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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(7), 8803-8829; doi:10.3390/rs70708803

Monitoring Soil Salinization in Keriya River Basin, Northwestern China Using Passive Reflective and Active Microwave Remote Sensing Data

Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Oasis Ecology and College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Xinjiang University, Urumqi 830046, China
Department of Geosciences, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008, USA
Center for Sustainability, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO 63108, USA
Applied Physical Geography, Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Eichstätt 85071, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Wolfgang Wagner and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 13 April 2015 / Revised: 20 June 2015 / Accepted: 6 July 2015 / Published: 13 July 2015
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Soil salinization is one of the most widespread soil degradation processes on Earth, especially in arid and semi-arid areas. The salinized soil in arid to semi-arid Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China accounts for 31% of the area of cultivated land, and thus it is pivotal for the sustainable agricultural development of the area to identify reliable and cost-effective methodologies to monitor the spatial and temporal variations in soil salinity. This objective was accomplished over the study area (Keriya River Basin, northwestern China) by adopting technologies that heavily rely on, and integrate information contained in, a readily available suite of remote sensing datasets. The following procedures were conducted: (1) a selective principle component analysis (S-PCA) fusion image was generated using Phased Array Type L-band SAR (PALSAR) backscattering coefficient (σ°) and Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) multispectral image of Keriya River Basin; and (2) a support vector machines (SVM) classification method was employed to classify land cover types with a focus on mapping salinized soils; (3) a cross-validation method was adopted to identify the optimum classification parameters, and obtain an optimal SVM classification model; (4) Radarsat-2 (C band) and PALSAR polarimetric images were used to analyze polarimetric backscattering behaviors in relation to the variation in soil salinization; (5) a decision tree (DT) scheme for multi-source optical and polarimetric SAR data integration was proposed to improve the estimation and monitoring accuracies of soil salinization; and (6) detailed field observations and ground truthing were used for validation of the adopted methodology, and quantity and allocation disagreement measures were applied to assess classification outcome. Results showed that the fusion of passive reflective and active microwave remote sensing data provided an effective tool in detecting soil salinization. Overall accuracy of the adopted SVM classifier with optimal parameters for fused image of ETM+ and PALSAR data was 91.25% with a Kappa coefficient of 0.89, which was further improved by the DT data integration and classification method yielding an accuracy of 93.01% with a Kappa coefficient of 0.92 and lower disagreement of quantity and allocation. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil salinization; Keriya River basin; image fusion; SVM classification; decision tree soil salinization; Keriya River basin; image fusion; SVM classification; 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

Nurmemet, I.; Ghulam, A.; Tiyip, T.; Elkadiri, R.; Ding, J.-L.; Maimaitiyiming, M.; Abliz, A.; Sawut, M.; Zhang, F.; Abliz, A.; Sun, Q. Monitoring Soil Salinization in Keriya River Basin, Northwestern China Using Passive Reflective and Active Microwave Remote Sensing Data. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 8803-8829.

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