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Remote Sens., Volume 8, Issue 4 (April 2016)

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Open AccessArticle Climatology Analysis of Aerosol Effect on Marine Water Cloud from Long-Term Satellite Climate Data Records
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 300; doi:10.3390/rs8040300
Received: 27 January 2016 / Revised: 18 March 2016 / Accepted: 29 March 2016 / Published: 2 April 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (10195 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Satellite aerosol and cloud climate data records (CDRs) have been used successfully to study the aerosol indirect effect (AIE). Data from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) now span more than 30 years and allow these studies to be conducted from a
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Satellite aerosol and cloud climate data records (CDRs) have been used successfully to study the aerosol indirect effect (AIE). Data from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) now span more than 30 years and allow these studies to be conducted from a climatology perspective. In this paper, AVHRR data are used to study the AIE on water clouds over the global oceans. Correlation analysis between aerosol optical thickness (AOT) and cloud parameters, including cloud droplet effective radius (CDER), cloud optical depth (COD), cloud water path (CWP), and cloud cover fraction (CCF), is performed. For the first time from satellite observations, the long-term trend in AIE over the global oceans is also examined. Three regimes have been identified: (1) AOT < 0.08, where CDER increases with AOT; (2) 0.08 < AOT < 0.3, where CDER generally decreases when AOT increases; and (3) AOT > 0.3, where CDER first increases with AOT and then levels off. AIE is easy to manifest in the CDER reduction in the second regime (named Regime 2), which is identified as the AIE sensitive/effective regime. The AIE manifested in the consistent changes of all four cloud variables (CDER, COD, CWP, and CCF) together is located only in limited areas and with evident seasonal variations. The long-term trend of CDER changes due to the AIE of AOT changes is detected and falls into three scenarios: Evident CDER decreasing (increasing) with significant AOT increasing (decreasing) and evident CDER decreasing with limited AOT increasing but AOT values fall in the AIE sensitive Regime 2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Satellite Climate Data Records and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Detection and Mapping of Black Rock Coatings Using Hyperion Images: Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 301; doi:10.3390/rs8040301
Received: 29 November 2015 / Revised: 23 March 2016 / Accepted: 29 March 2016 / Published: 2 April 2016
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Abstract
Base metal smelting activities can produce acidic rain that promotes vegetation loss and the development of black coatings on bedrock. Such coatings can form over large areas and are among the most prominent long-term vestiges of past smelting activities. In this study, multispectral
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Base metal smelting activities can produce acidic rain that promotes vegetation loss and the development of black coatings on bedrock. Such coatings can form over large areas and are among the most prominent long-term vestiges of past smelting activities. In this study, multispectral images derived from Hyperion reflectance data were evaluated with regard to their utility in the discrimination and mapping of black rock coatings near Sudbury. Spectral angle mapper (SAM) classifications generated on the basis of image-derived endmember spectra could not be used to properly identify major exposures of coated bedrock without also producing substantial confusion with uncoated classes. Neural network and maximum likelihood classifications produced improved representations of the spatial distribution of coated bedrock, though confusion between coated and uncoated classes is problematic in most outputs. Maximum likelihood results generated using a null class are noteworthy for their effectiveness in highlighting exposures of coated bedrock without substantial confusion with uncoated classes. Although challenges remain, classification results confirm the potential of remote sensing techniques for use in the worldwide detection, mapping, and monitoring of coating-related environmental degradation in the vicinities of base metal smelters. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Monitoring of the Lac Bam Wetland Extent Using Dual-Polarized X-Band SAR Data
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 302; doi:10.3390/rs8040302
Received: 23 December 2015 / Revised: 10 March 2016 / Accepted: 17 March 2016 / Published: 5 April 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (12289 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Wetlands in semi-arid Africa are vital as water resource for local inhabitants and for biodiversity, but they are prone to strong seasonal fluctuations. Lac Bam is the largest natural freshwater lake in Burkina Faso, its water is mixed with patches of floating or
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Wetlands in semi-arid Africa are vital as water resource for local inhabitants and for biodiversity, but they are prone to strong seasonal fluctuations. Lac Bam is the largest natural freshwater lake in Burkina Faso, its water is mixed with patches of floating or flooded vegetation, and very turbid and sediment-rich. These characteristics as well as the usual cloud cover during the rainy season can limit the suitability of optical remote sensing data for monitoring purposes. This study demonstrates the applicability of weather-independent dual-polarimetric Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data for the analysis of spatio-temporal wetland dynamics. A TerraSAR-X repeat-pass time series of dual-co-polarized HH-VV StripMap data—with intervals of 11 days, covering two years (2013–2015) from the rainy to the dry season—was processed to normalized Kennaugh elements and classified mono-temporally and multi-temporally. Land cover time series and seasonal duration maps were generated for the following four classes: open water, flooded/floating vegetation, irrigated cultivation, and land (non-wetland). The added value of dual-polarimetric SAR data is demonstrated by significantly higher multitemporal classification accuracies, where the overall accuracy (88.5%) exceeds the classification accuracy using single-polarimetric SAR intensity data (82.2%). For relevant change classes involving flooded vegetation and irrigated fields dual-polarimetric data (accuracies: 75%–97%) are favored to single-polarimetric data (42%–87%). This study contributes to a better understanding of the dynamics of semi-arid African wetlands in terms of water areas including water with flooded vegetation, and the location and timing of irrigated cultivations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue What can Remote Sensing Do for the Conservation of Wetlands?)
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Open AccessArticle Improving Spring Maize Yield Estimation at Field Scale by Assimilating Time-Series HJ-1 CCD Data into the WOFOST Model Using a New Method with Fast Algorithms
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 303; doi:10.3390/rs8040303
Received: 31 December 2015 / Revised: 21 February 2016 / Accepted: 22 March 2016 / Published: 4 April 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (8129 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Field crop yield prediction is crucial to grain storage, agricultural field management, and national agricultural decision-making. Currently, crop models are widely used for crop yield prediction. However, they are hampered by the uncertainty or similarity of input parameters when extrapolated to field scale.
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Field crop yield prediction is crucial to grain storage, agricultural field management, and national agricultural decision-making. Currently, crop models are widely used for crop yield prediction. However, they are hampered by the uncertainty or similarity of input parameters when extrapolated to field scale. Data assimilation methods that combine crop models and remote sensing are the most effective methods for field yield estimation. In this study, the World Food Studies (WOFOST) model is used to simulate the growing process of spring maize. Common assimilation methods face some difficulties due to the scarce, constant, or similar nature of the input parameters. For example, yield spatial heterogeneity simulation, coexistence of common assimilation methods and the nutrient module, and time cost are relatively important limiting factors. To address the yield simulation problems at field scale, a simple yet effective method with fast algorithms is presented for assimilating the time-series HJ-1 A/B data into the WOFOST model in order to improve the spring maize yield simulation. First, the WOFOST model is calibrated and validated to obtain the precise mean yield. Second, the time-series leaf area index (LAI) is calculated from the HJ data using an empirical regression model. Third, some fast algorithms are developed to complete assimilation. Finally, several experiments are conducted in a large farmland (Hongxing) to evaluate the yield simulation results. In general, the results indicate that the proposed method reliably improves spring maize yield estimation in terms of spatial heterogeneity simulation ability and prediction accuracy without affecting the simulation efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing in Precision Agriculture)
Open AccessArticle Classification of Complex Urban Fringe Land Cover Using Evidential Reasoning Based on Fuzzy Rough Set: A Case Study of Wuhan City
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 304; doi:10.3390/rs8040304
Received: 15 December 2015 / Revised: 17 February 2016 / Accepted: 21 March 2016 / Published: 6 April 2016
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Abstract
Urban fringe is the transition zone fine grained with urban and non-urban land cover types. The complex landscape mosaic in this area challenges the land cover classification based on the remote-sensing data. Spectral signatures are not efficient to discriminate all pixels into classes.
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Urban fringe is the transition zone fine grained with urban and non-urban land cover types. The complex landscape mosaic in this area challenges the land cover classification based on the remote-sensing data. Spectral signatures are not efficient to discriminate all pixels into classes. To improve the recognition and handle the uncertainty, this paper provides a novel integrated approach, based on a fuzzy rough set and evidential reasoning (FRSER), for land cover classification in an urban fringe area. The approach is implemented on Landsat Operation Land Imager data covering the urban fringe area of Wuhan city, China. A fuzzy rough set is first used to define a decision table from multispectral imagery and ground reference data. Then the fuzzy rough information system is interpreted using the Dempster–Shafer theory, based on an evidential reasoning system. A final land cover classification with uncertainty is achieved by evidential reasoning. The results are compared with the traditional maximum likelihood classifier (MLC) and some rough set-based classifiers including classical rough set classifier (RS), fuzzy rough set classifier (FRS), and variable precision fuzzy rough set classifier (VPFRS). The better overall accuracy, user’s and producer’s accuracies, and the kappa coefficient, in comparison with the other classifiers, suggest that the proposed approach can effectively discriminate land cover types in urban fringe areas with high inter-class similarities and intra-class heterogeneity. It is also capable of handling the uncertainty in data processing, and the final land cover map comes with a degree of uncertainty. The proposed approach that can efficiently integrate the merits of both the fuzzy rough set and DS theory provides an efficient method for urban fringe land cover classification. Full article
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Open AccessArticle An Online System for Nowcasting Satellite Derived Temperatures for Urban Areas
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 306; doi:10.3390/rs8040306
Received: 11 February 2016 / Revised: 24 March 2016 / Accepted: 31 March 2016 / Published: 6 April 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (6860 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Urban Heat Island (UHI) is an adverse environmental effect of urbanization that increases the energy demand of cities and impacts human health. The study of this effect for monitoring and mitigation purposes is crucial, but it is hampered by the lack of
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The Urban Heat Island (UHI) is an adverse environmental effect of urbanization that increases the energy demand of cities and impacts human health. The study of this effect for monitoring and mitigation purposes is crucial, but it is hampered by the lack of high spatiotemporal temperature data. This article presents the work undertaken for the implementation of an operational real-time module for monitoring 2 m air temperature (TA) at a spatial resolution of 1 km based on the Meteosat Second Generation—Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (MSG-SEVIRI). This new module has been developed in the context of an operational system for monitoring the urban thermal environment. The initial evaluation of TA products against meteorological in situ data from 15 cities in Europe and North Africa yields that its accuracy in terms of Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) is 2.3 °C and Pearson’s correlation coefficient (Rho) is 0.95. The temperature information made available at and around cities can facilitate the assessment of the UHIs in real time but also the timely generation of relevant higher value products and services for energy demand and human health studies. The service is available at http://snf-652558.vm.okeanos.grnet.gr/treasure/portal/info.html. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Landslide Mapping in Vegetated Areas Using Change Detection Based on Optical and Polarimetric SAR Data
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 307; doi:10.3390/rs8040307
Received: 29 January 2016 / Revised: 29 March 2016 / Accepted: 31 March 2016 / Published: 6 April 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (13251 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Mapping of landslides, quickly providing information about the extent of the affected area and type and grade of damage, is crucial to enable fast crisis response, i.e., to support rescue and humanitarian operations. Most synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data-based landslide detection approaches
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Mapping of landslides, quickly providing information about the extent of the affected area and type and grade of damage, is crucial to enable fast crisis response, i.e., to support rescue and humanitarian operations. Most synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data-based landslide detection approaches reported in the literature use change detection techniques, requiring very high resolution (VHR) SAR imagery acquired shortly before the landslide event, which is commonly not available. Modern VHR SAR missions, e.g., Radarsat-2, TerraSAR-X, or COSMO-SkyMed, do not systematically cover the entire world, due to limitations in onboard disk space and downlink transmission rates. Here, we present a fast and transferable procedure for mapping of landslides, based on change detection between pre-event optical imagery and the polarimetric entropy derived from post-event VHR polarimetric SAR data. Pre-event information is derived from high resolution optical imagery of Landsat-8 or Sentinel-2, which are freely available and systematically acquired over the entire Earth’s landmass. The landslide mapping is refined by slope information from a digital elevation model generated from bi-static TanDEM-X imagery. The methodology was successfully applied to two landslide events of different characteristics: A rotational slide near Charleston, West Virginia, USA and a mining waste earthflow near Bolshaya Talda, Russia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Earth Observations for Geohazards)
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Open AccessArticle Combining L- and X-Band SAR Interferometry to Assess Ground Displacements in Heterogeneous Coastal Environments: The Po River Delta and Venice Lagoon, Italy
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 308; doi:10.3390/rs8040308
Received: 30 December 2015 / Revised: 26 February 2016 / Accepted: 21 March 2016 / Published: 6 April 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (6890 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
From leveling to SAR-based interferometry, the monitoring of land subsidence in coastal transitional environments significantly improved. However, the simultaneous assessment of the ground movements in these peculiar environments is still challenging. This is due to the presence of relatively small built-up zones and
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From leveling to SAR-based interferometry, the monitoring of land subsidence in coastal transitional environments significantly improved. However, the simultaneous assessment of the ground movements in these peculiar environments is still challenging. This is due to the presence of relatively small built-up zones and infrastructures, e.g., coastal infrastructures, bridges, and river embankments, within large natural or rural lands, e.g., river deltas, lagoons, and farmland. In this paper we present a multi-band SAR methodology to integrate COSMO-SkyMed and ALOS-PALSAR images. The method consists of a proper combination of the very high-resolution X-band Persistent Scatterer Interferometry (PSI), which achieves high-density and precise measurements on single structures and constructed areas, with L-band Short-Baseline SAR Interferometry (SBAS), properly implemented to raise its effectiveness in retrieving information in vegetated and wet zones. The combined methodology is applied on the Po River Delta and Venice coastland, Northern Italy, using 16 ALOS-PALSAR and 31 COSMO-SkyMed images covering the period between 2007 and 2011. After a proper calibration of the single PSI and SBAS solution using available GPS records, the datasets have been combined at both the regional and local scales. The measured displacements range from ~0 mm/yr down to −35 mm/yr. The results reveal the variable pattern of the subsidence characterizing the more natural and rural environments without losing the accuracy in quantifying the sinking of urban areas and infrastructures. Moreover, they allow improving the interpretation of the natural and anthropogenic processes responsible for the ongoing subsidence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing in Coastal Environments)
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Open AccessArticle Study of the Remote Sensing Model of FAPAR over Rugged Terrains
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 309; doi:10.3390/rs8040309
Received: 10 December 2015 / Revised: 25 March 2016 / Accepted: 29 March 2016 / Published: 7 April 2016
