological investigations at a scale, for which reliable information on soil profile characteristics exists and which is sufficiently fine to account for the heterogeneities of these. Where such information is available, application of DryMOD can assist in the spatial and temporal planning of water harvesting according to runoff-generating areas and the runoff ratio, as well as in the optimization of agricultural activities based on realistic representation of soil moisture conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Remote Sensing)
Open AccessArticle Illuminating the Capabilities of the Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership (NPP) Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) Day/Night Band
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6717-6766; doi:10.3390/rs5126717
Received: 30 September 2013 / Revised: 12 November 2013 / Accepted: 13 November 2013 / Published: 6 December 2013
Cited by 34 | PDF Full-text (14034 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Daytime measurements of reflected sunlight in the visible spectrum have been a staple of Earth-viewing radiometers since the advent of the environmental satellite platform. At night, these same optical-spectrum sensors have traditionally been limited to thermal infrared emission, which contains relatively poor information
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Daytime measurements of reflected sunlight in the visible spectrum have been a staple of Earth-viewing radiometers since the advent of the environmental satellite platform. At night, these same optical-spectrum sensors have traditionally been limited to thermal infrared emission, which contains relatively poor information content for many important weather and climate parameters. These deficiencies have limited our ability to characterize the full diurnal behavior and processes of parameters relevant to improved monitoring, understanding and modeling of weather and climate processes. Visible-spectrum light information does exist during the nighttime hours, originating from a wide variety of sources, but its detection requires specialized technology. Such measurements have existed, in a limited way, on USA Department of Defense satellites, but the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite, which carries a new Day/Night Band (DNB) radiometer, offers the first quantitative measurements of nocturnal visible and near-infrared light. Here, we demonstrate the expanded potential for nocturnal low-light visible applications enabled by the DNB. Via a combination of terrestrial and extraterrestrial light sources, such observations are always available—expanding many current existing applications while enabling entirely new capabilities. These novel low-light measurements open doors to a wealth of new interdisciplinary research topics while lighting a pathway toward the optimized design of follow-on satellite based low light visible sensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere)
Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Different Topographic Corrections for Landsat TM Data by Prediction of Foliage Projective Cover (FPC) in Topographically Complex Landscapes
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6767-6789; doi:10.3390/rs5126767
Received: 25 September 2013 / Revised: 21 November 2013 / Accepted: 25 November 2013 / Published: 6 December 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1474 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The reflected radiance in topographically complex areas is severely affected by variations in topography; thus, topographic correction is considered a necessary pre-processing step when retrieving biophysical variables from these images. We assessed the performance of five topographic corrections: (i) C correction (C), (ii)
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The reflected radiance in topographically complex areas is severely affected by variations in topography; thus, topographic correction is considered a necessary pre-processing step when retrieving biophysical variables from these images. We assessed the performance of five topographic corrections: (i) C correction (C), (ii) Minnaert, (iii) Sun Canopy Sensor (SCS), (iv) SCS + C and (v) the Processing Scheme for Standardised Surface Reflectance (PSSSR) on the Landsat-5 Thematic Mapper (TM) reflectance in the context of prediction of Foliage Projective Cover (FPC) in hilly landscapes in north-eastern Australia. The performance of topographic corrections on the TM reflectance was assessed by (i) visual comparison and (ii) statistically comparing TM predicted FPC with ground measured FPC and LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging)-derived FPC estimates. In the majority of cases, the PSSSR method performed best in terms of eliminating topographic effects, providing the best relationship and lowest residual error when comparing ground measured FPC and LiDAR FPC with TM predicted FPC. The Minnaert, C and SCS + C showed the poorest performance. Finally, the use of TM surface reflectance, which includes atmospheric correction and broad Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF) effects, seemed to account for most topographic variation when predicting biophysical variables, such as FPC. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Downscaling Method for Improving the Spatial Resolution of AMSR-E Derived Soil Moisture Product Based on MSG-SEVIRI Data
