Next Issue
Previous Issue

E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Table of Contents

Remote Sens., Volume 5, Issue 2 (February 2013), Pages 454-1000

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-24
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review, Other

Open AccessEditorial Remote Sensing Best Paper Award 2013
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(2), 862-863; doi:10.3390/rs5020862
Received: 15 February 2013 / Accepted: 15 February 2013 / Published: 20 February 2013
PDF Full-text (128 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Remote Sensing has started to institute a “Best Paper” award to recognize the most outstanding papers in the area of remote sensing techniques, design and applications published in Remote Sensing. We are pleased to announce the first “Remote Sensing Best [...] Read more.
Remote Sensing has started to institute a “Best Paper” award to recognize the most outstanding papers in the area of remote sensing techniques, design and applications published in Remote Sensing. We are pleased to announce the first “Remote Sensing Best Paper Award” for 2013. Nominations were selected by the Editor-in-Chief and selected editorial board members from among all the papers published in 2009. Reviews and research papers were evaluated separately. [...] Full article
Figures

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review, Other

Open AccessArticle Remote Sensing-Based Fractal Analysis and Scale Dependence Associated with Forest Fragmentation in an Amazon Tri‑National Frontier
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(2), 454-472; doi:10.3390/rs5020454
Received: 10 December 2012 / Revised: 10 January 2013 / Accepted: 14 January 2013 / Published: 24 January 2013
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (1148 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the Amazon, the development and paving of roads connects regions and peoples, and over time can form dense and recursive networks, which often serve as nodes for continued development. These developed areas exhibit robust fractal structures that could potentially link their [...] Read more.
In the Amazon, the development and paving of roads connects regions and peoples, and over time can form dense and recursive networks, which often serve as nodes for continued development. These developed areas exhibit robust fractal structures that could potentially link their spatial patterns with deforestation processes. Fractal dimension is commonly used to describe the growth trajectory of such fractal structures and their spatial-filling capacities. Focusing on a tri-national frontier region, we applied a box-counting method to calculate the fractal dimension of the developed areas in the Peruvian state of Madre de Dios, Acre in Brazil, and the department of Pando in Bolivia, from 1986 through 2010. The results indicate that development has expanded in all three regions with declining forest cover over time, but with different patterns and rates in each country. Such differences were summarized within a proposed framework to indicate deforestation progress/level, which can be used to understand and regulate deforestation and its evolution in time. In addition, the role and influence of scale was also assessed, and we found local fractal dimensions are not invariant at different spatial scales and thus concluded such scale-dependent features of fragmentation patterns are here mainly shaped by the road paving. Full article
Open AccessArticle Parameterization of High Resolution Vegetation Characteristics using Remote Sensing Products for the Nakdong River Watershed, Korea
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(2), 473-490; doi:10.3390/rs5020473
Received: 2 December 2012 / Revised: 16 January 2013 / Accepted: 17 January 2013 / Published: 24 January 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (25762 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mesoscale regional climate models (RCMs), the primary tool for climate predictions, have recently increased in sophistication and are being run at increasingly higher resolutions to be also used in climate impact studies on ecosystems, particularly in agricultural crops. As satellite remote sensing [...] Read more.
Mesoscale regional climate models (RCMs), the primary tool for climate predictions, have recently increased in sophistication and are being run at increasingly higher resolutions to be also used in climate impact studies on ecosystems, particularly in agricultural crops. As satellite remote sensing observations of the earth terrestrial surface become available for assimilation in RCMs, it is possible to incorporate complex land surface processes, such as dynamics of state variables for hydrologic, agricultural and ecologic systems at the smaller scales. This study focuses on parameterization of vegetation characteristics specifically designed for high resolution RCM applications using various remote sensing products, such as Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR), Système Pour l’Observation de la Terre-VEGETATION (SPOT-VGT) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). The primary vegetative parameters, such as land surface characteristics (LCC), fractional vegetation cover (FVC), leaf area index (LAI) and surface albedo localization factors (SALF), are currently presented over the Nakdong River Watershed domain, Korea, based on 1-km remote sensing satellite data by using the Geographic Information System (GIS) software application tools. For future high resolution RCM modeling efforts on climate-crop interactions, this study has constructed the deriving parameters, such as FVC and SALF, following the existing methods and proposed the new interpolation methods to fill missing data with combining the regression equation and the time series trend function for time-variant parameters, such as LAI and NDVI data at 1-km scale. Full article
Open AccessArticle Fast Automatic Precision Tree Models from Terrestrial Laser Scanner Data
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(2), 491-520; doi:10.3390/rs5020491
Received: 3 November 2012 / Revised: 24 December 2012 / Accepted: 15 January 2013 / Published: 25 January 2013
Cited by 58 | PDF Full-text (1578 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents a new method for constructing quickly and automatically precision tree models from point clouds of the trunk and branches obtained by terrestrial laser scanning. The input of the method is a point cloud of a single tree scanned from [...] Read more.