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Abstract
Mountainous areas with rugged terrains are widely distributed around the world. Remotely sensed values of the fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (FAPAR) suffer from the effect of rugged terrain. In this study, the effect of rugged terrain was incorporated into the FAPAR
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Mountainous areas with rugged terrains are widely distributed around the world. Remotely sensed values of the fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (FAPAR) suffer from the effect of rugged terrain. In this study, the effect of rugged terrain was incorporated into the FAPAR model based on recollision probability (FAPAR-P), which was improved in two aspects: calculating the sky viewing factor to correct for the fraction of diffuse sky radiation to the total radiation, and correcting the interception probability according to the slope and aspect of each pixel. The newly developed model is called FAPAR-PR (FAPAR-P Model for Rugged Terrain Area). Two study areas were chosen to validate the proposed model: the Dayekou watershed in Gansu Province, and Weichang in Hebei Province, China. The FAPAR values derived from the models were compared with FAPAR values measured in situ using photon flux sensors and the SunScan canopy analysis system (Delta-T Devices Ltd., Cambridge, UK). The validation results show that the FAPAR-PR model is applicable to rugged terrain areas, and it achieves a high level of accuracy. The FAPAR retrieval at different scales was also conducted to estimate the effect of terrain on the FAPAR-P and FAPAR-PR models. In our chosen study area, the effect of rugged terrain was significant in fine resolution pixels, but it was not obvious at larger scales, as the effects of slope and aspect were partly eliminated by the upscaling of the digital elevation model. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Scaling of FAPAR from the Field to the Satellite
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 310; doi:10.3390/rs8040310
Received: 13 October 2015 / Revised: 27 March 2016 / Accepted: 29 March 2016 / Published: 7 April 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (4363 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (FAPAR) is a critical biophysical parameter in eco-environmental studies. Scaling of FAPAR from the field observation to the satellite pixel is essential for validating remote sensing FAPAR product and for further modeling applications. However, compared to
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The fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (FAPAR) is a critical biophysical parameter in eco-environmental studies. Scaling of FAPAR from the field observation to the satellite pixel is essential for validating remote sensing FAPAR product and for further modeling applications. However, compared to spatial mismatches, few studies have considered temporal mismatches between in-situ and satellite observations in the scaling. This paper proposed a general methodology for scaling FAPAR from the field to the satellite pixel considering the temporal variation. Firstly, a temporal normalization method was proposed to normalize the in-situ data measured at different times to the time of satellite overpass. The method was derived from the integration of an atmospheric radiative transfer model (6S) and a FAPAR analytical model (FAPAR-P), which can characterize the diurnal variations of FAPAR comprehensively. Secondly, the logistic model, which derives smooth and consistent temporal profile for vegetation growth, was used to interpolate the in-situ data to match the dates of satellite acquisitions. Thirdly, fine-resolution FAPAR products at different dates were estimated from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) data using the temporally corrected in-situ data. Finally, fine-resolution FAPAR were taken as reference datasets and aggregated to coarse resolution, which were further compared to the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) FAPAR product. The methodology is validated for scaling FAPAR from the field to the satellite pixel temporally and spatially. The MODIS FAPAR manifested a good consistency with the aggregated FAPAR with R2 of 0.922 and the root mean squared error of 0.054. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Rainfall Model Based on a Geographically Weighted Regression Algorithm for Rainfall Estimations over the Arid Qaidam Basin in China
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 311; doi:10.3390/rs8040311
Received: 22 October 2015 / Revised: 20 March 2016 / Accepted: 31 March 2016 / Published: 8 April 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (8547 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Accurate rainfall estimations based on ground-based rainfall observations and satellite-based rainfall measurements are essential for hydrological and environmental modeling in the Qaidam Basin of China. We evaluated the accuracy of daily and monthly scale Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) rainfall products in the
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Accurate rainfall estimations based on ground-based rainfall observations and satellite-based rainfall measurements are essential for hydrological and environmental modeling in the Qaidam Basin of China. We evaluated the accuracy of daily and monthly scale Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) rainfall products in the Qaidam Basin. A Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR) was used to estimate the spatial distribution of the TRMM product error using altitude and geographical latitude and longitude as independent variables. Finally, a rainfall model was developed by combining ground-based and satellite-based rainfall measurements, and the model precision was validated with a cross-validation method based on rainfall gauge measurements. The TRMM precipitation observations may contain errors compared with the ground-measured precipitation, and the error for daily data was higher than that for monthly data. A time series of TRMM rainfall measurements at the same location showed errors at certain time intervals. The ground-based and satellite-based rainfall GWR model improved the error in the TRMM rainfall products. This rainfall estimation model with a 1-km spatial resolution is applicable in the Qaidam Basin in which there is a sparse network of rainfall gauges, and is significant for spatial investigations of hydrology and climate change. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Framework for Large-Area Mapping of Past and Present Cropping Activity Using Seasonal Landsat Images and Time Series Metrics
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 312; doi:10.3390/rs8040312
Received: 14 December 2015 / Revised: 30 March 2016 / Accepted: 31 March 2016 / Published: 8 April 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (9197 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Crop extent and frequency maps are an important input to inform the debate around land value and competitive land uses, in particular between cropping and mining in the case of Queensland, Australia. Such spatial datasets are useful for supporting decisions on natural resource
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Crop extent and frequency maps are an important input to inform the debate around land value and competitive land uses, in particular between cropping and mining in the case of Queensland, Australia. Such spatial datasets are useful for supporting decisions on natural resource management, planning and policy. For the major broadacre cropping regions of Queensland, Australia, the complete Landsat Time Series (LTS) archive from 1987 to 2015 was used in a multi-temporal mapping approach, where spatial, spectral and temporal information were combined in multiple crop-modelling steps, supported by training data sampled across space and time for the classes Crop and No-Crop. Temporal information within summer and winter growing seasons were summarised for each year, and combined with various vegetation indices and band ratios computed from a pixel-based mid-season spectral synthetic image. All available temporal information was spatially aggregated to the scale of image segments in the mid-season synthetic image for each growing season and used to train a number of different predictive models for a Crop and No-Crop classification. Validation revealed that the predictive accuracy varied by growing season and region and a random forest classifier performed best, with κ = 0.88 to 0.91 for the summer growing season and κ = 0.91 to 0.97 for the winter growing season, and are thus suitable for mapping current and historic cropping activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring of Land Changes)
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Open AccessArticle Ongoing Deformation of Sinkholes in Wink, Texas, Observed by Time-Series Sentinel-1A SAR Interferometry (Preliminary Results)
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 313; doi:10.3390/rs8040313
Received: 17 February 2016 / Revised: 15 March 2016 / Accepted: 5 April 2016 / Published: 8 April 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (9823 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Spatiotemporal deformation of existing sinkholes and the surrounding region in Wink, TX are probed using time-series interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) methods with radar images acquired from the Sentinel-1A satellite launched in April 2014. The two-dimensional deformation maps, calculated using InSAR observations from
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Spatiotemporal deformation of existing sinkholes and the surrounding region in Wink, TX are probed using time-series interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) methods with radar images acquired from the Sentinel-1A satellite launched in April 2014. The two-dimensional deformation maps, calculated using InSAR observations from ascending and descending tracks, reveal that much of the observed deformation is vertical. Our results indicate that the sinkholes are still influenced by ground depression, implying that the sinkholes continue to expand. Particularly, a region 1 km northeast of sinkhole #2 is sinking at a rate of up to 13 cm/year, and its aerial extent has been enlarged in the past eight years when compared with a previous survey. Furthermore, there is a high correlation between groundwater level and surficial subsidence during the summer months, representing the complicated characteristics of sinkhole deformation under the influence of successive roof failures in underlying cavities. We also modeled the sinkhole deformation in a homogenous elastic half-space with two dislocation sources, and the ground depression above cavities could be numerically analyzed. Measurements of ongoing deformation in sinkholes and assessments of the stability of the land surface at sinkhole-prone locations in near real-time, are essential for mitigating the threat posed to people and property by the materialization of sinkholes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Bayesian Analysis of Uncertainty in the GlobCover 2009 Land Cover Product at Climate Model Grid Scale
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 314; doi:10.3390/rs8040314
Received: 26 November 2015 / Revised: 15 March 2016 / Accepted: 22 March 2016 / Published: 8 April 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1420 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Land cover data derived from satellites are commonly used to prescribe inputs to models of the land surface. Since such data inevitably contains errors, quantifying how uncertainties in the data affect a model’s output is important. To do so, a spatial distribution of
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Land cover data derived from satellites are commonly used to prescribe inputs to models of the land surface. Since such data inevitably contains errors, quantifying how uncertainties in the data affect a model’s output is important. To do so, a spatial distribution of possible land cover values is required to propagate through the model’s simulation. However, at large scales, such as those required for climate models, such spatial modelling can be difficult. Also, computer models often require land cover proportions at sites larger than the original map scale as inputs, and it is the uncertainty in these proportions that this article discusses. This paper describes a Monte Carlo sampling scheme that generates realisations of land cover proportions from the posterior distribution as implied by a Bayesian analysis that combines spatial information in the land cover map and its associated confusion matrix. The technique is computationally simple and has been applied previously to the Land Cover Map 2000 for the region of England and Wales. This article demonstrates the ability of the technique to scale up to large (global) satellite derived land cover maps and reports its application to the GlobCover 2009 data product. The results show that, in general, the GlobCover data possesses only small biases, with the largest belonging to non–vegetated surfaces. In vegetated surfaces, the most prominent area of uncertainty is Southern Africa, which represents a complex heterogeneous landscape. It is also clear from this study that greater resources need to be devoted to the construction of comprehensive confusion matrices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Validation and Inter-Comparison of Land Cover and Land Use Data)
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Open AccessArticle AVHRR GAC SST Reanalysis Version 1 (RAN1)
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 315; doi:10.3390/rs8040315
Received: 16 December 2015 / Revised: 23 March 2016 / Accepted: 4 April 2016 / Published: 9 April 2016
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Abstract
In response to its users’ needs, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) initiated reanalysis (RAN) of the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) Global Area Coverage (GAC; 4 km) sea surface temperature (SST) data employing its Advanced Clear Sky Processor for Oceans
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In response to its users’ needs, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) initiated reanalysis (RAN) of the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) Global Area Coverage (GAC; 4 km) sea surface temperature (SST) data employing its Advanced Clear Sky Processor for Oceans (ACSPO) retrieval system. Initially, AVHRR/3 data from five NOAA and two Metop satellites from 2002 to 2015 have been reprocessed. The derived SSTs have been matched up with two reference SSTs—the quality controlled in situ SSTs from the NOAA in situ Quality Monitor (iQuam) and the Canadian Meteorological Centre (CMC) L4 SST analysis—and analyzed in the NOAA SST Quality Monitor (SQUAM) online system. The corresponding clear-sky ocean brightness temperatures (BT) in AVHRR bands 3b, 4 and 5 (centered at 3.7, 11, and 12 µm, respectively) have been compared with the Community Radiative Transfer Model simulations in another NOAA online system, Monitoring of Infrared Clear-sky Radiances over Ocean for SST (MICROS). For some AVHRRs, the time series of “AVHRR minus reference” SSTs and “observed minus model” BTs are unstable and inconsistent, with artifacts in the SSTs and BTs strongly correlated. In the official “Reanalysis version 1” (RAN1), data from only five platforms—two midmorning (NOAA-17 and Metop-A) and three afternoon (NOAA-16, -18 and -19)—were included during the most stable periods of their operations. The stability of the SST time series was further improved using variable regression SST coefficients, similarly to how it was done in the NOAA/NASA Pathfinder version 5.2 (PFV5.2) dataset. For data assimilation applications, especially those blending satellite and in situ SSTs, we recommend bias-correcting the RAN1 SSTs using the newly developed sensor-specific error statistics (SSES), which are reported in the product files. Relative performance of RAN1 and PFV5.2 SSTs is discussed. Work is underway to improve the calibration of AVHRR/3s and extend RAN time series, initially back to the mid-1990s and later to the early 1980s. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Satellite Climate Data Records and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Stable Imaging and Accuracy Issues of Low-Altitude Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Photogrammetry Systems
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 316; doi:10.3390/rs8040316
Received: 16 January 2016 / Revised: 25 March 2016 / Accepted: 6 April 2016 / Published: 9 April 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (8985 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Stable imaging of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) photogrammetry system is an important issue that affects the data processing and application of the system. Compared with traditional aerial images, the large rotation of roll, pitch, and yaw angles of UAV images decrease image
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Stable imaging of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) photogrammetry system is an important issue that affects the data processing and application of the system. Compared with traditional aerial images, the large rotation of roll, pitch, and yaw angles of UAV images decrease image quality and result in image deformation, thereby affecting the ground resolution, overlaps, and the consistency of the stereo models. These factors also cause difficulties in automatic tie point matching, image orientation, and accuracy of aerial triangulation (AT). The issues of large-angle photography of UAV photogrammetry system are discussed and analyzed quantitatively in this paper, and a simple and lightweight three-axis stabilization platform that works with a low-precision integrated inertial navigation system and a three-axis mechanical platform is used to reduce this problem. An experiment was carried out with an airship as the flight platform. Another experimental dataset, which was acquired by the same flight platform without a stabilization platform, was utilized for a comparative test. Experimental results show that the system can effectively isolate the swing of the flying platform. To ensure objective and reliable results, another group of experimental datasets, which were acquired using a fixed-wing UAV platform, was also analyzed. Statistical results of the experimental datasets confirm that stable imaging of a UAV platform can help improve the quality of aerial photography imagery and the accuracy of AT, and potentially improve the application of images acquired by a UAV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Trends in UAV Remote Sensing)
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Open AccessArticle The Impact of Geophysical Corrections on Sea-Ice Freeboard Retrieved from Satellite Altimetry
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 317; doi:10.3390/rs8040317
Received: 27 February 2016 / Revised: 22 March 2016 / Accepted: 31 March 2016 / Published: 9 April 2016
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Abstract
Satellite altimetry is the only method to monitor global changes in sea-ice thickness and volume over decades. Such missions (e.g., ERS, Envisat, ICESat, CryoSat-2) are based on the conversion of freeboard into thickness by assuming hydrostatic equilibrium. Freeboard, the height of the ice