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6790-6811; doi:10.3390/rs5126790
Received: 27 September 2013 / Revised: 15 November 2013 / Accepted: 26 November 2013 / Published: 6 December 2013
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (957 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Soil moisture is a vital parameter in various land surface processes, and microwave remote sensing is widely used to estimate regional soil moisture. However, the application of the retrieved soil moisture data is restricted by its coarse spatial resolution. To overcome this weakness,
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Soil moisture is a vital parameter in various land surface processes, and microwave remote sensing is widely used to estimate regional soil moisture. However, the application of the retrieved soil moisture data is restricted by its coarse spatial resolution. To overcome this weakness, many methods were proposed to downscale microwave soil moisture data. The traditional method is the microwave-optical/IR synergistic approach, in which land surface temperature (LST), vegetation index and surface albedo are key parameters. However, due to the uncertainty in absolute LST estimation, this approach is partly dependent on the accuracy of LST estimation. To eliminate the impacts of LST estimation, an improved downscaling method is proposed in this study to downscale Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer on the Earth Observing System (AMSR-E) Land Parameter Retrieval Model (LPRM) soil moisture product with visible and thermal data of Meteosat Second Generation (MSG)—Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI). Two temperature temporal variation parameters related to soil moisture, including mid-morning rising rate and daily maximum temperature time, are introduced in the proposed method to replace LST. The proposed method and the traditional method are both applied to the Iberian Peninsula area for July and August 2007. Comparison of the two results shows that the coefficient of determination (R-squared) has an average improvement of 0.08 and the root mean square error has a systematic decrease. The downscaled soil moisture by the proposed method was validated by REMEDHUS soil moisture network in the study area, and site specific validation gets poor correlation between the two datasets because of the low spatial representativeness of site measurement for one MSG-SEVIRI pixel. Although the comparisons at 15 km and network scale show an improvement over the site specific comparison, it is found that the downscaling method systematically degrades the accuracy in soil moisture data, with a R-squared of 0–0.4 and 0.218 for the downscaled data set against 0.7–0.8 and 0.571 for AMSR-E data at 15 km scale and the network scale respectively. Full article
Open AccessArticle Future Retrievals of Water Column Bio-Optical Properties using the Hyperspectral Infrared Imager (HyspIRI)
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6812-6837; doi:10.3390/rs5126812
Received: 19 October 2013 / Revised: 25 November 2013 / Accepted: 26 November 2013 / Published: 6 December 2013
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (1917 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Interpretation of remote sensing reflectance from coastal waters at different wavelengths of light yields valuable information about water column constituents, which in turn, gives information on a variety of processes occurring in coastal waters, such as primary production, biogeochemical cycles, sediment transport, coastal
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Interpretation of remote sensing reflectance from coastal waters at different wavelengths of light yields valuable information about water column constituents, which in turn, gives information on a variety of processes occurring in coastal waters, such as primary production, biogeochemical cycles, sediment transport, coastal erosion, and harmful algal blooms. The Hyperspectral Infrared Imager (HyspIRI) is well suited to produce global, seasonal maps and specialized observations of coastal ecosystems and to improve our understanding of how phytoplankton communities are spatially distributed and structured, and how they function in coastal and inland waters. This paper draws from previously published studies on high-resolution, hyperspectral remote sensing of coastal and inland waters and provides an overview of how the HyspIRI mission could enable the retrieval of new aquatic biophysical products or improve the retrieval accuracy of existing satellite-derived products (e.g., inherent optical properties, phytoplankton functional types, pigment composition, chlorophyll-a concentration, etc.). The intent of this paper is to introduce the development of the HyspIRI mission to the coastal and inland remote sensing community and to provide information regarding several potential data products that were not originally part of the HyspIRI mission objectives but could be applicable to research related to coastal and inland waters. Further work toward quantitatively determining the extent and quality of these products, given the instrument and mission characteristics, is recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Phytoplankton)
