Remote Sens. 2014, 6(2), 1124-1136; doi:10.3390/rs6021124
Article

Impact of Tree Species on Magnitude of PALSAR Interferometric Coherence over Siberian Forest at Frozen and Unfrozen Conditions

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Received: 15 December 2013; in revised form: 16 January 2014 / Accepted: 22 January 2014 / Published: 28 January 2014
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Abstract: Numerous studies demonstrated the potential of the magnitude of interferometric coherence |γ| for forest growing stock volume (GSV) estimation in boreal forests. Coherence derived from images acquired under frozen conditions proved to be of specific interest. This also applies to PALSAR coherence, although affected by a comparatively large temporal baseline of at least 46 days. However, when working with spaceborne L-band data, acquired under unfrozen conditions, a large spread of |γ| was observed at all GSV levels. This scatter negatively affects the correlation of GSV and |γ|. So far, the impact of tree species on |γ| has rarely been studied in this context, although the different tree geometries are likely to have an impact on volumetric decorrelation. This paper presents the results of a study investigating the impact of tree species on PALSAR coherence employing 36 interferograms. The observations show only a small impact of the tree species on |γ| during frozen conditions. At unfrozen conditions, the impact is about three times larger. Deciduous species (aspen, birch, larch) exhibit the lowest |γ|, while coniferous species (fir, pine) feature the highest |γ|. For example, at unfrozen conditions, the |γ| of fir is 0.15 greater than the |γ| of larch, while the mean |γ| of dense forest is 0.38. Accordingly, the impact of tree species on |γ| under unfrozen conditions causes a portion of the observed spread of the GSV-|γ| relationship. Consequently, when aiming at |γ| based GSV assessment using L-band SAR data acquired during unfrozen conditions, the impact of the species on |γ| needs to be considered. For studies aiming at |γ| based GSV estimation across species, PALSAR data acquired at frozen conditions is preferable.
Keywords: ALOS PALSAR; L-band; INSAR; coherence; boreal forest; tree species frozen conditions; forest growing stock volume
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MDPI and ACS Style

Thiel, C.; Schmullius, C. Impact of Tree Species on Magnitude of PALSAR Interferometric Coherence over Siberian Forest at Frozen and Unfrozen Conditions. Remote Sens. 2014, 6, 1124-1136.

AMA Style

Thiel C, Schmullius C. Impact of Tree Species on Magnitude of PALSAR Interferometric Coherence over Siberian Forest at Frozen and Unfrozen Conditions. Remote Sensing. 2014; 6(2):1124-1136.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Thiel, Christian; Schmullius, Christiane. 2014. "Impact of Tree Species on Magnitude of PALSAR Interferometric Coherence over Siberian Forest at Frozen and Unfrozen Conditions." Remote Sens. 6, no. 2: 1124-1136.

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