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Satellite altimetry is the only method to monitor global changes in sea-ice thickness and volume over decades. Such missions (e.g., ERS, Envisat, ICESat, CryoSat-2) are based on the conversion of freeboard into thickness by assuming hydrostatic equilibrium. Freeboard, the height of the ice above the water level, is therefore a crucial parameter. Freeboard is a relative quantity, computed by subtracting the instantaneous sea surface height from the sea-ice surface elevations. Hence, the impact of geophysical range corrections depends on the performance of the interpolation between subsequent leads to retrieve the sea surface height, and the magnitude of the correction. In this study, we investigate this impact by considering CryoSat-2 sea-ice freeboard retrievals in autumn and spring. Our findings show that major parts of the Arctic are not noticeably affected by the corrections. However, we find areas with very low lead density like the multiyear ice north of Canada, and landfast ice zones, where the impact can be substantial. In March 2015, 7.17% and 2.69% of all valid CryoSat-2 freeboard grid cells are affected by the ocean tides and the inverse barometric correction by more than 1 cm. They represent by far the major contributions among the impacts of the individual corrections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sea Ice Remote Sensing and Analysis)
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Open AccessArticle Mapping a Knowledge-Based Malaria Hazard Index Related to Landscape Using Remote Sensing: Application to the Cross-Border Area between French Guiana and Brazil
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 319; doi:10.3390/rs8040319
Received: 8 February 2016 / Revised: 5 April 2016 / Accepted: 7 April 2016 / Published: 11 April 2016
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Abstract
Malaria remains one of the most common vector-borne diseases in the world and the definition of novel control strategies can benefit from the modeling of transmission processes. However, data-driven models are often difficult to build, as data are very often incomplete, heterogeneous in
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Malaria remains one of the most common vector-borne diseases in the world and the definition of novel control strategies can benefit from the modeling of transmission processes. However, data-driven models are often difficult to build, as data are very often incomplete, heterogeneous in nature and in quality, and/or biased. In this context, a knowledge-based approach is proposed to build a robust and general landscape-based hazard index for malaria transmission that is tailored to the Amazonian region. A partial knowledge-based model of the risk of malaria transmission in the Amazonian region, based on landscape features and extracted from a systematic literature review, was used. Spatialization of the model was obtained by generating land use and land cover maps of the cross-border area between French Guiana and Brazil, followed by computing and combining landscape metrics to build a set of normalized landscape-based hazard indices. An empirical selection of the best index was performed by comparing the indices in terms of adequacy with the knowledge-based model, intelligibility and correlation with P. falciparum incidence rates. The selected index is easy to interpret and successfully represents the current knowledge about the role played by landscape patterns in malaria transmission within the study area. It was significantly associated with P. falciparum incidence rates, using the Pearson and Spearman correlation coefficients (up to 0.79 and 0.75, respectively; p-value < 0.001), and the linear regression coefficient of determination (reaching 0.63; p-values < 0.001). This study establishes a spatial knowledge-driven, landscape-based hazard malaria index using remote sensing that can be easily produced on a regular basis and might be useful for malaria prediction, surveillance, and control. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Spatial Estimation of Classification Accuracy Using Indicator Kriging with an Image-Derived Ambiguity Index
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 320; doi:10.3390/rs8040320
Received: 14 January 2016 / Revised: 23 March 2016 / Accepted: 6 April 2016 / Published: 11 April 2016
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Abstract
Traditional classification accuracy assessments based on summary statistics from a confusion matrix furnish a global (location invariant) view of classification accuracy. To estimate the spatial distribution of classification accuracy, a geostatistical integration approach is presented in this paper. Indicator kriging with local means
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Traditional classification accuracy assessments based on summary statistics from a confusion matrix furnish a global (location invariant) view of classification accuracy. To estimate the spatial distribution of classification accuracy, a geostatistical integration approach is presented in this paper. Indicator kriging with local means is combined with logistic regression to integrate an image-derived ambiguity index with classification accuracy values at reference data locations. As for the ambiguity measure, a novel discrimination capability index (DCI) is defined from per class posteriori probabilities and then calibrated via logistic regression to derive soft probabilities. Integration of indicator-coded reference data with soft probabilities is finally carried out for mapping classification accuracy. It is demonstrated via a case study involving classification of multi-temporal and multi-sensor SAR datasets, that the proposed approach can provide a map of locally-varying accuracy values, while respecting the overall accuracy derived from the confusion matrix. It can also highlight areas where the benefit of data fusion was significant. It is expected that the indicator approach presented in this paper could be a useful methodology for assessing the spatial quality of classification results in a probabilistic way. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Spectral Classification of the Yellow Sea and Implications for Coastal Ocean Color Remote Sensing
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 321; doi:10.3390/rs8040321
Received: 31 December 2015 / Revised: 28 March 2016 / Accepted: 31 March 2016 / Published: 12 April 2016
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Abstract
Remote sensing reflectance (Rrs) classification of coastal waters is a useful tool to monitor environmental processes and manage marine environmental resources. This study presents classification work for data sets that were collected in the Yellow Sea during six cruises (spring
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Remote sensing reflectance (Rrs) classification of coastal waters is a useful tool to monitor environmental processes and manage marine environmental resources. This study presents classification work for data sets that were collected in the Yellow Sea during six cruises (spring and autumn, 2003; summer and winter, 2006/2007; and spring and autumn, 2007). Specifically, we analyzed classification features of Rrs spectra and obtained spatio-temporal characteristics of reflectance and bio-optical properties in the coastal waters. Yellow Sea waters were classified into the following four typical regions based on their spatial distribution characteristics: middle of the Yellow Sea (MYS), north Yellow Sea (NYS), coastal Shandong (CS), and Jiangsu shoal (JS), and five water type categories consisting of Classes A–E were used to represent water colors from clear to very turbid. Application of this classification scheme to Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) imagery revealed seasonal variations in the data, which suggests that the water types have both significant temporal and spatial distributions. In particular, the area of Class E waters in the Jiangsu shoal tended to gradually shrink in summer and expand in winter. The spatio-temporal variability was due to the influence of various environmental factors such as currents, tidal activity, fresh water discharges, monsoon winds, and typhoons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing in Coastal Environments)
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Aerosol Property on the Accuracy of a CO2 Retrieval Algorithm from Satellite Remote Sensing
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 322; doi:10.3390/rs8040322
Received: 5 January 2016 / Revised: 25 March 2016 / Accepted: 4 April 2016 / Published: 12 April 2016
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Abstract
Based on an optimal estimation method, an algorithm was developed to retrieve the column-averaged dry-air mole fraction of carbon dioxide (XCO2) using Shortwave Infrared (SWIR) channels, referred to as the Yonsei CArbon Retrieval (YCAR) algorithm. The performance of the YCAR algorithm
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Based on an optimal estimation method, an algorithm was developed to retrieve the column-averaged dry-air mole fraction of carbon dioxide (XCO2) using Shortwave Infrared (SWIR) channels, referred to as the Yonsei CArbon Retrieval (YCAR) algorithm. The performance of the YCAR algorithm is here examined using simulated radiance spectra, with simulations conducted using different Aerosol Optical Depths (AODs), Solar Zenith Angles (SZAs) and aerosol types over various surface types. To characterize the XCO2 retrieval algorithm, reference tests using simulated spectra were analysed through a posteriori XCO2 retrieval errors and averaging kernels. The a posteriori XCO2 retrieval errors generally increase with increasing SZA. However, errors were found to be small (<1.3 ppm) over vegetation surfaces. Column averaging kernels are generally close to unity near the surface and decrease with increasing altitude. For dust aerosol with an AOD of 0.3, the retrieval loses its sensitivity near the surface due to the influence of atmospheric scattering, with the peak of column averaging kernels at ~800 hPa. In addition, we performed a sensitivity analysis of the principal state vector elements with respect to XCO2 retrievals. The reference tests with the inherent error of the algorithm showed that overall XCO2 retrievals work reasonably well. The XCO2 retrieval errors with respect to state vector elements are shown to be <0.3 ppm. Information on aerosol optical properties is the most important factor affecting the XCO2 retrieval algorithm. Incorrect information on the aerosol type can lead to significant errors in XCO2 retrievals of up to 2.5 ppm. The XCO2 retrievals using the Thermal and Near-infrared Sensor for carbon Observation (TANSO)-Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS) L1B spectra were biased by 2.78 ± 1.46 ppm and 1.06 ± 0.85 ppm at the Saga and Tsukuba sites, respectively. This study provides important information regarding estimations of the effects of aerosol properties on the CO2 retrieval algorithm. An understanding of these effects can contribute to improvements in the accuracy of XCO2 retrievals, especially combined with an aerosol retrieval algorithm. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Coseismic Fault Model of Mw 8.3 2015 Illapel Earthquake (Chile) Retrieved from Multi-Orbit Sentinel1-A DInSAR Measurements
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 323; doi:10.3390/rs8040323
Received: 28 January 2016 / Revised: 25 March 2016 / Accepted: 7 April 2016 / Published: 12 April 2016
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Abstract
On 16 September 2015, a Mw 8.3 interplate thrust earthquake ruptured offshore the Illapel region (Chile). Here, we perform coseismic slip fault modeling based on multi-orbit Sentinel 1-A (S1A) data. To do this, we generate ascending and descending S1A interferograms, whose combination allows
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On 16 September 2015, a Mw 8.3 interplate thrust earthquake ruptured offshore the Illapel region (Chile). Here, we perform coseismic slip fault modeling based on multi-orbit Sentinel 1-A (S1A) data. To do this, we generate ascending and descending S1A interferograms, whose combination allows us to retrieve the EW and vertical components of deformation. In particular, the EW displacement map highlights a westward displacement of about 210 cm, while the vertical map shows an uplift of about 25 cm along the coast, surrounded by a subsidence of about 20 cm. Following this analysis, we jointly invert the multi-orbit S1A interferograms by using an analytical approach to search for the coseismic fault parameters and related slip values. Most of the slip occurs northwest of the epicenter, with a maximum located in the shallowest 20 km. Finally, we refine our modeling approach by exploiting the Finite Element method, which allows us to take geological and structural complexities into account to simulate the slip along the slab curvature, the von Mises stress distribution, and the principal stress axes orientation. The von Mises stress distribution shows a close similarity to the depth distribution of the aftershock hypocenters. Likewise, the maximum principal stress orientation highlights a compressive regime in correspondence of the deeper portion of the slab and an extensional regime at its shallower segment; these findings are supported by seismological data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Earth Observations for Geohazards)
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Open AccessArticle Empirical Prediction of Leaf Area Index (LAI) of Endangered Tree Species in Intact and Fragmented Indigenous Forests Ecosystems Using WorldView-2 Data and Two Robust Machine Learning Algorithms
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 324; doi:10.3390/rs8040324
Received: 12 December 2015 / Revised: 25 March 2016 / Accepted: 4 April 2016 / Published: 13 April 2016
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Abstract
Leaf area index (LAI) is an important biophysical trait for forest ecosystem and ecological modeling, as it plays a key role for the forest productivity and structural characteristics. The ground-based methods like the handheld optical instruments for predicting LAI are subjective, pricy and
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Leaf area index (LAI) is an important biophysical trait for forest ecosystem and ecological modeling, as it plays a key role for the forest productivity and structural characteristics. The ground-based methods like the handheld optical instruments for predicting LAI are subjective, pricy and time-consuming. The advent of very high spatial resolutions multispectral data and robust machine learning regression algorithms like support vector machines (SVM) and artificial neural networks (ANN) has provided an opportunity to estimate LAI at tree species level. The objective of the this study was therefore to test the utility of spectral vegetation indices (SVI) calculated from the multispectral WorldView-2 (WV-2) data in predicting LAI at tree species level using the SVM and ANN machine learning regression algorithms. We further tested whether there are significant differences between LAI of intact and fragmented (open) indigenous forest ecosystems at tree species level. The study shows that LAI at tree species level could accurately be estimated using the fragmented stratum data compared with the intact stratum data. Specifically, our study shows that the accurate LAI predictions were achieved for Hymenocardia ulmoides using the fragmented stratum data and SVM regression model based on a validation dataset (R2Val = 0.75, RMSEVal = 0.05 (1.37% of the mean)). Our study further showed that SVM regression approach achieved more accurate models for predicting the LAI of the six endangered tree species compared with ANN regression method. It is concluded that the successful application of the WV-2 data, SVM and ANN methods in predicting LAI of six endangered tree species in the Dukuduku indigenous forest could help in making informed decisions and policies regarding management, protection and conservation of these endangered tree species. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Evaluating the Diurnal Cycle of Upper Tropospheric Humidity in Two Different Climate Models Using Satellite Observations
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 325; doi:10.3390/rs8040325
Received: 24 December 2015 / Revised: 29 March 2016 / Accepted: 7 April 2016 / Published: 13 April 2016
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Abstract
The diurnal cycle of upper tropospheric humidity (UTH) is known to be influenced by such processes as convection and the formation of clouds which are parameterized in current global climate models. In this study, we evaluate the performance of two climate models, the
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The diurnal cycle of upper tropospheric humidity (UTH) is known to be influenced by such processes as convection and the formation of clouds which are parameterized in current global climate models. In this study, we evaluate the performance of two climate models, the Community Atmospheric Model version 5 (CAM-5) and the Global Atmosphere 3.0 (GA-3) model in simulating the diurnal cycle of UTH (represented by a combination of sinusoids of 12 and 24 h periods) by comparing with microwave and infrared (IR) measurements (where available). These comparisons were made over two convective land regions in South America and Africa, and over oceanic regions in the Atlantic, Indian and West Pacific for the month of January 2007. We analyzed how the diurnal cycles from IR and microwave instruments differ, and the reason for the differences. Our study suggests that the differences in the diurnal cycles of IR and microwave UTH result from sampling differences due to the presence of clouds. As noted by earlier studies, the models exhibit considerable discrepancies in diurnal amplitude and phase relative to observations, and these discrepancies have different magnitudes over land and ocean. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Determining Fire Dates and Locating Ignition Points With Satellite Data
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 326; doi:10.3390/rs8040326
Received: 15 February 2016 / Revised: 5 April 2016 / Accepted: 11 April 2016 / Published: 13 April 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (3428 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Each wildfire has its own “history”, burns under specific conditions and leads to unique environmental impacts. Information on where and when it has started and its duration is important to improve understanding on the dynamics of individual wildfires. This information is typically included
