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Remote Sens. 2014, 6(11), 10931-10946; doi:10.3390/rs61110931

Classification of Vegetation over a Residual Megafan Landform in the Amazonian Lowland Based on Optical and SAR Imagery

National Institute for Space Research (INPE), Remote Sensing Division (DSR), Av. dos Astronautas, 1758, Jardim da Granja, São José dos Campos, SP 12227-010, Brazil
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Received: 26 May 2014 / Revised: 10 October 2014 / Accepted: 21 October 2014 / Published: 7 November 2014
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Abstract

The origin of large areas dominated by pristine open vegetation that is in sharp contrast with surrounding dense forest within the Amazonian lowland has generally been related to past arid climates, but this is still an issue open for debate. In this paper, we characterize a large open vegetation patch over a residual megafan located in the northern Amazonia. The main goal was to investigate the relationship between this paleolandform and vegetation classes mapped based on the integration of optical and SAR data using the decision tree. Our remote sensing dataset includes PALSAR and TM/Landsat images. Five classes were identified: rainforest; flooded forest; wooded open vegetation; grassy-shrubby open vegetation; and water body. The output map resulting from the integration of PALSAR and TM/Landsat images showed an overall accuracy of 94%. Narrow, elongated and sinuous belts of forest within the open vegetation areas progressively bifurcate into others revealing paleochannels arranged into distributary pattern. Such characteristics, integrated with pre-existing geological information, led us to propose that the distribution of vegetation classes highlight a morphology attributed to a Quaternary megafan developed previous to the modern fluvial tributary system. The characterization of such megafan is important for reconstructing landscape changes associated with the evolution of the Amazon drainage basin. View Full-Text
Keywords: open vegetation patches; Amazonia; megafan; optical and SAR integration; decision tree open vegetation patches; Amazonia; megafan; optical and SAR integration; decision tree
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Cremon, É.H.; de Fátima Rossetti, D.; Zani, H. Classification of Vegetation over a Residual Megafan Landform in the Amazonian Lowland Based on Optical and SAR Imagery. Remote Sens. 2014, 6, 10931-10946.

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