This paper presents a new method for constructing quickly and automatically precision tree models from point clouds of the trunk and branches obtained by terrestrial laser scanning. The input of the method is a point cloud of a single tree scanned from multiple positions. The surface of the visible parts of the tree is robustly reconstructed by making a flexible cylinder model of the tree. The thorough quantitative model records also the topological branching structure. In this paper, every major step of the whole model reconstruction process, from the input to the finished model, is presented in detail. The model is constructed by a local approach in which the point cloud is covered with small sets corresponding to connected surface patches in the tree surface. The neighbor-relations and geometrical properties of these cover sets are used to reconstruct the details of the tree and, step by step, the whole tree. The point cloud and the sets are segmented into branches, after which the branches are modeled as collections of cylinders. From the model, the branching structure and size properties, such as volume and branch size distributions, for the whole tree or some of its parts, can be approximated. The approach is validated using both measured and modeled terrestrial laser scanner data from real trees and detailed 3D models. The results show that the method allows an easy extraction of various tree attributes from terrestrial or mobile laser scanning point clouds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Remote Sensing of Forestry)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Compact Multipurpose Mobile Laser Scanning System — Initial Tests and Results
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(2), 521-538; doi:10.3390/rs5020521
Received: 17 December 2012 / Revised: 23 January 2013 / Accepted: 24 January 2013 / Published: 25 January 2013
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (704 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We describe a prototype compact mobile laser scanning system that may be operated from a backpack or unmanned aerial vehicle. The system is small, self-contained, relatively inexpensive, and easy to deploy. A description of system components is presented, along with the initial [...] Read more.
We describe a prototype compact mobile laser scanning system that may be operated from a backpack or unmanned aerial vehicle. The system is small, self-contained, relatively inexpensive, and easy to deploy. A description of system components is presented, along with the initial calibration of the multi-sensor platform. The first field tests of the system, both in backpack mode and mounted on a helium balloon for real-world applications are presented. For both field tests, the acquired kinematic LiDAR data are compared with highly accurate static terrestrial laser scanning point clouds. These initial results show that the vertical accuracy of the point cloud for the prototype system is approximately 4 cm (1σ) in balloon mode, and 3 cm (1σ) in backpack mode while horizontal accuracy was approximately 17 cm (1σ) for the balloon tests. Results from selected study areas on the Sacramento River Delta and San Andreas Fault in California demonstrate system performance, deployment agility and flexibility, and potential for operational production of high density and highly accurate point cloud data. Cost and production rate trade-offs place this system in the niche between existing airborne and tripod mounted LiDAR systems. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle Remote Sensing Based Yield Estimation in a Stochastic Framework — Case Study of Durum Wheat in Tunisia
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(2), 539-557; doi:10.3390/rs5020539
Received: 3 December 2012 / Revised: 15 January 2013 / Accepted: 16 January 2013 / Published: 28 January 2013
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (1233 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Multitemporal optical remote sensing constitutes a useful, cost efficient method for crop status monitoring over large areas. Modelers interested in yield monitoring can rely on past and recent observations of crop reflectance to estimate aboveground biomass and infer the likely yield. Therefore, [...] Read more.
Multitemporal optical remote sensing constitutes a useful, cost efficient method for crop status monitoring over large areas. Modelers interested in yield monitoring can rely on past and recent observations of crop reflectance to estimate aboveground biomass and infer the likely yield. Therefore, in a framework constrained by information availability, remote sensing data to yield conversion parameters are to be estimated. Statistical models are suitable for this purpose, given their ability to deal with statistical errors. This paper explores the performance in yield estimation of various remote sensing indicators based on varying degrees of bio-physical insight, in interaction with statistical methods (linear regressions) that rely on different hypotheses. Performances in estimating the temporal and spatial variability of yield, and implications of data scarcity in both dimensions are investigated. Jackknifed results (leave one year out) are presented for the case of wheat yield regional estimation in Tunisia using the SPOT-VEGETATION instrument. Best performances, up to 0.8 of R2, are achieved using the most physiologically sound remote sensing indicator, in conjunction with statistical specifications allowing for parsimonious spatial adjustment of the parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Remote Sensing of Agriculture)
Open AccessArticle An Object-Based Approach for Mapping Shrub and Tree Cover on Grassland Habitats by Use of LiDAR and CIR Orthoimages
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(2), 558-583; doi:10.3390/rs5020558
Received: 25 November 2012 / Revised: 10 January 2013 / Accepted: 15 January 2013 / Published: 28 January 2013
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (1761 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Due to the abandonment of former agricultural management practices such as mowing and grazing, an increasing amount of grassland is no longer being managed. This has resulted in increasing shrub encroachment, which poses a threat to a number of species. Monitoring is [...] Read more.