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Each wildfire has its own “history”, burns under specific conditions and leads to unique environmental impacts. Information on where and when it has started and its duration is important to improve understanding on the dynamics of individual wildfires. This information is typically included in fire databases that are known to have: (i) multiple error sources; (ii) limited spatial coverage and/or time span, and; (iii) often unknown accuracy and uncertainty. Satellite data have a large potential to reduce such limitations. We used active fire data from the MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) to estimate fire start/end dates and ignition location(s) for large wildfires that occurred in Alaska, Portugal, Greece, California and southeastern Australia. We assessed the agreement between satellite-derived estimates and data from fire databases, and determined the associated uncertainty. Fire dates and ignition location(s) were estimated for circa 76% of the total burnt area extent for the five study regions. The ability to estimate fire dates and ignitions from satellite data increased with fire size. The agreement between reported and estimated fire dates was very good for start dates (Model efficiency index, MEF = 0.91) and reasonable for end dates (MEF = 0.73). The spatio-temporal agreement between reported and satellite-derived wildfire ignitions showed temporal lags and distances within 12 h and 2 km, respectively. Uncertainties associated with ignition estimates were generally larger than the disagreements with data reported in fire databases. Our results show how satellite data can contribute to improve information regarding dates and ignitions of large wildfires. This contribution can be particularly relevant in regions with scarce fire information, while in well-documented areas it can be used to complement, potentially detect, and correct inconsistencies in existing fire databases. Using data from other existing and/or upcoming satellites should significantly contribute to reduce errors and uncertainties in satellite-derived fire dates and ignitions, as well as improve coverage of small fires. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Comparison of Mangrove Canopy Height Using Multiple Independent Measurements from Land, Air, and Space
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 327; doi:10.3390/rs8040327
Received: 21 January 2016 / Revised: 5 April 2016 / Accepted: 6 April 2016 / Published: 14 April 2016
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Abstract
Canopy height is one of the strongest predictors of biomass and carbon in forested ecosystems. Additionally, mangrove ecosystems represent one of the most concentrated carbon reservoirs that are rapidly degrading as a result of deforestation, development, and hydrologic manipulation. Therefore, the accuracy of
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Canopy height is one of the strongest predictors of biomass and carbon in forested ecosystems. Additionally, mangrove ecosystems represent one of the most concentrated carbon reservoirs that are rapidly degrading as a result of deforestation, development, and hydrologic manipulation. Therefore, the accuracy of Canopy Height Models (CHM) over mangrove forest can provide crucial information for monitoring and verification protocols. We compared four CHMs derived from independent remotely sensed imagery and identified potential errors and bias between measurement types. CHMs were derived from three spaceborne datasets; Very-High Resolution (VHR) stereophotogrammetry, TerraSAR-X add-on for Digital Elevation Measurement, and Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (TanDEM-X), and lidar data which was acquired from an airborne platform. Each dataset exhibited different error characteristics that were related to spatial resolution, sensitivities of the sensors, and reference frames. Canopies over 10 m were accurately predicted by all CHMs while the distributions of canopy height were best predicted by the VHR CHM. Depending on the guidelines and strategies needed for monitoring and verification activities, coarse resolution CHMs could be used to track canopy height at regional and global scales with finer resolution imagery used to validate and monitor critical areas undergoing rapid changes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Validation of MODIS 3 km Resolution Aerosol Optical Depth Retrievals Over Asia
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 328; doi:10.3390/rs8040328
Received: 19 February 2016 / Revised: 1 April 2016 / Accepted: 6 April 2016 / Published: 14 April 2016
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Abstract
This study evaluates the new Aqua MODIS Dark Target (DT) Collection 6 (C6) Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) (MYD04_3K) retrieval algorithm at 3 km resolution over Asian countries that have recently experienced severe and increasing air pollution. Retrievals showed generally low accuracy compared with
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This study evaluates the new Aqua MODIS Dark Target (DT) Collection 6 (C6) Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) (MYD04_3K) retrieval algorithm at 3 km resolution over Asian countries that have recently experienced severe and increasing air pollution. Retrievals showed generally low accuracy compared with the AErosol RObotic NETwork (AERONET), with only 55% of retrievals within the expected error (EE). The uncertainty appears mainly due to systematic overestimation at both low and high AOD levels. This is attributed to under-prediction of surface reflectance, similar to, but more severe than, the C6 DT product at 10-km resolution. This is because MYD04_3K observes more noise in the surface reflectance computations, due to retention of some bright pixels in the retrieval window which would be discarded at 10 km. Greatest uncertainty was observed at urban sites, especially those dominated by coarse aerosols. Results suggest that the DT at 3 km is less reliable than MODIS C6 AOD products at 10 km. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Classification and Segmentation of Satellite Orthoimagery Using Convolutional Neural Networks
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 329; doi:10.3390/rs8040329
Received: 19 January 2016 / Revised: 1 April 2016 / Accepted: 6 April 2016 / Published: 14 April 2016
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Abstract
The availability of high-resolution remote sensing (HRRS) data has opened up the possibility for new interesting applications, such as per-pixel classification of individual objects in greater detail. This paper shows how a convolutional neural network (CNN) can be applied to multispectral orthoimagery and
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The availability of high-resolution remote sensing (HRRS) data has opened up the possibility for new interesting applications, such as per-pixel classification of individual objects in greater detail. This paper shows how a convolutional neural network (CNN) can be applied to multispectral orthoimagery and a digital surface model (DSM) of a small city for a full, fast and accurate per-pixel classification. The predicted low-level pixel classes are then used to improve the high-level segmentation. Various design choices of the CNN architecture are evaluated and analyzed. The investigated land area is fully manually labeled into five categories (vegetation, ground, roads, buildings and water), and the classification accuracy is compared to other per-pixel classification works on other land areas that have a similar choice of categories. The results of the full classification and segmentation on selected segments of the map show that CNNs are a viable tool for solving both the segmentation and object recognition task for remote sensing data. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Comparison of Small Baseline Interferometric SAR Processors for Estimating Ground Deformation
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 330; doi:10.3390/rs8040330
Received: 23 January 2016 / Revised: 27 March 2016 / Accepted: 7 April 2016 / Published: 15 April 2016
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Abstract
The small Baseline Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Interferometry (SBI) technique has been widely and successfully applied in various ground deformation monitoring applications. Over the last decade, a variety of SBI algorithms have been developed based on the same fundamental concepts. Recently developed SBI
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The small Baseline Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Interferometry (SBI) technique has been widely and successfully applied in various ground deformation monitoring applications. Over the last decade, a variety of SBI algorithms have been developed based on the same fundamental concepts. Recently developed SBI toolboxes provide an open environment for researchers to apply different SBI methods for various purposes. However, there has been no thorough discussion that compares the particular characteristics of different SBI methods and their corresponding performance in ground deformation reconstruction. Thus, two SBI toolboxes that implement a total of four SBI algorithms were selected for comparison. This study discusses and summarizes the main differences, pros and cons of these four SBI implementations, which could help users to choose a suitable SBI method for their specific application. The study focuses on exploring the suitability of each SBI module under various data set conditions, including small/large number of interferograms, the presence or absence of larger time gaps, urban/vegetation ground coverage, and temporally regular/irregular ground displacement with multiple spatial scales. Within this paper we discuss the corresponding theoretical background of each SBI method. We present a performance analysis of these SBI modules based on two real data sets characterized by different environmental and surface deformation conditions. The study shows that all four SBI processors are capable of generating similar ground deformation results when the data set has sufficient temporal sampling and a stable ground backscatter mechanism like urban area. Strengths and limitations of different SBI processors were analyzed based on data set configuration and environmental conditions and are summarized in this paper to guide future users of SBI techniques. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Validation of ATMS Calibration Accuracy Using Suomi NPP Pitch Maneuver Observations
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 332; doi:10.3390/rs8040332
Received: 31 January 2016 / Revised: 5 April 2016 / Accepted: 7 April 2016 / Published: 15 April 2016
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Abstract
The Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (SNPP) satellite was launched on 28 October, 2011, and carries the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS) onboard. Currently, ATMS performance in orbit is very stable and the calibration parameters (e.g., noise and accuracy) meet specifications. This study documents
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The Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (SNPP) satellite was launched on 28 October, 2011, and carries the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS) onboard. Currently, ATMS performance in orbit is very stable and the calibration parameters (e.g., noise and accuracy) meet specifications. This study documents an ATMS calibration error budget model and its results for community reference. The calibration accuracy is also verified with the ATMS pitch maneuver observations of cold space. It is shown that the ATMS pitch maneuver cold space observations at center positions are inconsistent with the values predicted by the instrument calibration error budget model. The biases also depend on scan angle. This scan-angle dependence may be caused by the ATMS plane reflector emission. Thus, a physical model is developed to simulate the radiation emitted from the reflector and is recommended as part of ATMS radiance calibration to further improve the sensor data record (SDR) data quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Satellite Climate Data Records and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Continuous VNIR-SWIR Spectra versus Narrowband Hyperspectral Indices to Discriminate the Invasive Acacia longifolia within a Mediterranean Dune Ecosystem
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 334; doi:10.3390/rs8040334
Received: 1 December 2015 / Revised: 5 April 2016 / Accepted: 5 April 2016 / Published: 15 April 2016
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Abstract
Hyperspectral remote sensing is an effective tool to discriminate plant species, providing vast potential to trace plant invasions for ecological assessments. However, necessary baseline information for the use of remote sensing data is missing for many high-impact invaders. Furthermore, the identification of the
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Hyperspectral remote sensing is an effective tool to discriminate plant species, providing vast potential to trace plant invasions for ecological assessments. However, necessary baseline information for the use of remote sensing data is missing for many high-impact invaders. Furthermore, the identification of the suitable classification algorithms and spectral regions for successfully classifying species remains an open field of research. Here, we tested the separability of the invasive tree Acacia longifolia from adjacent exotic and native vegetation in a Natura 2000 protected Mediterranean dune ecosystem. We used continuous visible, near-infrared and short wave infrared (VNIR-SWIR) data as well as vegetation indices at the leaf and canopy level for classification, comparing five different classification algorithms. We were able to successfully distinguish A. longifolia from surrounding vegetation based on vegetation indices. At the leaf level, radial-basis function kernel Support Vector Machine (SVM) and Random Forest (RF) achieved both a high Sensitivity (SVM: 0.83, RF: 0.78) and a high Positive Predicted Value (PPV) (0.86, 0.83). At the canopy level, RF was the classifier with an optimal balance of Sensitivity (0.75) and PPV (0.75). The most relevant vegetation indices were linked to the biochemical parameters chlorophyll, water, nitrogen, and cellulose as well as vegetation cover, which is in line with biochemical and ecophysiological properties reported for A. longifolia. Our results highlight the potential to use remote sensing as a tool for an early detection of A. longifolia in Mediterranean coastal ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Field Spectroscopy and Radiometry)
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Open AccessArticle On the Added Value of Quad-Pol Data in a Multi-Temporal Crop Classification Framework Based on RADARSAT-2 Imagery
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 335; doi:10.3390/rs8040335
Received: 7 December 2015 / Revised: 5 April 2016 / Accepted: 12 April 2016 / Published: 18 April 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (12131 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Polarimetric SAR images are a rich data source for crop mapping. However, quad-pol sensors have some limitations due to their complexity, increased data rate, and reduced coverage and revisit time. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the added value of
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Polarimetric SAR images are a rich data source for crop mapping. However, quad-pol sensors have some limitations due to their complexity, increased data rate, and reduced coverage and revisit time. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the added value of quad-pol data in a multi-temporal crop classification framework based on SAR imagery. With this aim, three RADARSAT-2 scenes were acquired between May and June 2010. Once we analyzed the separability and the descriptive analysis of the features, an object-based supervised classification was performed using the Random Forests classification algorithm. Classification results obtained with dual-pol (VV-VH) data as input were compared to those using quad-pol data in different polarization bases (linear H-V, circular, and linear 45°), and also to configurations where several polarimetric features (Pauli and Cloude–Pottier decomposition features and co-pol coherence and phase difference) were added. Dual-pol data obtained satisfactory results, equal to those obtained with quad-pol data (in H-V basis) in terms of overall accuracy (0.79) and Kappa values (0.69). Quad-pol data in circular and linear 45° bases resulted in lower accuracies. The inclusion of polarimetric features, particularly co-pol coherence and phase difference, resulted in enhanced classification accuracies with an overall accuracy of 0.86 and Kappa of 0.79 in the best case, when all the polarimetric features were added. Improvements were also observed in the identification of some particular crops, but major crops like cereals, rapeseed, and sunflower already achieved a satisfactory accuracy with the VV-VH dual-pol configuration and obtained only minor improvements. Therefore, it can be concluded that C-band VV-VH dual-pol data is almost ready to be used operationally for crop mapping as long as at least three acquisitions in dates reflecting key growth stages representing typical phenology differences of the present crops are available. In the near future, issues regarding the classification of crops with small field sizes and heterogeneous cover (i.e., fallow and grasslands) need to be tackled to make this application fully operational. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Hydrological Response of Alpine Wetlands to Climate Warming in the Eastern Tibetan Plateau
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 336; doi:10.3390/rs8040336
Received: 21 January 2016 / Revised: 7 April 2016 / Accepted: 12 April 2016 / Published: 18 April 2016
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Abstract
Alpine wetlands in the Tibetan Plateau (TP) play a crucial role in the regional hydrological cycle due to their strong influence on surface ecohydrological processes; therefore, understanding how TP wetlands respond to climate change is essential for projecting their future condition and potential
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Alpine wetlands in the Tibetan Plateau (TP) play a crucial role in the regional hydrological cycle due to their strong influence on surface ecohydrological processes; therefore, understanding how TP wetlands respond to climate change is essential for projecting their future condition and potential vulnerability. We investigated the hydrological responses of a large TP wetland complex to recent climate change, by combining multiple satellite observations and in-situ hydro-meteorological records. We found different responses of runoff production to regional warming trends among three basins with similar climate, topography and vegetation cover but different wetland proportions. The basin with larger wetland proportion (40.1%) had a lower mean runoff coefficient (0.173 ± 0.006), and also showed increasingly lower runoff level (−3.9% year−1, p = 0.002) than the two adjacent basins. The satellite-based observations showed an increasing trend of annual non-frozen period, especially in the wetland-dominated region (2.64 day·year−1, p < 0.10), and a strong extension of vegetation growing-season (0.26–0.41 day·year−1, p < 0.10). Relatively strong increasing trends in evapotranspiration (ET) (~1.00 mm·year−1, p < 0.01) and the vertical temperature gradient above ground surface (0.043 °C·year−1, p < 0.05) in wetland-dominant areas were documented from satellite-based ET observations and weather station records. These results indicate recent surface drying and runoff reduction of alpine wetlands, and their potential vulnerability to degradation with continued climate warming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue What can Remote Sensing Do for the Conservation of Wetlands?)
