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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(2), 97; doi:10.3390/rs8020097

Hierarchical Object-Based Mapping of Riverscape Units and in-Stream Mesohabitats Using LiDAR and VHR Imagery

1
European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Water Resources Unit, Via E. Fermi 2749, I-21027 Ispra, VA, Italy
2
UMR 5600 CNRS EVS, ISIG platform, University of Lyon, Site ENS de Lyon, 15 Parvis René Descartes, F-69362 Lyon, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Magaly Koch and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 27 October 2015 / Revised: 13 January 2016 / Accepted: 18 January 2016 / Published: 27 January 2016
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Abstract

In this paper, we present a new, semi-automated methodology for mapping hydromorphological indicators of rivers at a regional scale using multisource remote sensing (RS) data. This novel approach is based on the integration of spectral and topographic information within a multilevel, geographic, object-based image analysis (GEOBIA). Different segmentation levels were generated based on the two sources of Remote Sensing (RS) data, namely very-high spatial resolution, near-infrared imagery (VHR) and high-resolution LiDAR topography. At each level, different input object features were tested with Machine Learning classifiers for mapping riverscape units and in-stream mesohabitats. The GEOBIA approach proved to be a powerful tool for analyzing the river system at different levels of detail and for coupling spectral and topographic datasets, allowing for the delineation of the natural fluvial corridor with its primary riverscape units (e.g., water channel, unvegetated sediment bars, riparian densely-vegetated units, etc.) and in-stream mesohabitats with a high level of accuracy, respectively of K = 0.91 and K = 0.83. This method is flexible and can be adapted to different sources of data, with the potential to be implemented at regional scales in the future. The analyzed dataset, composed of VHR imagery and LiDAR data, is nowadays increasingly available at larger scales, notably through European Member States. At the same time, this methodology provides a tool for monitoring and characterizing the hydromorphological status of river systems continuously along the entire channel network and coherently through time, opening novel and significant perspectives to river science and management, notably for planning and targeting actions. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydromorphology; object-based classification; LiDAR data; VHR imagery; machine learning; riverscape units; hierarchical classification hydromorphology; object-based classification; LiDAR data; VHR imagery; machine learning; riverscape units; hierarchical classification
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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

Demarchi, L.; Bizzi, S.; Piégay, H. Hierarchical Object-Based Mapping of Riverscape Units and in-Stream Mesohabitats Using LiDAR and VHR Imagery. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 97.

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