Due to the abandonment of former agricultural management practices such as mowing and grazing, an increasing amount of grassland is no longer being managed. This has resulted in increasing shrub encroachment, which poses a threat to a number of species. Monitoring is an important means of acquiring information about the condition of the grasslands. Though the use of traditional remote sensing is an effective means of mapping and monitoring land cover, the mapping of small shrubs and trees based only on spectral information is challenged by the fact that shrubs and trees often spectrally resemble grassland and thus cannot be safely distinguished and classified. With the aid of LiDAR-derived information, such as elevation, the classification of spectrally similar objects can be improved. In this study, we applied high point density LiDAR data and colour-infrared orthoimages for the classification of shrubs and trees in a study area in Denmark. The classification result was compared to a classification based only on colour-infrared orthoimages. The overall accuracy increased significantly with the use of LiDAR and, for shrubs and trees specifically, producer’s accuracy increased from 81.2% to 93.7%, and user’s accuracy from 52.9% to 89.7%. Object-based image analysis was applied in combination with a CART classifier. The potential of using the applied approach for mapping and monitoring of large areas is discussed. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Voxel-Based Method for Automated Identification and Morphological Parameters Estimation of Individual Street Trees from Mobile Laser Scanning Data
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(2), 584-611; doi:10.3390/rs5020584
Received: 3 December 2012 / Revised: 22 January 2013 / Accepted: 22 January 2013 / Published: 28 January 2013
Cited by 29 | PDF Full-text (1140 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As an important component of urban vegetation, street trees play an important role in maintenance of environmental quality, aesthetic beauty of urban landscape, and social service for inhabitants. Acquiring accurate and up-to-date inventory information for street trees is required for urban horticultural [...] Read more.
As an important component of urban vegetation, street trees play an important role in maintenance of environmental quality, aesthetic beauty of urban landscape, and social service for inhabitants. Acquiring accurate and up-to-date inventory information for street trees is required for urban horticultural planning, and municipal urban forest management. This paper presents a new Voxel-based Marked Neighborhood Searching (VMNS) method for efficiently identifying street trees and deriving their morphological parameters from Mobile Laser Scanning (MLS) point cloud data. The VMNS method consists of six technical components: voxelization, calculating values of voxels, searching and marking neighborhoods, extracting potential trees, deriving morphological parameters, and eliminating pole-like objects other than trees. The method is validated and evaluated through two case studies. The evaluation results show that the completeness and correctness of our method for street tree detection are over 98%. The derived morphological parameters, including tree height, crown diameter, diameter at breast height (DBH), and crown base height (CBH), are in a good agreement with the field measurements. Our method provides an effective tool for extracting various morphological parameters for individual street trees from MLS point cloud data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mobile Laser Scanning and Mobile Mapping)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Remote Distinction of A Noxious Weed (Musk Thistle: CarduusNutans) Using Airborne Hyperspectral Imagery and the Support Vector Machine Classifier
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(2), 612-630; doi:10.3390/rs5020612
Received: 18 November 2012 / Revised: 18 January 2013 / Accepted: 23 January 2013 / Published: 29 January 2013
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (557 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Remote detection of non-native invasive plant species using geospatial imagery may significantly improve monitoring, planning and management practices by eliminating shortfalls, such as observer bias and accessibility involved in ground-based surveys. The use of remote sensing for accurate mapping invasion extent and [...] Read more.
Remote detection of non-native invasive plant species using geospatial imagery may significantly improve monitoring, planning and management practices by eliminating shortfalls, such as observer bias and accessibility involved in ground-based surveys. The use of remote sensing for accurate mapping invasion extent and pattern offers several advantages, including repeatability, large area coverage, complete instead of sub-sampled assessments and greater cost-effectiveness over ground-based methods. It is critical for locating, early mapping and controlling small infestations before they reach economically prohibitive or ecologically significant levels over larger land areas. This study was designed to explore the ability of hyperspectral imagery for mapping infestation of musk thistle (Carduus nutans) on a native grassland during the preflowering stage in mid-April and during the peak flowering stage in mid-June using the support vector machine classifier and to assess and compare the resulting mapping accuracy for these two distinctive phenological stages. Accuracy assessment revealed that the overall accuracies were 79% and 91% for the classified images at preflowering and peak flowering stages, respectively. These results indicate that repeated detection of the infestation extent, as well as infestation severity or intensity, of this noxious weed in a spatial and temporal context is possible using hyperspectral remote sensing imagery. Full article
Open AccessArticle Sparse Frequency Diverse MIMO Radar Imaging for Off-Grid Target Based on Adaptive Iterative MAP
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(2), 631-647; doi:10.3390/rs5020631
Received: 28 November 2012 / Revised: 14 January 2013 / Accepted: 29 January 2013 / Published: 4 February 2013
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (398 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The frequency diverse multiple-input-multiple-output (FD-MIMO) radar synthesizes a wideband waveform by transmitting and receiving multiple frequency signals simultaneously. For FD-MIMO radar imaging, conventional imaging methods based on Matched Filter (MF) cannot enjoy good imaging performance owing to the few and incomplete wavenumber-domain [...] Read more.