Open AccessArticle Application of a Land Surface Model Using Remote Sensing Data for High Resolution Simulations of Terrestrial Processes
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6838-6856; doi:10.3390/rs5126838
Received: 10 October 2013 / Revised: 1 December 2013 / Accepted: 3 December 2013 / Published: 9 December 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1040 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Most current land surface models (LSMs) coupled to regional climate models (RCMs) have been implemented at the several tens of kilometer spatial scales. Modeling land surface processes in LSMs at a finer resolution is necessary for improvements in terrestrial water and energy predictions
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Most current land surface models (LSMs) coupled to regional climate models (RCMs) have been implemented at the several tens of kilometer spatial scales. Modeling land surface processes in LSMs at a finer resolution is necessary for improvements in terrestrial water and energy predictions especially for small catchments. This study has therefore assessed the applicability of high-resolution simulations for terrestrial processes to a small study basin from the Common Land Model (CoLM) using 1-km surface boundary conditions (SBCs) based on remote sensing products. The performance of the CoLM simulations at finer (1-km) and coarser (30-km) resolutions are evaluated for daily runoff and land surface temperature results which have a significant influence on the terrestrial water and energy cycles. The daily stream water temperature is also estimated by a linear regression function of the 1-km daily land surface temperature prediction. The daily stream runoff and temperature results are compared with observations from a stream gauge station, and the daily land surface temperature prediction is compared with the 1-km remote sensing product. It is observed that the high-resolution CoLM results can reasonably capture seasonal variations in both daily runoff and temperatures crucial to the terrestrial water and energy budget. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing in Geomorphology)
Open AccessArticle Integrating Solar Induced Fluorescence and the Photochemical Reflectance Index for Estimating Gross Primary Production in a Cornfield
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6857-6879; doi:10.3390/rs5126857
Received: 29 September 2013 / Revised: 26 November 2013 / Accepted: 27 November 2013 / Published: 9 December 2013
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (526 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The utilization of remotely sensed observations for light use efficiency (LUE) and tower-based gross primary production (GPP) estimates was studied in a USDA cornfield. Nadir hyperspectral reflectance measurements were acquired at canopy level during a collaborative field campaign conducted in four growing seasons.
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The utilization of remotely sensed observations for light use efficiency (LUE) and tower-based gross primary production (GPP) estimates was studied in a USDA cornfield. Nadir hyperspectral reflectance measurements were acquired at canopy level during a collaborative field campaign conducted in four growing seasons. The Photochemical Reflectance Index (PRI) and solar induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF), were derived. SIF retrievals were accomplished in the two telluric atmospheric oxygen absorption features centered at 688 nm (O2-B) and 760 nm (O2-A). The PRI and SIF were examined in conjunction with GPP and LUE determined by flux tower-based measurements. All of these fluxes, environmental variables, and the PRI and SIF exhibited diurnal as well as day-to-day dynamics across the four growing seasons. Consistent with previous studies, the PRI was shown to be related to LUE (r2 = 0.54 with a logarithm fit), but the relationship varied each year. By combining the PRI and SIF in a linear regression model, stronger performances for GPP estimation were obtained. The strongest relationship (r2 = 0.80, RMSE = 0.186 mg CO2/m2/s) was achieved when using the PRI and SIF retrievals at 688 nm. Cross-validation approaches were utilized to demonstrate the robustness and consistency of the performance. This study highlights a GPP retrieval method based entirely on hyperspectral remote sensing observations. Full article
Open AccessArticle Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) for High-Resolution Reconstruction of Topography: The Structure from Motion Approach on Coastal Environments
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6880-6898; doi:10.3390/rs5126880
Received: 18 October 2013 / Revised: 4 December 2013 / Accepted: 5 December 2013 / Published: 9 December 2013
Cited by 66 | PDF Full-text (7327 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The availability of high-resolution Digital Surface Models of coastal environments is of increasing interest for scientists involved in the study of the coastal system processes. Among the range of terrestrial and aerial methods available to produce such a dataset, this study tests the