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Open AccessArticle Estimating the Fractional Vegetation Cover from GLASS Leaf Area Index Product
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 337; doi:10.3390/rs8040337
Received: 28 December 2015 / Revised: 11 April 2016 / Accepted: 13 April 2016 / Published: 16 April 2016
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Abstract
The fractional vegetation cover (FCover) is an essential biophysical variable and plays a critical role in the carbon cycle studies. Existing FCover products from satellite observations are spatially incomplete and temporally discontinuous, and also inaccurate for some vegetation types to meet the requirements
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The fractional vegetation cover (FCover) is an essential biophysical variable and plays a critical role in the carbon cycle studies. Existing FCover products from satellite observations are spatially incomplete and temporally discontinuous, and also inaccurate for some vegetation types to meet the requirements of various applications. In this study, an operational method is proposed to calculate high-quality, accurate FCover from the Global LAnd Surface Satellite (GLASS) leaf area index (LAI) product to ensure physical consistency between LAI and FCover retrievals. As a result, a global FCover product (denoted by TRAGL) were generated from the GLASS LAI product from 2000 to present. With no missing values, the TRAGL FCover product is spatially complete. A comparison of the TRAGL FCover product with the Geoland2/BioPar version 1 (GEOV1) FCover product indicates that these FCover products exhibit similar spatial distribution pattern. However, there were relatively large discrepancies between these FCover products over equatorial rainforests, broadleaf crops in East-central United States, and needleleaf forests in Europe and Siberia. Temporal consistency analysis indicates that TRAGL FCover product has continuous trajectories. Direct validation with ground-based FCover estimates demonstrated that TRAGL FCover values were more accurate (RMSE = 0.0865, and R2 = 0.8848) than GEOV1 (RMSE = 0.1541, and R2 = 0.7621). Full article
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Open AccessArticle TerraSAR-X Data for High-Precision Land Subsidence Monitoring: A Case Study in the Historical Centre of Hanoi, Vietnam
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 338; doi:10.3390/rs8040338
Received: 21 February 2016 / Revised: 31 March 2016 / Accepted: 12 April 2016 / Published: 19 April 2016
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Abstract
In this study, subsidence patterns in the Historical Centre of Hanoi, Vietnam are mapped using the Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) technique, with particular emphasis on the stability of ancient monuments, historical buildings and archaeological sectors. Due to the small and scattered characteristics
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In this study, subsidence patterns in the Historical Centre of Hanoi, Vietnam are mapped using the Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) technique, with particular emphasis on the stability of ancient monuments, historical buildings and archaeological sectors. Due to the small and scattered characteristics of these structures, not only is a comprehensive coverage of radar targets needed, but also the details of a single building or monument. We took advantage of the high-resolution TerraSAR-X imagery with the aid of oversampling implementation on the Small Baseline (SB) InSAR approach to reveal the subsidence patterns. A total of 6.29 million radar targets were obtained, maintaining the average density of 217,012 points/km2. Our results suggest that image oversampling not only increased the number of measurement points 4.4 times more than the standard processing chain, but also removed some of the noisiest points. The observed subsidence patterns are mostly related to adjacent groundwater extraction and construction activities, with maximum subsiding rate reaching −18.1 mm/year for the study period April 2012 to November 2013. Generally, heritage assets and monuments in the Citadel, the Old Quarter and French Quarter remain in a steady state, whereas those located along the Red River and in southern Hanoi are subject to subsidence. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Estimating Stand Volume and Above-Ground Biomass of Urban Forests Using LiDAR
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 339; doi:10.3390/rs8040339
Received: 4 March 2016 / Revised: 6 April 2016 / Accepted: 14 April 2016 / Published: 19 April 2016
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Abstract
Assessing forest stand conditions in urban and peri-urban areas is essential to support ecosystem service planning and management, as most of the ecosystem services provided are a consequence of forest stand characteristics. However, collecting data for assessing forest stand conditions is time consuming
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Assessing forest stand conditions in urban and peri-urban areas is essential to support ecosystem service planning and management, as most of the ecosystem services provided are a consequence of forest stand characteristics. However, collecting data for assessing forest stand conditions is time consuming and labor intensive. A plausible approach for addressing this issue is to establish a relationship between in situ measurements of stand characteristics and data from airborne laser scanning (LiDAR). In this study we assessed forest stand volume and above-ground biomass (AGB) in a broadleaved urban forest, using a combination of LiDAR-derived metrics, which takes the form of a forest allometric model. We tested various methods for extracting proxies of basal area (BA) and mean stand height (H) from the LiDAR point-cloud distribution and evaluated the performance of different models in estimating forest stand volume and AGB. The best predictors for both models were the scale parameters of the Weibull distribution of all returns (except the first) (proxy of BA) and the 95th percentile of the distribution of all first returns (proxy of H). The R2 were 0.81 (p < 0.01) for the stand volume model and 0.77 (p < 0.01) for the AGB model with a RMSE of 23.66 m3·ha−1 (23.3%) and 19.59 Mg·ha−1 (23.9%), respectively. We found that a combination of two LiDAR-derived variables (i.e., proxy of BA and proxy of H), which take the form of a forest allometric model, can be used to estimate stand volume and above-ground biomass in broadleaved urban forest areas. Our results can be compared to other studies conducted using LiDAR in broadleaved forests with similar methods. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Combined Satellite-Derived Drought Indicator to Support Humanitarian Aid Organizations
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 340; doi:10.3390/rs8040340
Received: 14 October 2015 / Revised: 29 March 2016 / Accepted: 6 April 2016 / Published: 20 April 2016
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Abstract
Governments, aid organizations and researchers are struggling with the complexity of detecting and monitoring drought events, which leads to weaknesses regarding the translation of early warnings into action. Embedded in an advanced decision-support framework for Doctors without Borders (Médecins sans Frontières),
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Governments, aid organizations and researchers are struggling with the complexity of detecting and monitoring drought events, which leads to weaknesses regarding the translation of early warnings into action. Embedded in an advanced decision-support framework for Doctors without Borders (Médecins sans Frontières), this study focuses on identifying the added-value of combining different satellite-derived datasets for drought monitoring and forecasting in Ethiopia. The core of the study is the improvement of an existing drought index via methodical adaptations and the integration of various satellite-derived datasets. The resulting Enhanced Combined Drought Index (ECDI) links four input datasets (rainfall, soil moisture, land surface temperature and vegetation status). The respective weight of each input dataset is calculated for every grid point at a spatial resolution of 0.25 degrees (roughly 28 kilometers). In the case of data gaps in one input dataset, the weights are automatically redistributed to other available variables. Ranking the years 1992 to 2014 according to the ECDI-based warning levels allows for the identification of all large-scale drought events in Ethiopia. Our results also indicate a good match between the ECDI-based drought warning levels and reported drought impacts for both the start and the end of the season. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Memory-Based Learning Approach as Compared to Other Data Mining Algorithms for the Prediction of Soil Texture Using Diffuse Reflectance Spectra
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 341; doi:10.3390/rs8040341
Received: 10 November 2015 / Revised: 9 April 2016 / Accepted: 12 April 2016 / Published: 19 April 2016
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Abstract
Successful determination of soil texture using reflectance spectroscopy across Visible and Near-Infrared (VNIR, 400–1200 nm) and Short-Wave-Infrared (SWIR, 1200–2500 nm) ranges depends largely on the selection of a suitable data mining algorithm. The objective of this research was to explore whether the new
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Successful determination of soil texture using reflectance spectroscopy across Visible and Near-Infrared (VNIR, 400–1200 nm) and Short-Wave-Infrared (SWIR, 1200–2500 nm) ranges depends largely on the selection of a suitable data mining algorithm. The objective of this research was to explore whether the new Memory-Based Learning (MBL) method performs better than the other methods, namely: Partial Least Squares Regression (PLSR), Support Vector Machine Regression (SVMR) and Boosted Regression Trees (BRT). For this purpose, we chose soil texture (contents of clay, silt and sand) as testing attributes. A selected set of soil samples, classified as Technosols, were collected from brown coal mining dumpsites in the Czech Republic (a total of 264 samples). Spectral readings were taken in the laboratory with a fiber optic ASD FieldSpec III Pro FR spectroradiometer. Leave-one-out cross-validation was used to optimize and validate the models. Comparisons were made in terms of the coefficient of determination (R2cv) and the Root Mean Square Error of Prediction of Cross-Validation (RMSEPcv). Predictions of the three soil properties by MBL outperformed the accuracy of the remaining algorithms. We found that the MBL performs better than the other three methods by about 10% (largest R2cv and smallest RMSEPcv), followed by the SVMR. It should be pointed out that the other methods (PLSR and BRT) still provided reliable results. The study concluded that in this examined dataset, reflectance spectroscopy combined with the MBL algorithm is rapid and accurate, offers major efficiency and cost-saving possibilities in other datasets and can lead to better targeting of management interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing Applied to Soils: From Ground to Space)
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Open AccessArticle The Use of Remotely Sensed Rainfall for Managing Drought Risk: A Case Study of Weather Index Insurance in Zambia
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 342; doi:10.3390/rs8040342
Received: 7 January 2016 / Revised: 18 March 2016 / Accepted: 6 April 2016 / Published: 20 April 2016
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Abstract
Remotely sensed rainfall is increasingly being used to manage climate-related risk in gauge sparse regions. Applications based on such data must make maximal use of the skill of the methodology in order to avoid doing harm by providing misleading information. This is especially
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Remotely sensed rainfall is increasingly being used to manage climate-related risk in gauge sparse regions. Applications based on such data must make maximal use of the skill of the methodology in order to avoid doing harm by providing misleading information. This is especially challenging in regions, such as Africa, which lack gauge data for validation. In this study, we show how calibrated ensembles of equally likely rainfall can be used to infer uncertainty in remotely sensed rainfall estimates, and subsequently in assessment of drought. We illustrate the methodology through a case study of weather index insurance (WII) in Zambia. Unlike traditional insurance, which compensates proven agricultural losses, WII pays out in the event that a weather index is breached. As remotely sensed rainfall is used to extend WII schemes to large numbers of farmers, it is crucial to ensure that the indices being insured are skillful representations of local environmental conditions. In our study we drive a land surface model with rainfall ensembles, in order to demonstrate how aggregation of rainfall estimates in space and time results in a clearer link with soil moisture, and hence a truer representation of agricultural drought. Although our study focuses on agricultural insurance, the methodological principles for application design are widely applicable in Africa and elsewhere. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Automatic Geometric Processing for Very High Resolution Optical Satellite Data Based on Vector Roads and Orthophotos
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 343; doi:10.3390/rs8040343
Received: 3 December 2015 / Revised: 22 March 2016 / Accepted: 11 April 2016 / Published: 19 April 2016
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Abstract
In response to the increasing need for fast satellite image processing SPACE-SI developed STORM—a fully automatic image processing chain that performs all processing steps from the input optical images to web-delivered map-ready products for various sensors. This paper focuses on the automatic geometric
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In response to the increasing need for fast satellite image processing SPACE-SI developed STORM—a fully automatic image processing chain that performs all processing steps from the input optical images to web-delivered map-ready products for various sensors. This paper focuses on the automatic geometric corrections module and its adaptation to very high resolution (VHR) multispectral images. In the automatic ground control points (GCPs) extraction sub-module a two-step algorithm that utilizes vector roads as a reference layer and delivers GCPs for high resolution RapidEye images with near pixel accuracy was initially implemented. Super-fine positioning of individual GCPs onto an aerial orthophoto was introduced for VHR images. The enhanced algorithm is capable of achieving accuracy of approximately 1.5 pixels on WorldView-2 data. In the case of RapidEye images the accuracies of the physical sensor model reach sub-pixel values at independent check points. When compared to the reference national aerial orthophoto the accuracies of WorldView-2 orthoimages automatically produced with the rational function model reach near-pixel values. On a heterogeneous set of 41 RapidEye images the rate of automatic processing reached 97.6%. Image processing times remained under one hour for standard-size images of both sensor types. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Application of the Frequency Spectrum to Spectral Similarity Measures
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 344; doi:10.3390/rs8040344
Received: 18 January 2016 / Revised: 2 March 2016 / Accepted: 11 March 2016 / Published: 20 April 2016
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Abstract
Several frequency-based spectral similarity measures, derived from commonly-used ones, are developed for hyperspectral image classification based on the frequency domain. Since the frequency spectrum (magnitude spectrum) of the original signature for each pixel from hyperspectral data can clearly reflect the spectral features of
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Several frequency-based spectral similarity measures, derived from commonly-used ones, are developed for hyperspectral image classification based on the frequency domain. Since the frequency spectrum (magnitude spectrum) of the original signature for each pixel from hyperspectral data can clearly reflect the spectral features of different types of land covers, we replace the original spectral signature with its frequency spectrum for calculating the existing spectral similarity measure. The frequency spectrum is symmetrical around the direct current (DC) component; thus, we take one-half of the frequency spectrum from the DC component to the highest frequency component as the input signature. Furthermore, considering the fact that the low frequencies include most of the frequency energy, we can optimize the classification result by choosing the ratio of the frequency spectrum (from the DC component to the highest frequency component) involved in the calculation. In our paper, the frequency-based measures based on the spectral gradient angle (SAM), spectral information divergence (SID), spectral correlation mapper (SCM), Euclidean distance (ED), normalized Euclidean distance (NED) and SID × sin(SAM) (SsS) measures are called the F-SAM, F-SID, F-SCM, F-ED, F-NED and F-SsS, respectively. In the experiment, three commonly-used hyperspectral remote sensing images are employed as test data. The frequency-based measures proposed here are compared to the corresponding existing ones in terms of classification accuracy. The classification results by parameter optimization are also analyzed. The results show that, although not all frequency-based spectral similarity measures are better than the original ones, some frequency-based measures, such as the F-SsS and F-SID, exhibit a relatively better performance and have more robust applications than the other spectral similarity measures. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Detection of Drought-Induced Hickory Disturbances in Western Lin An County, China, Using Multitemporal Landsat Imagery
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 345; doi:10.3390/rs8040345
Received: 15 December 2015 / Revised: 29 February 2016 / Accepted: 4 April 2016 / Published: 20 April 2016
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Abstract
Hickory plantations play an important role in improving local farmers’ economic conditions, but extreme drought in July–August 2013 seriously influenced hickory nut production. It is necessary to understand the extent and magnitude of this drought-induced hickory disturbance through mapping its spatial distribution using