The frequency diverse multiple-input-multiple-output (FD-MIMO) radar synthesizes a wideband waveform by transmitting and receiving multiple frequency signals simultaneously. For FD-MIMO radar imaging, conventional imaging methods based on Matched Filter (MF) cannot enjoy good imaging performance owing to the few and incomplete wavenumber-domain coverage. Higher resolution and better imaging performance can be obtained by exploiting the sparsity of the target. However, good sparse recovery performance is based on the assumption that the scatterers of the target are positioned at the pre-discretized grid locations; otherwise, the performance would significantly degrade. Here, we propose a novel approach of sparse adaptive calibration recovery via iterative maximum a posteriori (SACR-iMAP) for the general off-grid FD-MIMO radar imaging. SACR-iMAP contains three loop stages: sparse recovery, off-grid errors calibration and parameter update. The convergence and the initialization of the method are also discussed. Numerical simulations are carried out to verify the effectiveness of the proposed method. Full article
Open AccessArticle Mapping Tropical Rainforest Canopy Disturbances in 3D by COSMO-SkyMed Spotlight InSAR-Stereo Data to Detect Areas of Forest Degradation
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(2), 648-663; doi:10.3390/rs5020648
Received: 12 December 2012 / Revised: 29 January 2013 / Accepted: 30 January 2013 / Published: 4 February 2013
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (1795 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Assessment of forest degradation has been emphasized as an important issue for emission calculations, but remote sensing based detecting of forest degradation is still in an early phase of development. The use of optical imagery for degradation assessment in the tropics is [...] Read more.
Assessment of forest degradation has been emphasized as an important issue for emission calculations, but remote sensing based detecting of forest degradation is still in an early phase of development. The use of optical imagery for degradation assessment in the tropics is limited due to frequent cloud cover. Recent studies based on radar data often focus on classification approaches of 2D backscatter. In this study, we describe a method to detect areas affected by forest degradation from digital surface models derived from COSMO-SkyMed X-band Spotlight InSAR-Stereo Data. Two test sites with recent logging activities were chosen in Cameroon and in the Republic of Congo. Using the full resolution COSMO-SkyMed digital surface model and a 90-m resolution Shuttle Radar Topography Mission model or a mean filtered digital surface model we calculate difference models to detect canopy disturbances. The extracted disturbance gaps are aggregated to potential degradation areas and then evaluated with respect to reference areas extracted from RapidEye and Quickbird optical imagery. Results show overall accuracies above 75% for assessing degradation areas with the presented methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Remote Sensing of Forestry)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Assessing Land Degradation/Recovery in the African Sahel from Long-Term Earth Observation Based Primary Productivity and Precipitation Relationships
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(2), 664-686; doi:10.3390/rs5020664
Received: 10 December 2012 / Revised: 24 January 2013 / Accepted: 28 January 2013 / Published: 4 February 2013
Cited by 54 | PDF Full-text (1887 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The ‘rain use efficiency’ (RUE) may be defined as the ratio of above-ground net primary productivity (ANPP) to annual precipitation, and it is claimed to be a conservative property of the vegetation cover in drylands, if the vegetation cover is not subject [...] Read more.
The ‘rain use efficiency’ (RUE) may be defined as the ratio of above-ground net primary productivity (ANPP) to annual precipitation, and it is claimed to be a conservative property of the vegetation cover in drylands, if the vegetation cover is not subject to non-precipitation related land degradation. Consequently, RUE may be regarded as means of normalizing ANPP for the impact of annual precipitation, and as an indicator of non-precipitation related land degradation. Large scale and long term identification and monitoring of land degradation in drylands, such as the Sahel, can only be achieved by use of Earth Observation (EO) data. This paper demonstrates that the use of the standard EO-based proxy for ANPP, summed normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) Global Inventory Modeling and Mapping Studies 3rd generation (GIMMS3g)) over the year (ΣNDVI), and the blended EO/rain gauge based data-set for annual precipitation (Climate Prediction Center Merged Analysis of Precipitation, CMAP) results in RUE-estimates which are highly correlated with precipitation, rendering RUE useless as a means of normalizing for the impact of annual precipitation on ANPP. By replacing ΣNDVI by a ‘small NDVI integral’, covering only the rainy season and counting only the increase of NDVI relative to some reference level, this problem is solved. Using this approach, RUE is calculated for the period 1982–2010. The result is that positive RUE-trends dominate in most of the Sahel, indicating that non-precipitation related land degradation is not a widespread phenomenon. Furthermore, it is argued that two preconditions need to be fulfilled in order to obtain meaningful results from the RUE temporal trend analysis: First, there must be a significant positive linear correlation between annual precipitation and the ANPP proxy applied. Second, there must be a near-zero correlation between RUE and annual precipitation. Thirty-seven percent of the pixels in Sahel satisfy these requirements and the paper points to a range of different reasons why this may be the case. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring Global Vegetation with AVHRR NDVI3g Data (1981-2011))
Open AccessArticle Flood Mapping and Flood Dynamics of the Mekong Delta: ENVISAT-ASAR-WSM Based Time Series Analyses
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(2), 687-715; doi:10.3390/rs5020687
Received: 20 November 2012 / Revised: 1 February 2013 / Accepted: 1 February 2013 / Published: 5 February 2013
Cited by 37 | PDF Full-text (4084 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Satellite remote sensing is a valuable tool for monitoring flooding. Microwave sensors are especially appropriate instruments, as they allow the differentiation of inundated from non-inundated areas, regardless of levels of solar illumination or frequency of cloud cover in regions experiencing substantial rainy [...] Read more.