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The availability of high-resolution Digital Surface Models of coastal environments is of increasing interest for scientists involved in the study of the coastal system processes. Among the range of terrestrial and aerial methods available to produce such a dataset, this study tests the utility of the Structure from Motion (SfM) approach to low-altitude aerial imageries collected by Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). The SfM image-based approach was selected whilst searching for a rapid, inexpensive, and highly automated method, able to produce 3D information from unstructured aerial images. In particular, it was used to generate a dense point cloud and successively a high-resolution Digital Surface Models (DSM) of a beach dune system in Marina di Ravenna (Italy). The quality of the elevation dataset produced by the UAV-SfM was initially evaluated by comparison with point cloud generated by a Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) surveys. Such a comparison served to highlight an average difference in the vertical values of 0.05 m (RMS = 0.19 m). However, although the points cloud comparison is the best approach to investigate the absolute or relative correspondence between UAV and TLS methods, the assessment of geomorphic features is usually based on multi-temporal surfaces analysis, where an interpolation process is required. DSMs were therefore generated from UAV and TLS points clouds and vertical absolute accuracies assessed by comparison with a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) survey. The vertical comparison of UAV and TLS DSMs with respect to GNSS measurements pointed out an average distance at cm-level (RMS = 0.011 m). The successive point by point direct comparison between UAV and TLS elevations show a very small average distance, 0.015 m, with RMS = 0.220 m. Larger values are encountered in areas where sudden changes in topography are present. The UAV-based approach was demonstrated to be a straightforward one and accuracy of the vertical dataset was comparable with results obtained by TLS technology. Full article
Open AccessArticle Ship Discrimination Using Polarimetric SAR Data and Coherent Time-Frequency Analysis
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6899-6920; doi:10.3390/rs5126899
Received: 31 October 2013 / Revised: 5 December 2013 / Accepted: 9 December 2013 / Published: 11 December 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (3473 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents a new approach for the discrimination of ship responses using polarimetric SAR (PolSAR) data. The PolSAR multidimensional information is analyzed using a linear Time-Frequency (TF) decomposition approach, which permits to describe the polarimetric behavior of a ship and its background
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This paper presents a new approach for the discrimination of ship responses using polarimetric SAR (PolSAR) data. The PolSAR multidimensional information is analyzed using a linear Time-Frequency (TF) decomposition approach, which permits to describe the polarimetric behavior of a ship and its background area for different azimuthal angles of observation and frequencies of illumination. This paper proposes to discriminate ships from their background by using characteristics of their polarimetric TF responses, which may be associated with the intrinsic nature of the observed natural or artificial scattering structures. A statistical descriptor related to polarimetric coherence of the signal in the TF domain is proposed for detecting ships in different complex backgrounds, including SAR azimuth ambiguities, artifacts, and small natural islands, which may induce numerous false alarms. Choices of the TF analysis direction, i.e., along separate azimuth or range axis, or simultaneously in both directions, are investigated and evaluated. TF decomposition modes including range direction perform better in terms of discriminating ships from range focusing artifacts. In comparison with original full-resolution polarimetric indicators, the proposed TF polarimetric coherence descriptor is shown to qualitatively enhance the ship/background contrast and improve discrimination capabilities. Using polarimetric RADARSAT-2 data acquired over complex scenes, experimental results demonstrate the efficiency of this approach in terms of ship location retrieval and response characterization. Full article
Open AccessArticle Block-to-Point Fine Registration in Terrestrial Laser Scanning
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6921-6937; doi:10.3390/rs5126921
Received: 23 October 2013 / Revised: 3 December 2013 / Accepted: 5 December 2013 / Published: 11 December 2013
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Abstract
Fine registration of point clouds plays an important role in data analysis in Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS). This work proposes a block-to-point fine registration approach to correct the errors of point clouds from TLS and of geodetic networks observed using total stations. Based