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Hickory plantations play an important role in improving local farmers’ economic conditions, but extreme drought in July–August 2013 seriously influenced hickory nut production. It is necessary to understand the extent and magnitude of this drought-induced hickory disturbance through mapping its spatial distribution using remote sensing data. This paper proposes a new approach to examine hickory disturbance based on multitemporal Landsat imagery. Ratios of green vegetation to soil fractions were calculated, in which the green vegetation and soil fractions were extracted from Landsat multispectral imagery using the linear spectral mixture analysis approach. We used the differences between before-drought and after-drought ratios to detect hickory disturbances. Four disturbance levels—non-disturbance, light, medium, and severe—were grouped according to the field survey data. The spatial distribution of these four levels was developed using the ratio-based approach. The result indicates that this approach is effective to detect drought-induced hickory disturbance and may be transferred to detect other kinds of disturbances, such as forest disease and selective logging. Cautions should be taken to properly select image acquisition dates and the change detection period, in addition to the approach itself. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sensor Stability for SST (3S): Toward Improved Long-Term Characterization of AVHRR Thermal Bands
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 346; doi:10.3390/rs8040346
Received: 16 February 2016 / Revised: 31 March 2016 / Accepted: 11 April 2016 / Published: 20 April 2016
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Abstract
Recently, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) performed sea surface temperature (SST) reanalysis (RAN1) from seven AVHRR/3s onboard NOAA-15 to -19 and Metop-A and -B, from 2002–present. Operational L1b data were used as input. The time series of clear-sky ocean brightness temperatures
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Recently, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) performed sea surface temperature (SST) reanalysis (RAN1) from seven AVHRR/3s onboard NOAA-15 to -19 and Metop-A and -B, from 2002–present. Operational L1b data were used as input. The time series of clear-sky ocean brightness temperatures (BTs) and derived SSTs were found to be unstable. The SSTs were empirically stabilized against in situ SSTs using a 90-day moving filter, while the measured BTs were left intact. However, some users are interested in direct radiance assimilation and need stable BTs. Additionally, stabilized BTs will greatly benefit SST (by minimizing the need for their empirical stabilization), and other Level 2 products derived from AVHRR. To better understand the AVHRR calibration and stabilize its BTs, the Sensor Stability for SST (3S; www.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/sod/sst/3s/) system was established at NOAA, which monitors orbital statistics of the sensor measured blackbody temperatures (BBTs), blackbody counts (BCs), and the space counts (SCs), along with the derived calibration gains and offsets. Analyses are performed separately for the satellite night (when the satellite is in the Earth’s shadow) and day (on the sunlit part of its orbit). Factors affecting the BBT, BC and SC are also monitored, including the Sun and Moon position relative to the sensor, local equator crossing time, and duration of the satellite night. All AVHRRs show long-term and band-specific smooth changes in the calibration gains and offsets, which are occasionally perturbed by spurious non-monotonic anomalies. The most prominent irregularities occur shortly after the satellite crosses from the night into day, or when it is in a (near) full Sun orbit for extended periods of time. We argue that the operational quality control (QC) and calibration procedures are suboptimal and should be improved. Analyses in 3S suggest that a more stringent QC is needed, and scan lines where the calibration coefficients cannot be derived, due to poor quality SC, BC or BBT data, should be filled in by interpolation from the best parts of orbit or more broadly satellite lifetime. Work is underway to redesign the AVHRR QC and calibration algorithms and create a more stable long-term record of AVHRR calibration and BTs, and use them in the subsequent SST RANs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Satellite Climate Data Records and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Tropical Forest Fire Susceptibility Mapping at the Cat Ba National Park Area, Hai Phong City, Vietnam, Using GIS-Based Kernel Logistic Regression
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 347; doi:10.3390/rs8040347
Received: 20 January 2016 / Revised: 28 March 2016 / Accepted: 12 April 2016 / Published: 20 April 2016
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Abstract
The Cat Ba National Park area (Vietnam) with its tropical forest is recognized as being part of the world biodiversity conservation by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and is a well-known destination for tourists, with around 500,000 travelers per
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The Cat Ba National Park area (Vietnam) with its tropical forest is recognized as being part of the world biodiversity conservation by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and is a well-known destination for tourists, with around 500,000 travelers per year. This area has been the site for many research projects; however, no project has been carried out for forest fire susceptibility assessment. Thus, protection of the forest including fire prevention is one of the main concerns of the local authorities. This work aims to produce a tropical forest fire susceptibility map for the Cat Ba National Park area, which may be helpful for the local authorities in forest fire protection management. To obtain this purpose, first, historical forest fires and related factors were collected from various sources to construct a GIS database. Then, a forest fire susceptibility model was developed using Kernel logistic regression. The quality of the model was assessed using the Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve, area under the ROC curve (AUC), and five statistical evaluation measures. The usability of the resulting model is further compared with a benchmark model, the support vector machine (SVM). The results show that the Kernel logistic regression model has a high level of performance in both the training and validation dataset, with a prediction capability of 92.2%. Since the Kernel logistic regression model outperforms the benchmark model, we conclude that the proposed model is a promising alternative tool that should also be considered for forest fire susceptibility mapping in other areas. The results of this study are useful for the local authorities in forest planning and management. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Advancements for Snowmelt Monitoring by Means of Sentinel-1 SAR
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 348; doi:10.3390/rs8040348
Received: 24 February 2016 / Revised: 6 April 2016 / Accepted: 11 April 2016 / Published: 20 April 2016
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Abstract
The Sentinel satellite constellation series, developed and operated by the European Space Agency, represents the dedicated space component of the European Copernicus program, committed to long-term operational services in environment, climate and security. We developed, tested and evaluated an algorithm for generating maps
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The Sentinel satellite constellation series, developed and operated by the European Space Agency, represents the dedicated space component of the European Copernicus program, committed to long-term operational services in environment, climate and security. We developed, tested and evaluated an algorithm for generating maps of snowmelt area from C-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data of the Sentinel-1 mission. For snowmelt classification, a change detection method is applied, using multitemporal dual-polarized SAR data acquired in Interferometric Wide swath (IW) mode, the basic operation mode over land surfaces. Of particular benefit for wet snow retrievals are the high instrument stability, the high spatial resolution across the 250 km wide swath, and the short revisit time. In order to study the impact of polarization, we generated maps of melting snow using data of the VV-polarized channel, the VH-polarized channel and a combined VV- and VH-based channel using a weighting function that accounts for effects of the local incidence angle. Comparisons are performed with snow maps derived from Landsat images over study areas in the Alps and in Iceland. The pixel-by-pixel comparisons show good agreement between the snow products of the two sensors, with the best performance for retrievals based on the combined (VV and VH) channel and a minor decline for the VH-based product. The VV-based snowmelt extent product shows a drop-off in quality over areas with steep terrain because of the decreasing backscatter contrast of snow-covered versus snow-free surfaces on fore-slopes. The investigations demonstrate the excellent capability of the Sentinel-1 mission for operational monitoring of snowmelt areas. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Development of a Class-Based Multiple Endmember Spectral Mixture Analysis (C-MESMA) Approach for Analyzing Urban Environments
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 349; doi:10.3390/rs8040349
Received: 27 January 2016 / Revised: 22 March 2016 / Accepted: 14 April 2016 / Published: 21 April 2016
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Abstract
Multiple endmember spectral mixture analysis (MESMA) has been widely applied for estimating fractional land covers from remote sensing imagery. MESMA has proven effective in addressing inter-class and intra-class endmember variability by allowing pixel-specific endmember combinations. This method, however, assumes that each land cover
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Multiple endmember spectral mixture analysis (MESMA) has been widely applied for estimating fractional land covers from remote sensing imagery. MESMA has proven effective in addressing inter-class and intra-class endmember variability by allowing pixel-specific endmember combinations. This method, however, assumes that each land cover type has an equal probability of being included in the model, and the one with the least estimation error (e.g., root mean square error) was chosen as the “best-fit” model. Such an approach may mistakenly include a land cover class in the model and overestimate its abundance, or it might omit a class from the model and subsequently lead to underestimation. To address this problem, this paper developed a land cover class-based multiple endmember spectral mixture analysis (C-MESMA) method. In particular, a support vector machine (SVM) method with reflectance spectra and spectral indices, including the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), the biophysical composition index (BCI), and the ratio normalized difference soil index (RNDSI), were employed to classify the image into six land cover classes: pure impervious surface area (ISA), pure vegetation, pure soil, ISA-vegetation, vegetation-soil, and vegetation-ISA-soil. With the information of land cover classes, an individual MESMA method was applied to each mixed class. Finally, the fractional maps were derived through integrating land cover fractions of each land cover class. Quantitative analysis of the resulting percent ISA (%ISA) and comparative analyses with traditional MESMA indicate that C-MESMA improved the estimation accuracy of %ISA. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Spatiotemporal Characterization of Land Subsidence and Uplift (2009–2010) over Wuhan in Central China Revealed by TerraSAR-X InSAR Analysis
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 350; doi:10.3390/rs8040350
Received: 10 March 2016 / Revised: 11 April 2016 / Accepted: 14 April 2016 / Published: 20 April 2016
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Abstract
The effects of ground deformation pose a significant geo-hazard to the environment and infrastructure in Wuhan, the most populous city in Central China, in the eastern Jianghan Plain at the intersection of the Yangtze and Han rivers. Prior to this study, however, rates
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The effects of ground deformation pose a significant geo-hazard to the environment and infrastructure in Wuhan, the most populous city in Central China, in the eastern Jianghan Plain at the intersection of the Yangtze and Han rivers. Prior to this study, however, rates and patterns of region-wide ground deformation in Wuhan were little known. Here we employ multi-temporal SAR interferometry to detect and characterize spatiotemporal variations of ground deformation in major metropolitan areas in Wuhan. A total of twelve TerraSAR-X images acquired during 2009–2010 are used in the InSAR time series analysis. InSAR-derived results are validated by levelling survey measurements and reveal a distinct subsidence pattern within six zones in major commercial and industrial areas, with a maximum subsidence rate up to −67.3 mm/year. A comparison analysis between subsiding patterns and urban developments as well as geological conditions suggests that land subsidence in Wuhan is mainly attributed to anthropogenic activities, natural compaction of soft soil, and karst dissolution of subsurface carbonate rocks. However, anthropogenic activities related to intensive municipal construction and industrial production have more significant impacts on the measured subsidence than natural factors. Moreover, remarkable signals of secular land uplift are found along both banks of the Yangtze River, especially along the southern bank, with deformation rates ranging mostly from +5 mm/year to +17.5 mm/year. A strong temporal correlation is highlighted between the detected displacement evolutions and the water level records of the Yangtze River, inferring that this previously unknown deformation phenomenon is likely related to seasonal fluctuations in water levels of the Yangtze River. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Earth Observations for Geohazards)
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Open AccessArticle Retrieval of Leaf Area Index (LAI) and Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation (FAPAR) from VIIRS Time-Series Data
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 351; doi:10.3390/rs8040351
Received: 15 January 2016 / Revised: 11 April 2016 / Accepted: 14 April 2016 / Published: 21 April 2016
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Abstract
Long-term high-quality global leaf area index (LAI) and fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (FAPAR) products are urgently needed for the study of global change, climate modeling, and many other problems. As the successor of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor, the
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Long-term high-quality global leaf area index (LAI) and fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (FAPAR) products are urgently needed for the study of global change, climate modeling, and many other problems. As the successor of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) will continue to provide global environmental measurements. This paper aims to generate longer time series Global LAnd Surface Satellite (GLASS) LAI and FAPAR products after the era of the MODIS sensor. To ensure spatial and temporal consistencies between GLASS LAI/FAPAR values retrieved from different satellite observations, the GLASS LAI/FAPAR retrieval algorithms were adapted in this study to retrieve LAI and FAPAR values from VIIRS surface reflectance time-series data. After reprocessing of the VIIRS surface reflectance to remove remaining effects of cloud contamination and other factors, a database generated from the GLASS LAI product and the reprocessed VIIRS surface reflectance for all Benchmark Land Multisite Analysis and Intercomparison of Products (BELMANIP) sites was used to train general regression neural networks (GRNNs). The reprocessed VIIRS surface reflectance data from an entire year were entered into the trained GRNNs to estimate the one-year LAI values, which were then used to calculate FAPAR values. A cross-comparison indicates that the LAI and FAPAR values retrieved from VIIRS surface reflectance were generally consistent with the GLASS, MODIS and Geoland2/BioPar version 1 (GEOV1) LAI/FAPAR values in their spatial patterns. The LAI/FAPAR values retrieved from VIIRS surface reflectance achieved good agreement with the GLASS LAI/FAPAR values (R2 = 0.8972 and RMSE = 0.3054; and R2 = 0.9067 and RMSE = 0.0529, respectively). However, validation of the LAI and FAPAR values derived from VIIRS reflectance data is now limited by the scarcity of LAI/FAPAR ground measurements. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Seasonal Variations of the Surface Urban Heat Island in a Semi-Arid City
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 352; doi:10.3390/rs8040352
Received: 9 February 2016 / Revised: 7 April 2016 / Accepted: 12 April 2016 / Published: 21 April 2016
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Abstract
The process of the surface urban heat island (SUHI) varies with latitude, climate, topography and meteorological conditions. This study investigated the seasonal variability of SUHI in the Tehran metropolitan area, Iran, with respect to selected surface biophysical variables. Terra Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer
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The process of the surface urban heat island (SUHI) varies with latitude, climate, topography and meteorological conditions. This study investigated the seasonal variability of SUHI in the Tehran metropolitan area, Iran, with respect to selected surface biophysical variables. Terra Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Land Surface Temperature (LST) was retrieved as nighttime LST data, while daytime LST was retrieved from Landsat 8 Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) using the split-window algorithm. Both data covered the time period from September 2013 to September 2015. To assess SUHI intensity, we employed three SUHI indicators, i.e., the LST difference of urban-rural, that of urban-agriculture and that of urban-water. Physical and biophysical surface variables, including land use and land cover (LULC), elevation, impervious surface (IS), fractional vegetation cover (FVC) and albedo, were selected to estimate the relationship between LST seasonal variability and the surface properties. Results show that an inversion of the SUHI phenomenon (i.e., surface urban cool island) existed at daytime with the maximal value of urban-rural LST difference of −4 K in March; whereas the maximal value of SUHI at nighttime yielded 3.9 K in May. When using the indicators of urban-agriculture and urban-water LST differences, the maximal value of SUHI was found to be 8.2 K and 15.5 K, respectively. Both results were observed at daytime, suggesting the role of bare soils in the inversion of the SUHI phenomenon with the urban-rural indicator. Maximal correlation was observed in the relationship between night LST and elevation in spring (coefficient: −0.76), night LST and IS in spring (0.60), night LST and albedo in winter (−0.53) and day LST with fractional vegetation cover in summer (−0.41). The relationship between all surface properties with LST possessed large seasonal variations, and thus, using these relationships for SUHI modeling may not be effective. The only exception existed in the correlation between elevation and IS, which may be useful to simulate the SUHI at night. This study suggests that in semi-arid cities, such as Tehran, with the urban-rural indicator, a surface urban cool island may be observed in daytime while SUHI at nighttime; with other indicators, SUHI can be observed in both day and night. Thus, SUHI studies require the acquisition of remote sensing image data at both daytime and nighttime and careful selection of SUHI indicators. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Monitoring Plastic-Mulched Farmland by Landsat-8 OLI Imagery Using Spectral and Textural Features