Satellite remote sensing is a valuable tool for monitoring flooding. Microwave sensors are especially appropriate instruments, as they allow the differentiation of inundated from non-inundated areas, regardless of levels of solar illumination or frequency of cloud cover in regions experiencing substantial rainy seasons. In the current study we present the longest synthetic aperture radar-based time series of flood and inundation information derived for the Mekong Delta that has been analyzed for this region so far. We employed overall 60 Envisat ASAR Wide Swath Mode data sets at a spatial resolution of 150 meters acquired during the years 2007–2011 to facilitate a thorough understanding of the flood regime in the Mekong Delta. The Mekong Delta in southern Vietnam comprises 13 provinces and is home to 18 million inhabitants. Extreme dry seasons from late December to May and wet seasons from June to December characterize people’s rural life. In this study, we show which areas of the delta are frequently affected by floods and which regions remain dry all year round. Furthermore, we present which areas are flooded at which frequency and elucidate the patterns of flood progression over the course of the rainy season. In this context, we also examine the impact of dykes on floodwater emergence and assess the relationship between retrieved flood occurrence patterns and land use. In addition, the advantages and shortcomings of ENVISAT ASAR-WSM based flood mapping are discussed. The results contribute to a comprehensive understanding of Mekong Delta flood dynamics in an environment where the flow regime is influenced by the Mekong River, overland water-flow, anthropogenic floodwater control, as well as the tides. Full article
Open AccessArticle Trends and Variability of AVHRR-Derived NPP in India
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(2), 810-829; doi:10.3390/rs5020810
Received: 1 December 2012 / Revised: 10 January 2013 / Accepted: 14 January 2013 / Published: 15 February 2013
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (1495 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, we estimate the trends and variability in Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR)-derived terrestrial net primary productivity (NPP) over India for the period 1982–2006. We find an increasing trend of 3.9% per decade (r = 0.78, R2 = [...] Read more.
In this paper, we estimate the trends and variability in Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR)-derived terrestrial net primary productivity (NPP) over India for the period 1982–2006. We find an increasing trend of 3.9% per decade (r = 0.78, R2 = 0.61) during the analysis period. A multivariate linear regression of NPP with temperature, precipitation, atmospheric CO2 concentration, soil water and surface solar radiation (r = 0.80, R2 = 0.65) indicates that the increasing trend is partly driven by increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration and the consequent CO2 fertilization of the ecosystems. However, human interventions may have also played a key role in the NPP increase: non-forest NPP growth is largely driven by increases in irrigated area and fertilizer use, while forest NPP is influenced by plantation and forest conservation programs. A similar multivariate regression of interannual NPP anomalies with temperature, precipitation, soil water, solar radiation and CO2 anomalies suggests that the interannual variability in NPP is primarily driven by precipitation and temperature variability. Mean seasonal NPP is largest during post-monsoon and lowest during the pre-monsoon period, thereby indicating the importance of soil moisture for vegetation productivity. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Impact of Potential Land Cover Misclassification on MODIS Leaf Area Index (LAI) Estimation: A Statistical Perspective
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(2), 830-844; doi:10.3390/rs5020830
Received: 18 December 2012 / Revised: 4 February 2013 / Accepted: 4 February 2013 / Published: 15 February 2013
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (748 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Understanding the impact of vegetation mixture and misclassification on leaf area index (LAI) estimation is crucial for algorithm development and the application community. Using the MODIS standard land cover and LAI products, global LAI climatologies and statistics were obtained for both pure [...] Read more.
Understanding the impact of vegetation mixture and misclassification on leaf area index (LAI) estimation is crucial for algorithm development and the application community. Using the MODIS standard land cover and LAI products, global LAI climatologies and statistics were obtained for both pure and mixed pixels to evaluate the effects of biome mixture on LAI estimation. Misclassification between crops and shrubs does not generally translate into large LAI errors (<0.37 or 27.0%), partly due to their relatively lower LAI values. Biome misclassification generally leads to an LAI overestimation for savanna, but an underestimation for forests. The largest errors caused by misclassification are also found for savanna (0.51), followed by evergreen needleleaf forests (0.44) and broadleaf forests (~0.31). Comparison with MODIS uncertainty indicators show that biome misclassification is a major factor contributing to LAI uncertainties for savanna, while for forests, the main uncertainties may be introduced by algorithm deficits, especially in summer. The LAI climatologies for pure pixels are recommended for land surface modeling studies. Future studies should focus on improving the biome classification for savanna systems and refinement of the retrieval algorithms for forest biomes. Full article
Open AccessArticle Assessing Performance of NDVI and NDVI3g in Monitoring Leaf Unfolding Dates of the Deciduous Broadleaf Forest in Northern China
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(2), 845-861; doi:10.3390/rs5020845
Received: 4 December 2012 / Revised: 4 February 2013 / Accepted: 5 February 2013 / Published: 18 February 2013
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (757 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Using estimated leaf unfolding data and two types of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI and NDVI3g) data generated from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) in the deciduous broadleaf forest of northern China during 1986 to 2006, we analyzed spatial, temporal [...] Read more.