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Fine registration of point clouds plays an important role in data analysis in Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS). This work proposes a block-to-point fine registration approach to correct the errors of point clouds from TLS and of geodetic networks observed using total stations. Based on a reference coordinate system, the block-to-point estimation is performed to obtain representative points. Then, fine registration with a six-parameter transformation is performed with the help of an Iterative Closest Point (ICP) method. For comparisons, fine registration with a seven-parameter transformation is introduced by applying a Singular Value Decomposition (SVD) algorithm. The proposed method not only corrects the registration errors between a geodetic network and the scans, but also considers the errors among the scans. The proposed method was tested on real TLS data of a dam surface, and the results showed that distance discrepancies of estimated representative points between scans were reduced by approximately 60%. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Long-Term Satellite Detection of Post-Fire Vegetation Trends in Boreal Forests of China
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6938-6957; doi:10.3390/rs5126938
Received: 2 November 2013 / Revised: 2 December 2013 / Accepted: 9 December 2013 / Published: 12 December 2013
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Abstract
This paper describes the long-term effects on vegetation following the catastrophic fire in 1987 on the northern Great Xing’an Mountain by analyzing the AVHRR GIMMS 15-day composite normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) dataset. Both temporal and spatial characteristics were analyzed for natural regeneration
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This paper describes the long-term effects on vegetation following the catastrophic fire in 1987 on the northern Great Xing’an Mountain by analyzing the AVHRR GIMMS 15-day composite normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) dataset. Both temporal and spatial characteristics were analyzed for natural regeneration and tree planting scenarios from 1984 to 2006. Regressing post-fire NDVI values on the pre-fire values helped identify the NDVI for burnt pixels in vegetation stands. Stand differences in fire damage were classified into five levels: Very High (VH), High (H), Moderate (M), Low (L) and Slight (S). Furthermore, intra-annual and inter-annual post-fire vegetation recovery trajectories were analyzed by deriving a time series of NDVI and relative regrowth index (RRI) values for the entire burned area. Finally, spatial pattern and trend analyses were conducted using the pixel-based post-fire annual stands regrowth index (SRI) with a nonparametric Mann-Kendall (MK) statistics method. The results show that October was a better period compared to other months for distinguishing the post- and pre-fire vegetation conditions using the NDVI signals in boreal forests of China because colored leaves on grasses and shrubs fall down, while the leaves on healthy trees remain green in October. The MK statistics method is robustly capable of detecting vegetation trends in a relatively long time series. Because tree planting primarily occurred in the severely burned area (approximately equal to the Medium, High and Very High fire damage areas) following the Daxing’anling fire in 1987, the severely burned area exhibited a better recovery trend than the lightly burned regions. Reasonable tree planting can substantially quicken the recovery and shorten the restoration time of the target species. More detailed satellite analyses and field data will be required in the future for a more convincing validation of the results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quantifying the Environmental Impact of Forest Fires)
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Open AccessArticle The Application of Deep Convective Clouds in the Calibration and Response Monitoring of the Reflective Solar Bands of FY-3A/MERSI (Medium Resolution Spectral Imager)
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6958-6975; doi:10.3390/rs5126958
Received: 7 October 2013 / Revised: 14 November 2013 / Accepted: 18 November 2013 / Published: 12 December 2013
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (637 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Based on simulated reflectance, deep convective clouds (DCC) can be used as an invariant target to monitor the radiometric response degradation of the FY-3A/MERSI (Medium Resolution Spectral Imager) reflective solar bands (RSBs). The long-term response of the MERSI RSBs can easily be predicted
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Based on simulated reflectance, deep convective clouds (DCC) can be used as an invariant target to monitor the radiometric response degradation of the FY-3A/MERSI (Medium Resolution Spectral Imager) reflective solar bands (RSBs). The long-term response of the MERSI RSBs can easily be predicted using a quadratic fit of the monthly DCC mean reflectance, except for bands 6 and 7, which suffer from instrument anomalies. DCC-based degradations show that the blue bands (λ < 500 nm) and water-vapor bands have degraded significantly, whereas for near-infrared bands, the total degradations in four years are within 3% (excluding bands 3 and 20). For most bands, the degradation rates are greatest during the first year in orbit and decrease over time. The FY-3A/MERSI degradation results derived from DCC are consistent within 2.5%, except for bands, 11, 18 and 19, when compared with Aqua/MODIS(Moderate Resolution Imaging Sepetroradiometer) inter-calibration, multi-site invariant earth target calibration and the CRCS(Chinese Radiometric Calibration Site) Dunhuang desert vicarious calibration methods. Overall, the 2σ/mean degradation uncertainty for most MERSI bands was within 3%, validating the temporal stability of the DCC monthly mean reflectances. The DCC method has reduced the degradation uncertainties for MERSI water vapor bands over other methods. This is a significant advantage of the DCC calibration method. The saturation of some MERSI bands may hinder the effectiveness of the DCC calibration approach. Full article