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 353; doi:10.3390/rs8040353
Received: 4 February 2016 / Revised: 8 April 2016 / Accepted: 14 April 2016 / Published: 22 April 2016
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Abstract
In recent decades, plastic-mulched farmland has expanded rapidly in China as well as in the rest of the world because it results in marked increases of crop production. However, plastic-mulched farmland significantly influences the environment and has so far been inadequately investigated. Accurately
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In recent decades, plastic-mulched farmland has expanded rapidly in China as well as in the rest of the world because it results in marked increases of crop production. However, plastic-mulched farmland significantly influences the environment and has so far been inadequately investigated. Accurately monitoring and mapping plastic-mulched farmland is crucial for agricultural production, environmental protection, resource management, and so on. Monitoring plastic-mulched farmland using moderate-resolution remote sensing data is technically challenging because of spatial mixing and spectral confusion with other ground objects. This paper proposed a new scheme that combines spectral and textural features for monitoring the plastic-mulched farmland and evaluates the performance of a Support Vector Machine (SVM) classifier with different kernel functions using Landsat-8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) imagery. The textural features were extracted from multi-bands OLI data using a Grey Level Co-occurrence Matrix (GLCM) algorithm. Then, six combined feature sets were developed for classification. The results indicated that Landsat-8 OLI data are well suitable for monitoring plastic-mulched farmland; the SVM classifier with a linear kernel function is superior both to other kernel functions and to two other widely used supervised classifiers: Maximum Likelihood Classifier (MLC) and Minimum Distance Classifier (MDC). For the SVM classifier with a linear kernel function, the highest overall accuracy was derived from combined spectral and textural features in the 90° direction (94.14%, kappa 0.92), followed by the combined spectral and textural features in the 45° (93.84%, kappa 0.92), 135° (93.73%, kappa 0.92), 0° (93.71%, kappa 0.92) directions, and the spectral features alone (93.57%, kappa 0.91). Spectral features make a more significant contribution to monitoring the plastic-mulched farmland; adding textural features from medium resolution imagery provide only limited improvement in accuracy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Water Bodies’ Mapping from Sentinel-2 Imagery with Modified Normalized Difference Water Index at 10-m Spatial Resolution Produced by Sharpening the SWIR Band
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 354; doi:10.3390/rs8040354
Received: 29 December 2015 / Revised: 20 March 2016 / Accepted: 18 April 2016 / Published: 22 April 2016
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (6241 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Monitoring open water bodies accurately is an important and basic application in remote sensing. Various water body mapping approaches have been developed to extract water bodies from multispectral images. The method based on the spectral water index, especially the Modified Normalized Difference Water
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Monitoring open water bodies accurately is an important and basic application in remote sensing. Various water body mapping approaches have been developed to extract water bodies from multispectral images. The method based on the spectral water index, especially the Modified Normalized Difference Water Index (MDNWI) calculated from the green and Shortwave-Infrared (SWIR) bands, is one of the most popular methods. The recently launched Sentinel-2 satellite can provide fine spatial resolution multispectral images. This new dataset is potentially of important significance for regional water bodies’ mapping, due to its free access and frequent revisit capabilities. It is noted that the green and SWIR bands of Sentinel-2 have different spatial resolutions of 10 m and 20 m, respectively. Straightforwardly, MNDWI can be produced from Sentinel-2 at the spatial resolution of 20 m, by upscaling the 10-m green band to 20 m correspondingly. This scheme, however, wastes the detailed information available at the 10-m resolution. In this paper, to take full advantage of the 10-m information provided by Sentinel-2 images, a novel 10-m spatial resolution MNDWI is produced from Sentinel-2 images by downscaling the 20-m resolution SWIR band to 10 m based on pan-sharpening. Four popular pan-sharpening algorithms, including Principle Component Analysis (PCA), Intensity Hue Saturation (IHS), High Pass Filter (HPF) and À Trous Wavelet Transform (ATWT), were applied in this study. The performance of the proposed method was assessed experimentally using a Sentinel-2 image located at the Venice coastland. In the experiment, six water indexes, including 10-m NDWI, 20-m MNDWI and 10-m MNDWI, produced by four pan-sharpening algorithms, were compared. Three levels of results, including the sharpened images, the produced MNDWI images and the finally mapped water bodies, were analysed quantitatively. The results showed that MNDWI can enhance water bodies and suppressbuilt-up features more efficiently than NDWI. Moreover, 10-m MNDWIs produced by all four pan-sharpening algorithms can represent more detailed spatial information of water bodies than 20-m MNDWI produced by the original image. Thus, MNDWIs at the 10-m resolution can extract more accurate water body maps than 10-m NDWI and 20-m MNDWI. In addition, although HPF can produce more accurate sharpened images and MNDWI images than the other three benchmark pan-sharpening algorithms, the ATWT algorithm leads to the best 10-m water bodies mapping results. This is no necessary positive connection between the accuracy of the sharpened MNDWI image and the map-level accuracy of the resultant water body maps. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Spectral-Spatial Hyperspectral Image Classification Using Subspace-Based Support Vector Machines and Adaptive Markov Random Fields
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 355; doi:10.3390/rs8040355
Received: 24 February 2016 / Revised: 15 April 2016 / Accepted: 20 April 2016 / Published: 23 April 2016
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Abstract
This paper introduces a new supervised classification method for hyperspectral images that combines spectral and spatial information. A support vector machine (SVM) classifier, integrated with a subspace projection method to address the problems of mixed pixels and noise, is first used to model
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This paper introduces a new supervised classification method for hyperspectral images that combines spectral and spatial information. A support vector machine (SVM) classifier, integrated with a subspace projection method to address the problems of mixed pixels and noise, is first used to model the posterior distributions of the classes based on the spectral information. Then, the spatial information of the image pixels is modeled using an adaptive Markov random field (MRF) method. Finally, the maximum posterior probability classification is computed via the simulated annealing (SA) optimization algorithm. The combination of subspace-based SVMs and adaptive MRFs is the main contribution of this paper. The resulting methods, called SVMsub-eMRF and SVMsub-aMRF, were experimentally validated using two typical real hyperspectral data sets. The obtained results indicate that the proposed methods demonstrate superior performance compared with other classical hyperspectral image classification methods. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Amazon Forests’ Response to Droughts: A Perspective from the MAIAC Product
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 356; doi:10.3390/rs8040356
Received: 4 February 2016 / Revised: 13 April 2016 / Accepted: 20 April 2016 / Published: 23 April 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (8508 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Amazon forests experienced two severe droughts at the beginning of the 21st century: one in 2005 and the other in 2010. How Amazon forests responded to these droughts is critical for the future of the Earth’s climate system. It is only possible to
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Amazon forests experienced two severe droughts at the beginning of the 21st century: one in 2005 and the other in 2010. How Amazon forests responded to these droughts is critical for the future of the Earth’s climate system. It is only possible to assess Amazon forests’ response to the droughts in large areal extent through satellite remote sensing. Here, we used the Multi-Angle Implementation of Atmospheric Correction (MAIAC) Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) vegetation index (VI) data to assess Amazon forests’ response to droughts, and compared the results with those from the standard (Collection 5 and Collection 6) MODIS VI data. Overall, the MAIAC data reveal more realistic Amazon forests inter-annual greenness dynamics than the standard MODIS data. Our results from the MAIAC data suggest that: (1) the droughts decreased the greenness (i.e., photosynthetic activity) of Amazon forests; (2) the Amazon wet season precipitation reduction induced by El Niño events could also lead to reduced photosynthetic activity of Amazon forests; and (3) in the subsequent year after the water stresses, the greenness of Amazon forests recovered from the preceding decreases. However, as previous research shows droughts cause Amazon forests to reduce investment in tissue maintenance and defense, it is not clear whether the photosynthesis of Amazon forests will continue to recover after future water stresses, because of the accumulated damages caused by the droughts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Vegetation Structure and Dynamics)
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Open AccessArticle Operational Drought Monitoring in Kenya Using MODIS NDVI Time Series
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 267; doi:10.3390/rs8040267
Received: 19 January 2016 / Revised: 10 March 2016 / Accepted: 16 March 2016 / Published: 24 March 2016
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Abstract
Reliable drought information is of utmost importance for efficient drought management. This paper presents a fully operational processing chain for mapping drought occurrence, extent and strength based on Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data at 250 m resolution.
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Reliable drought information is of utmost importance for efficient drought management. This paper presents a fully operational processing chain for mapping drought occurrence, extent and strength based on Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data at 250 m resolution. Illustrations are provided for the territory of Kenya. The processing chain was developed at BOKU (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria) and employs a modified Whittaker smoother providing consistent (de-noised) NDVI “Monday-images” in near real-time (NRT), with time lags between zero and thirteen weeks. At a regular seven-day updating interval, the algorithm constrains modeled NDVI values based on reasonable temporal NDVI paths derived from corresponding (multi-year) NDVI “climatologies”. Contrary to other competing approaches, an uncertainty range is produced for each pixel, time step and time lag. To quantify drought strength, the vegetation condition index (VCI) is calculated at pixel level from the de-noised NDVI data and is spatially aggregated to administrative units. Besides the original weekly temporal resolution, the indicator is also aggregated to one- and three-monthly intervals. During spatial and temporal aggregations, uncertainty information is taken into account to down-weight less reliable observations. Based on the provided VCI, Kenya’s National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) has been releasing disaster contingency funds (DCF) to sustain counties in drought conditions since 2014. The paper illustrates the successful application of the drought products within NDMA by providing a retrospective analysis applied to droughts reported by regular food security assessments. We also present comparisons with alternative products of the US Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET). We found an overall good agreement (R2 = 0.89) between the two datasets, but observed some persistent (seasonal and spatial) differences that should be assessed against external reference information. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Corn Response to Climate Stress Detected with Satellite-Based NDVI Time Series
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 269; doi:10.3390/rs8040269
Received: 22 January 2016 / Revised: 23 February 2016 / Accepted: 17 March 2016 / Published: 23 March 2016
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Abstract
Corn growth conditions and yield are closely dependent on climate variability. Leaf growth, measured as the leaf area index, can be used to identify changes in crop growth in response to climate stress. This research was conducted to capture patterns of spatial and
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Corn growth conditions and yield are closely dependent on climate variability. Leaf growth, measured as the leaf area index, can be used to identify changes in crop growth in response to climate stress. This research was conducted to capture patterns of spatial and temporal corn leaf growth under climate stress for the St. Joseph River watershed, in northeastern Indiana. Leaf growth is represented by the Normalized Difference Vegetative Index (NDVI) retrieved from multiple years (2000–2010) of Landsat 5 TM images. By comparing NDVI values for individual image dates with the derived normal curve, the response of crop growth to environmental factors is quantified as NDVI residuals. Regression analysis revealed a significant relationship between yield and NDVI residual during the pre-silking period, indicating that NDVI residuals reflect crop stress in the early growing period that impacts yield. Both the mean NDVI residuals and the percentage of image pixels where corn was under stress (risky pixel rate) are significantly correlated with water stress. Dry weather is prone to hamper potential crop growth, with stress affecting most of the observed corn pixels in the area. Oversupply of rainfall at the end of the growing season was not found to have a measurable effect on crop growth, while above normal precipitation earlier in the growing season reduces the risk of yield loss at the watershed scale. The spatial extent of stress is much lower when precipitation is above normal than under dry conditions, masking the impact of small areas of yield loss at the watershed scale. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Fine Surveying and 3D Modeling Approach for Wooden Ancient Architecture via Multiple Laser Scanner Integration
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 270; doi:10.3390/rs8040270
Received: 30 November 2015 / Revised: 17 February 2016 / Accepted: 1 March 2016 / Published: 25 March 2016
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Abstract
A multiple terrestrial laser scanner (TLS) integration approach is proposed for the fine surveying and 3D modeling of ancient wooden architecture in an ancient building complex of Wudang Mountains, which is located in very steep surroundings making it difficult to access. Three-level TLS
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A multiple terrestrial laser scanner (TLS) integration approach is proposed for the fine surveying and 3D modeling of ancient wooden architecture in an ancient building complex of Wudang Mountains, which is located in very steep surroundings making it difficult to access. Three-level TLS with a scalable measurement distance and accuracy is presented for data collection to compensate for data missed because of mutual sheltering and scanning view limitations. A multi-scale data fusion approach is proposed for data registration and filtering of the different scales and separated 3D data. A point projection algorithm together with point cloud slice tools is designed for fine surveying to generate all types of architecture maps, such as plan drawings, facade drawings, section drawings, and doors and windows drawings. The section drawings together with slicing point cloud are presented for the deformation analysis of the building structure. Along with fine drawings and laser scanning data, the 3D models of the ancient architecture components are built for digital management and visualization. Results show that the proposed approach can achieve fine surveying and 3D documentation of the ancient architecture within 3 mm accuracy. In addition, the defects of scanning view and mutual sheltering can overcome to obtain the complete and exact structure in detail. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Identification of Village Building via Google Earth Images and Supervised Machine Learning Methods
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 271; doi:10.3390/rs8040271
Received: 18 December 2015 / Revised: 10 March 2016 / Accepted: 17 March 2016 / Published: 25 March 2016
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Abstract
In this study, a method based on supervised machine learning is proposed to identify village buildings from open high-resolution remote sensing images. We select Google Earth (GE) RGB images to perform the classification in order to examine its suitability for village mapping, and
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In this study, a method based on supervised machine learning is proposed to identify village buildings from open high-resolution remote sensing images. We select Google Earth (GE) RGB images to perform the classification in order to examine its suitability for village mapping, and investigate the feasibility of using machine learning methods to provide automatic classification in such fields. By analyzing the characteristics of GE images, we design different features on the basis of two kinds of supervised machine learning methods for classification: adaptive boosting (AdaBoost) and convolutional neural networks (CNN). To recognize village buildings via their color and texture information, the RGB color features and a large number of Haar-like features in a local window are utilized in the AdaBoost method; with multilayer trained networks based on gradient descent algorithms and back propagation, CNN perform the identification by mining deeper information from buildings and their neighborhood. Experimental results from the testing area at Savannakhet province in Laos show that our proposed AdaBoost method achieves an overall accuracy of 96.22% and the CNN method is also competitive with an overall accuracy of 96.30%. Full article
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Open AccessArticle An Automatic Procedure for Early Disaster Change Mapping Based on Optical Remote Sensing
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 272; doi:10.3390/rs8040272
Received: 27 October 2015 / Revised: 7 March 2016 / Accepted: 11 March 2016 / Published: 26 March 2016