Using estimated leaf unfolding data and two types of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI and NDVI3g) data generated from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) in the deciduous broadleaf forest of northern China during 1986 to 2006, we analyzed spatial, temporal and spatiotemporal relationships and differences between ground-based growing season beginning (BGS) and NDVI (NDVI3g)-retrieved start of season (SOS and SOS3g), and compared effectiveness of NDVI and NDVI3g in monitoring BGS. Results show that the spatial series of SOS (SOS3g) correlates positively with the spatial series of BGS at all pixels in each year (P < 0.001). Meanwhile, the time series of SOS (SOS3g) correlates positively with the time series of BGS at more than 65% of all pixels during the study period (P < 0.05). Furthermore, when pooling SOS (SOS3g) time series and BGS time series from all pixels, a significant positive correlation (P < 0.001) was also detectable between the spatiotemporal series of SOS (SOS3g) and BGS. In addition, the spatial, temporal and spatiotemporal differences between SOS (SOS3g) and BGS are at acceptable levels overall. Generally speaking, SOS3g is more consistent and accurate than SOS in capturing BGS, which suggests that NDVI3g data might be more sensitive than NDVI data in monitoring vegetation leaf unfolding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring Global Vegetation with AVHRR NDVI3g Data (1981-2011))
Open AccessArticle Use of Satellite Radar Bistatic Measurements for Crop Monitoring: A Simulation Study on Corn Fields
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(2), 864-890; doi:10.3390/rs5020864
Received: 21 December 2012 / Revised: 6 February 2013 / Accepted: 15 February 2013 / Published: 20 February 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1620 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents a theoretical study of microwave remote sensing of vegetated surfaces. The purpose of this study is to find out if satellite bistatic radar systems can provide a performance, in terms of sensitivity to vegetation geophysical parameters, equal to or [...] Read more.
This paper presents a theoretical study of microwave remote sensing of vegetated surfaces. The purpose of this study is to find out if satellite bistatic radar systems can provide a performance, in terms of sensitivity to vegetation geophysical parameters, equal to or greater than the performance of monostatic systems. Up to now, no suitable bistatic data collected over land surfaces are available from satellite, so that the electromagnetic model developed at Tor Vergata University has been used to perform simulations of the scattering coefficient of corn, over a wide range of observation angles at L- and C-band. According to the electromagnetic model, the most promising configuration is the one which measures the VV or HH bistatic scattering coefficient on the plane that lies at the azimuth angle orthogonal with respect to the incidence plane. At this scattering angle, the soil contribution is minimized, and the effects of vegetation growth are highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Remote Sensing of Agriculture)
Open AccessArticle Relationship between Hyperspectral Measurements and Mangrove Leaf Nitrogen Concentrations
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(2), 891-908; doi:10.3390/rs5020891
Received: 20 December 2012 / Revised: 6 February 2013 / Accepted: 16 February 2013 / Published: 22 February 2013
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (3031 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The use of spectral response curves for estimating nitrogen (N) leaf concentrations generally has been found to be a challenging task for a variety of plant species. In this investigation, leaf N concentration and corresponding laboratory hyperspectral data were examined for two [...] Read more.
The use of spectral response curves for estimating nitrogen (N) leaf concentrations generally has been found to be a challenging task for a variety of plant species. In this investigation, leaf N concentration and corresponding laboratory hyperspectral data were examined for two species of mangrove (Avicennia germinans, Rhizophora mangle) representing a variety of conditions (healthy, poor condition, dwarf) of a degraded mangrove forest located in the Mexican Pacific. This is the first time leaf nitrogen content has been examined using close range hyperspectral remote sensing of a degraded mangrove forest. Simple comparisons between individual wavebands and N concentrations were examined, as well as two models employed to predict N concentrations based on multiple wavebands. For one model, an Artificial Neural Network (ANN) was developed based on known N absorption bands. For comparative purposes, a second model, based on the well-known Stepwise Multiple Linear Regression (SMLR) approach, was employed using the entire dataset. For both models, the input data included continuum removed reflectance, band depth at the centre of the absorption feature (BNC), and log (1/BNC). Weak to moderate correlations were found between N concentration and single band spectral responses. The results also indicate that ANNs were more predictive for N concentration than was SMLR, and had consistently higher r2 values. The highest r2 value (0.91) was observed in the prediction of black mangrove (A. germinans) leaf N concentration using the BNC transformation. It is thus suggested that artificial neural networks could be used in a complementary manner with other techniques to assess mangrove health, thereby improving environmental monitoring in coastal wetlands, which is of prime importance to local communities. In addition, it is recommended that the BNC transformation be used on the input for such N concentration prediction models. Full article
Open AccessArticle Estimating Winter Annual Biomass in the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts with Satellite- and Ground-Based Observations
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(2), 909-926; doi:10.3390/rs5020909
Received: 22 December 2012 / Revised: 16 February 2013 / Accepted: 16 February 2013 / Published: 22 February 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (562 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Winter annual plants in southwestern North America influence fire regimes, provide forage, and help prevent erosion. Exotic annuals may also threaten native species. Monitoring winter annuals is difficult because of their ephemeral nature, making the development of a satellite monitoring tool valuable. [...] Read more.