Open AccessArticle Distribution of Actual Evapotranspiration over Qaidam Basin, an Arid Area in China
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6976-6996; doi:10.3390/rs5126976
Received: 30 October 2013 / Revised: 21 November 2013 / Accepted: 9 December 2013 / Published: 13 December 2013
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Abstract
Evapotranspiration is a major loss flux of the water balance in arid and semi-arid areas. The estimation of actual evapotranspiration has significance for hydrological and environmental purposes. The Surface Energy Balance System (SEBS) algorithm was applied to estimate actual evapotranspiration in the Qaidam
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Evapotranspiration is a major loss flux of the water balance in arid and semi-arid areas. The estimation of actual evapotranspiration has significance for hydrological and environmental purposes. The Surface Energy Balance System (SEBS) algorithm was applied to estimate actual evapotranspiration in the Qaidam Basin and its eight hydrological sub-regions, Northwest China. There were 3,036 cloud-free and atmospherically corrected MODIS satellite images from 2001 to 2011 used in the SEBS algorithm to determine the actual evapotranspiration. The result indicated that the estimated annual actual evapotranspiration of the basin increased with time and the value varied from 72.7 to 182.3 mm. SEBS estimates were 7.5% and 14.1% of observed pan evaporation over the western and eastern areas, respectively. The variation of SEBS actual evapotranspiration is influenced by climate factors, vegetation, net radiation, land cover type and water table depth. The analysis of the evaporative behavior of different land cover types in the basin presented that water bodies, marsh, and farmland had relatively higher mean actual evapotranspiration though these land cover types make up less than 3.5% of the total basin. Bare soil has very low evapotranspiration and covered almost 60% of the study area. The actual evapotranspiration was observed to be decreased with an increase of water table depth. Overall, the SEBS algorithm proved to be useful and has potential for estimating spatial actual evapotranspiration on a regional scale. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Temporal-Spatial Distribution of Shule River Alluvial Fan Units in China Based on SAR Data and OSL Dating
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6997-7016; doi:10.3390/rs5126997
Received: 23 September 2013 / Revised: 15 November 2013 / Accepted: 25 November 2013 / Published: 16 December 2013
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Abstract
Alluvial fans in arid and semi-arid regions can provide important evidence of geomorphic and climatic changes, which reveal the evolution of the regional tectonic activity and environment. Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) remote sensing technology, which is sensitive to geomorphic features, plays an important
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Alluvial fans in arid and semi-arid regions can provide important evidence of geomorphic and climatic changes, which reveal the evolution of the regional tectonic activity and environment. Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) remote sensing technology, which is sensitive to geomorphic features, plays an important role in quickly mapping alluvial fan units of different ages. In this paper, RADARSAT-2 (Canada’s C-band new-generation radar satellite) and ALOS-PALSAR (Japan’s advanced land observing satellite, phased array type L-band SAR sensor) data, acquired over the Shule River Alluvial Fan (SRAF), are used to extract backscattering coefficients, scattering mechanism-related information, and polarimetric characteristic parameters. The correlation between these SAR characteristic parameters and fan units of the SRAF of different ages was studied, and the spatial distribution of fan units, since the Late Pleistocene, was extracted based on the Maximum Likelihood classification method. The results prove that (1) some C-band SAR parameters can describe the geomorphic characteristics of alluvial fan units of different ages in the SRAF; (2) SAR data can be used to map the SRAF’s surface between the Late Pleistocene and the Holocene and to extract the spatial distribution of fan units; and (3) the time-spatial distribution of the SRAF can provide valuable information for tectonic and paleoenvironmental research of the study area. Full article

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