Winter annual plants in southwestern North America influence fire regimes, provide forage, and help prevent erosion. Exotic annuals may also threaten native species. Monitoring winter annuals is difficult because of their ephemeral nature, making the development of a satellite monitoring tool valuable. We mapped winter annual aboveground biomass in the Desert Southwest from satellite observations, evaluating 18 algorithms using time-series vegetation indices (VI). Field-based biomass estimates were used to calibrate and evaluate each algorithm. Winter annual biomass was best estimated by calculating a base VI across the period of record and subtracting it from the peak VI for each winter season (R2 = 0.92). The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) derived from 8-day reflectance data provided the best estimate of winter annual biomass. It is important to account for the timing of peak vegetation when relating field-based estimates to satellite VI data, since post-peak field estimates may indicate senescent biomass which is inaccurately represented by VI-based estimates. Images generated from the best-performing algorithm show both spatial and temporal variation in winter annual biomass. Efforts to manage this variable resource would be enhanced by a tool that allows the monitoring of changes in winter annual resources over time. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle Global Data Sets of Vegetation Leaf Area Index (LAI)3g and Fraction of Photosynthetically Active Radiation (FPAR)3g Derived from Global Inventory Modeling and Mapping Studies (GIMMS) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI3g) for the Period 1981 to 2011
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(2), 927-948; doi:10.3390/rs5020927
Received: 28 December 2012 / Revised: 7 February 2013 / Accepted: 16 February 2013 / Published: 22 February 2013
Cited by 117 | PDF Full-text (1479 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Long-term global data sets of vegetation Leaf Area Index (LAI) and Fraction of Photosynthetically Active Radiation absorbed by vegetation (FPAR) are critical to monitoring global vegetation dynamics and for modeling exchanges of energy, mass and momentum between the land surface and planetary [...] Read more.
Long-term global data sets of vegetation Leaf Area Index (LAI) and Fraction of Photosynthetically Active Radiation absorbed by vegetation (FPAR) are critical to monitoring global vegetation dynamics and for modeling exchanges of energy, mass and momentum between the land surface and planetary boundary layer. LAI and FPAR are also state variables in hydrological, ecological, biogeochemical and crop-yield models. The generation, evaluation and an example case study documenting the utility of 30-year long data sets of LAI and FPAR are described in this article. A neural network algorithm was first developed between the new improved third generation Global Inventory Modeling and Mapping Studies (GIMMS) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI3g) and best-quality Terra Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) LAI and FPAR products for the overlapping period 2000–2009. The trained neural network algorithm was then used to generate corresponding LAI3g and FPAR3g data sets with the following attributes: 15-day temporal frequency, 1/12 degree spatial resolution and temporal span of July 1981 to December 2011. The quality of these data sets for scientific research in other disciplines was assessed through (a) comparisons with field measurements scaled to the spatial resolution of the data products, (b) comparisons with broadly-used existing alternate satellite data-based products, (c) comparisons to plant growth limiting climatic variables in the northern latitudes and tropical regions, and (d) correlations of dominant modes of interannual variability with large-scale circulation anomalies such as the EI Niño-Southern Oscillation and Arctic Oscillation. These assessment efforts yielded results that attested to the suitability of these data sets for research use in other disciplines. The utility of these data sets is documented by comparing the seasonal profiles of LAI3g with profiles from 18 state-of-the-art Earth System Models: the models consistently overestimated the satellite-based estimates of leaf area and simulated delayed peak seasonal values in the northern latitudes, a result that is consistent with previous evaluations of similar models with ground-based data. The LAI3g and FPAR3g data sets can be obtained freely from the NASA Earth Exchange (NEX) website. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring Global Vegetation with AVHRR NDVI3g Data (1981-2011))
Figures

Open AccessArticle Length of Growing Period over Africa: Variability and Trends from 30 Years of NDVI Time Series
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(2), 982-1000; doi:10.3390/rs5020982
Received: 20 December 2012 / Revised: 19 February 2013 / Accepted: 19 February 2013 / Published: 22 February 2013
Cited by 37 | PDF Full-text (2487 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The spatial distribution of crops and farming systems in Africa is determined by the duration of the period during which crop and livestock water requirements are met. The length of growing period (LGP) is normally assessed from weather station data—scarce in large [...] Read more.
The spatial distribution of crops and farming systems in Africa is determined by the duration of the period during which crop and livestock water requirements are met. The length of growing period (LGP) is normally assessed from weather station data—scarce in large parts of Africa—or coarse-resolution rainfall estimates derived from weather satellites. In this study, we analyzed LGP and its variability based on the 1981–2011 GIMMS NDVI3g dataset. We applied a variable threshold method in combination with a searching algorithm to determine start- and end-of-season. We obtained reliable LGP estimates for arid, semi-arid and sub-humid climates that are consistent in space and time. This approach effectively mapped bimodality for clearly separated wet seasons in the Horn of Africa. Due to cloud contamination, the identified bimodality along the Guinea coast was judged to be less certain. High LGP variability is dominant in arid and semi-arid areas, and is indicative of crop failure risk. Significant negative trends in LGP were found for the northern part of the Sahel, for parts of Tanzania and northern Mozambique, and for the short rains of eastern Kenya. Positive trends occurred across western Africa, in southern Africa, and in eastern Kenya for the long rains. Our LGP analysis provides useful information for the mapping of farming systems, and to study the effects of climate variability and other drivers of change on vegetation and crop suitability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring Global Vegetation with AVHRR NDVI3g Data (1981-2011))
Figures

Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research, Other

Open AccessReview Recent Trend and Advance of Synthetic Aperture Radar with Selected Topics
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(2), 716-807; doi:10.3390/rs5020716
Received: 1 December 2012 / Revised: 14 January 2013 / Accepted: 16 January 2013 / Published: 5 February 2013
Cited by 32 | PDF Full-text (10295 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present article is an introductory paper in this special issue on synthetic aperture radar (SAR). A short review is presented on the recent trend and development of SAR and related techniques with selected topics, including the fields of applications, specifications of [...] Read more.
The present article is an introductory paper in this special issue on synthetic aperture radar (SAR). A short review is presented on the recent trend and development of SAR and related techniques with selected topics, including the fields of applications, specifications of airborne and spaceborne SARs, and information contents in and interpretations of amplitude data, interferometric SAR (InSAR) data, and polarimetric SAR (PolSAR) data. The review is by no means extensive, and as such only brief summaries of of each selected topics and key references are provided. For further details, the readers are recommended to read the literature given in the references theirin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing by Synthetic Aperture Radar Technology)
Open AccessReview Advances in Remote Sensing of Agriculture: Context Description, Existing Operational Monitoring Systems and Major Information Needs
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(2), 949-981; doi:10.3390/rs5020949
Received: 30 December 2012 / Revised: 6 February 2013 / Accepted: 6 February 2013 / Published: 22 February 2013
Cited by 92 | PDF Full-text (2268 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Many remote sensing applications are devoted to the agricultural sector. Representative case studies are presented in the special issue “Advances in Remote Sensing of Agriculture”. To complement the examples published within the special issue, a few main applications with regional to global [...] Read more.
Many remote sensing applications are devoted to the agricultural sector. Representative case studies are presented in the special issue “Advances in Remote Sensing of Agriculture”. To complement the examples published within the special issue, a few main applications with regional to global focus were selected for this review, where remote sensing contributions are traditionally strong. The selected applications are put in the context of the global challenges the agricultural sector is facing: minimizing the environmental impact, while increasing production and productivity. Five different applications have been selected, which are illustrated and described: (1) biomass and yield estimation, (2) vegetation vigor and drought stress monitoring, (3) assessment of crop phenological development, (4) crop acreage estimation and cropland mapping and (5) mapping of disturbances and land use/land cover (LULC) changes. Many other applications exist, such as precision agriculture and irrigation management (see other special issues of this journal), but were not included to keep the paper concise. The paper starts with an overview of the main agricultural challenges. This section is followed by a brief overview of existing operational monitoring systems. Finally, in the main part of the paper, the mentioned applications are described and illustrated. The review concludes with some key recommendations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Remote Sensing of Agriculture)
Figures

Other

Jump to: Editorial, Research, Review

Open AccessNew Book Received GPS/GNSS Antennas. By B. Rama Rao, W. Kunysz, R. Fante and K. McDonald, Artech House, 2012; 420 Pages. Price £109.00, ISBN 978-1-59693-150-3
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(2), 808-809; doi:10.3390/rs5020808
Received: 1 February 2013 / Accepted: 1 February 2013 / Published: 5 February 2013
PDF Full-text (11 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This practical resource provides a current and comprehensive treatment of GPS/GNSS antennas, taking into account modernized systems and new and developing applications. The book presents a number of key applications, describing corresponding receiver architectures and antenna details. You find important discussions on [...] Read more.
This practical resource provides a current and comprehensive treatment of GPS/GNSS antennas, taking into account modernized systems and new and developing applications. The book presents a number of key applications, describing corresponding receiver architectures and antenna details. You find important discussions on antenna characteristics, including theory of operation, gain, bandwidth, polarization, phase center, mutual coupling effects, and integration with active components. Full article

Journal Contact

MDPI AG
Remote Sensing Editorial Office
St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
remotesensing@mdpi.com
Tel. +41 61 683 77 34
Fax: +41 61 302 89 18
Editorial Board
Contact Details Submit to Remote Sensing
Back to Top