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Abstract
Disaster change mapping, which can provide accurate and timely changed information (e.g., damaged buildings, accessibility of road and the shelter sites) for decision makers to guide and support a plan for coordinating emergency rescue, is critical for early disaster rescue. In this paper,
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Disaster change mapping, which can provide accurate and timely changed information (e.g., damaged buildings, accessibility of road and the shelter sites) for decision makers to guide and support a plan for coordinating emergency rescue, is critical for early disaster rescue. In this paper, we focus on optical remote sensing data to propose an automatic procedure to reduce the impacts of optical data limitations and provide the emergency information in the early phases of a disaster. The procedure utilizes a series of new methods, such as an Optimizable Variational Model (OptVM) for image fusion and a scale-invariant feature transform (SIFT) constraint optical flow method (SIFT-OFM) for image registration, to produce product maps including cloudless backdrop maps and change-detection maps for catastrophic event regions, helping people to be aware of the whole scope of the disaster and assess the distribution and magnitude of damage. These product maps have a rather high accuracy as they are based on high precision preprocessing results in spectral consistency and geometric, which compared with traditional fused and registration methods by visual qualitative or quantitative analysis. The procedure is fully automated without any manual intervention to save response time. It also can be applied to many situations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Earth Observations for Geohazards)
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Open AccessArticle Spectral Reflectance of Polar Bear and Other Large Arctic Mammal Pelts; Potential Applications to Remote Sensing Surveys
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 273; doi:10.3390/rs8040273
Received: 6 November 2015 / Revised: 2 March 2016 / Accepted: 7 March 2016 / Published: 25 March 2016
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Abstract
Spectral reflectance within the 350–2500 nm range was measured for 17 pelts of arctic mammals (polar bear, caribou, muskox, and ringed, harp and bearded seals) in relation to snow. Reflectance of all pelts was very low at the ultraviolet (UV) end of the
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Spectral reflectance within the 350–2500 nm range was measured for 17 pelts of arctic mammals (polar bear, caribou, muskox, and ringed, harp and bearded seals) in relation to snow. Reflectance of all pelts was very low at the ultraviolet (UV) end of the spectrum (<10%), increased through the visual and near infrared, peaking at 40%–60% between 1100 and 1400 nm and then gradually dropped, though remaining above 20% until at least 1800 nm. In contrast, reflectance of snow was very high in the UV range (>90%), gradually dropped to near zero at 1500 nm, and then fluctuated between zero and 20% up to 2500 nm. All pelts could be distinguished from clean snow at many wavelengths. The polar bear pelts had higher and more uniform averaged reflectance from about 600–1100 nm than most other pelts, but discrimination was challenging due to variation in pelt color and intensity among individuals within each species. Results suggest promising approaches for using remote sensing tools with a broad spectral range to discriminate polar bears and other mammals from clean snow. Further data from live animals in their natural environment are needed to develop functions to discriminate among species of mammals and to determine whether other environmental elements may have similar reflectance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Biodiversity)
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Open AccessArticle Assessing the Capability of a Downscaled Urban Land Surface Temperature Time Series to Reproduce the Spatiotemporal Features of the Original Data
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 274; doi:10.3390/rs8040274
Received: 21 January 2016 / Revised: 3 March 2016 / Accepted: 21 March 2016 / Published: 25 March 2016
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Abstract
The downscaling of frequently-acquired geostationary Land Surface Temperature (LST) data can compensate the lack of high spatiotemporal LST data for urban climate studies. In order to be usable, the generated datasets must accurately reproduce the spatiotemporal features of the coarse-scale LST time series
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The downscaling of frequently-acquired geostationary Land Surface Temperature (LST) data can compensate the lack of high spatiotemporal LST data for urban climate studies. In order to be usable, the generated datasets must accurately reproduce the spatiotemporal features of the coarse-scale LST time series with greater spatial detail. This work concerns this issue and exploits the high temporal resolution of the data to address it. Specifically, it assesses the accuracy, correct pattern formation and the spatiotemporal inter-relationships of an urban three-month-long downscaled geostationary LST time series. The results suggest that the downscaling process operated in a consistent manner and preserved the radiometry of the original data. The exploitation of the data inter-relationships for evaluation purposes revealed that the downscaled time series reproduced the smooth diurnal cycle, but the autocorrelation of the downscaled data was higher than the original coarse-scale data. Overall, the evaluation process showed that the generation of high spatiotemporal LST data for urban areas is very challenging, and to deem it successful, it is mandatory to assess the temporal evolution of the urban thermal patterns. The results suggest that the proposed tests can facilitate the evaluation process. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A New Global fAPAR and LAI Dataset Derived from Optimal Albedo Estimates: Comparison with MODIS Products
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 275; doi:10.3390/rs8040275
Received: 8 January 2016 / Revised: 3 March 2016 / Accepted: 16 March 2016 / Published: 25 March 2016
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Abstract
We present the first comparison between new fAPAR and LAI products derived from the GlobAlbedo dataset and the widely-used MODIS fAPAR and LAI products. The GlobAlbedo-derived products are produced using a 1D two-stream radiative transfer (RT) scheme designed explicitly for global parameter retrieval
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We present the first comparison between new fAPAR and LAI products derived from the GlobAlbedo dataset and the widely-used MODIS fAPAR and LAI products. The GlobAlbedo-derived products are produced using a 1D two-stream radiative transfer (RT) scheme designed explicitly for global parameter retrieval from albedo, with consistency between RT model assumptions and observations, as well as with typical large-scale land surface model RT schemes. The approach does not require biome-specific structural assumptions (e.g., cover, clumping, understory), unlike more detailed 3D RT model approaches. GlobAlbedo-derived values of fAPAR and LAI are compared with MODIS values over 2002–2011 at multiple flux tower sites within selected biomes, over 1200 × 1200 km regions and globally. GlobAlbedo-derived fAPAR and LAI values are temporally more stable than the MODIS values due to the smoothness of the underlying albedo, derived via optimal estimation (assimilation) using an a priori estimate of albedo derived from an albedo “climatology” (composited multi-year albedo observations). Parameters agree closely in timing but with GlobAlbedo values consistently lower than MODIS, particularly for LAI. Larger differences occur in winter (when values are lower) and in the Southern hemisphere. Globally, we find that: GlobAlbedo-derived fAPAR is ~0.9–1.01 × MODIS fAPAR with an intercept of ~0.03; GlobAlbedo-derived LAI is ~0.6 × MODIS LAI with an intercept of ~0.2. Differences arise due to the RT model assumptions underlying the products, meaning care is required in interpreting either set of values, particularly when comparing to fine-scale ground-based estimates. We present global transformations between GlobAlbedo-derived and MODIS products. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Early Detection and Quantification of Almond Red Leaf Blotch Using High-Resolution Hyperspectral and Thermal Imagery
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 276; doi:10.3390/rs8040276
Received: 23 December 2015 / Revised: 10 February 2016 / Accepted: 21 March 2016 / Published: 25 March 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (4061 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Red leaf blotch is one of the major fungal foliar diseases affecting almond orchards. High-resolution thermal and hyperspectral airborne imagery was acquired from two flights and compared with concurrent field visual evaluations for disease incidence and severity. Canopy temperature and vegetation indices were
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Red leaf blotch is one of the major fungal foliar diseases affecting almond orchards. High-resolution thermal and hyperspectral airborne imagery was acquired from two flights and compared with concurrent field visual evaluations for disease incidence and severity. Canopy temperature and vegetation indices were calculated from thermal and hyperspectral imagery and analyzed for their ability to detect the disease at early stages. The classification methods linear discriminant analysis and support vector machine, using linear and radial basis kernels, were applied to a combination of these vegetation indices in order to quantify and discriminate between red leaf blotch severity levels. Chlorophyll and carotenoid indices and chlorophyll fluorescence were effective in detecting red leaf blotch at the early stages of disease development. Linear models showed higher power to separate between asymptomatic trees and those affected by advanced stages of disease development while the non-linear model was better in discriminating asymptomatic plants from those at early stages of red leaf blotch development. Leaf-level measurements of stomatal conductance, chlorophyll content, chlorophyll fluorescence, photochemical reflectance index, and spectral reflectance showed no significant differences between healthy leaves and the green areas of symptomatic leaves. This study demonstrated the feasibility of early detecting and quantifying red leaf blotch using high-resolution hyperspectral imagery. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Forest Disturbance Mapping Using Dense Synthetic Landsat/MODIS Time-Series and Permutation-Based Disturbance Index Detection
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 277; doi:10.3390/rs8040277
Received: 3 February 2016 / Revised: 3 March 2016 / Accepted: 21 March 2016 / Published: 25 March 2016
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Abstract
Spatio-temporal information on process-based forest loss is essential for a wide range of applications. Despite remote sensing being the only feasible means of monitoring forest change at regional or greater scales, there is no retrospectively available remote sensor that meets the demand of
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Spatio-temporal information on process-based forest loss is essential for a wide range of applications. Despite remote sensing being the only feasible means of monitoring forest change at regional or greater scales, there is no retrospectively available remote sensor that meets the demand of monitoring forests with the required spatial detail and guaranteed high temporal frequency. As an alternative, we employed the Spatial and Temporal Adaptive Reflectance Fusion Model (STARFM) to produce a dense synthetic time series by fusing Landsat and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) nadir Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF) adjusted reflectance. Forest loss was detected by applying a multi-temporal disturbance detection approach implementing a Disturbance Index-based detection strategy. The detection thresholds were permutated with random numbers for the normal distribution in order to generate a multi-dimensional threshold confidence area. As a result, a more robust parameterization and a spatially more coherent detection could be achieved. (i) The original Landsat time series; (ii) synthetic time series; and a (iii) combined hybrid approach were used to identify the timing and extent of disturbances. The identified clearings in the Landsat detection were verified using an annual woodland clearing dataset from Queensland’s Statewide Landcover and Trees Study. Disturbances caused by stand-replacing events were successfully identified. The increased temporal resolution of the synthetic time series indicated promising additional information on disturbance timing. The results of the hybrid detection unified the benefits of both approaches, i.e., the spatial quality and general accuracy of the Landsat detection and the increased temporal information of synthetic time series. Results indicated that a temporal improvement in the detection of the disturbance date could be achieved relative to the irregularly spaced Landsat data for sufficiently large patches. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Registration of Long-Strip Terrestrial Laser Scanning Point Clouds Using RANSAC and Closed Constraint Adjustment
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 278; doi:10.3390/rs8040278
Received: 30 December 2015 / Revised: 10 March 2016 / Accepted: 21 March 2016 / Published: 28 March 2016
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Abstract
The registration of long-strip, terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) point clouds is a prerequisite for various engineering tasks, including tunnels, bridges, and roads. An artificial target-based registration method is proposed in this paper to automatically calculate registration parameters (i.e., rotation, translation) of
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The registration of long-strip, terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) point clouds is a prerequisite for various engineering tasks, including tunnels, bridges, and roads. An artificial target-based registration method is proposed in this paper to automatically calculate registration parameters (i.e., rotation, translation) of scanned pairs without initial estimations. The approach is based on the well-known Random Sample Consensus (RANSAC) method and effectively searches the point cloud for corresponding returns from a system of artificial targets. In addition, Closed Constraint Adjustment (CCA) is integrated into the registration method to significantly reduce the accumulative error. Experimental results demonstrate the robustness and feasibility of the proposed approach. It is a promising approach to register automatically long strips with limited external control points with satisfactory precision. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Integrating Global Satellite-Derived Data Products as a Pre-Analysis for Hydrological Modelling Studies: A Case Study for the Red River Basin
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 279; doi:10.3390/rs8040279
Received: 14 January 2016 / Revised: 14 March 2016 / Accepted: 21 March 2016 / Published: 28 March 2016
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Abstract
With changes in weather patterns and intensifying anthropogenic water use, there is an increasing need for spatio-temporal information on water fluxes and stocks in river basins. The assortment of satellite-derived open-access information sources on rainfall (P) and land use/land cover (LULC) is currently
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With changes in weather patterns and intensifying anthropogenic water use, there is an increasing need for spatio-temporal information on water fluxes and stocks in river basins. The assortment of satellite-derived open-access information sources on rainfall (P) and land use/land cover (LULC) is currently being expanded with the application of actual evapotranspiration (ETact) algorithms on the global scale. We demonstrate how global remotely sensed P and ETact datasets can be merged to examine hydrological processes such as storage changes and streamflow prior to applying a numerical simulation model. The study area is the Red River Basin in China in Vietnam, a generally challenging basin for remotely sensed information due to frequent cloud cover. Over this region, several satellite-based P and ETact products are compared, and performance is evaluated using rain gauge records and longer-term averaged streamflow. A method is presented for fusing multiple satellite-derived ETact estimates to generate an ensemble product that may be less susceptible, on a global basis, to errors in individual modeling approaches. Subsequently, monthly satellite-derived rainfall and ETact are combined to assess the water balance for individual subcatchments and types of land use, defined using a global land use classification improved based on auxiliary satellite data. It was found that a combination of TRMM rainfall and the ensemble ETact product is consistent with streamflow records in both space and time. It is concluded that monthly storage changes, multi-annual streamflow and water yield per LULC type in the Red River Basin can be successfully assessed based on currently available global satellite-derived products. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Algorithm Development of Temperature and Humidity Profile Retrievals for Long-Term HIRS Observations
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 280; doi:10.3390/rs8040280
Received: 16 January 2016 / Revised: 18 March 2016 / Accepted: 21 March 2016 / Published: 25 March 2016
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Abstract
A project for deriving temperature and humidity profiles from High-resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder (HIRS) observations is underway to build a long-term dataset for climate applications. The retrieval algorithm development of the project includes a neural network retrieval scheme, a two-tiered cloud screening method,
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A project for deriving temperature and humidity profiles from High-resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder (HIRS) observations is underway to build a long-term dataset for climate applications. The retrieval algorithm development of the project includes a neural network retrieval scheme, a two-tiered cloud screening method, and a calibration using radiosonde and Global Positioning System Radio Occultation (GPS RO) measurements. As atmospheric profiles over high surface elevations can differ significantly from those over low elevations, different neural networks are developed for three classifications of surface elevations. The significant impact from the increase of carbon dioxide in the last several decades on HIRS temperature sounding channel measurements is accounted for in the retrieval scheme. The cloud screening method added one more step from the HIRS-only approach by incorporating the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) observations to assess the likelihood of cloudiness in HIRS pixels. Calibrating the retrievals with radiosonde and GPS RO reduces biases in retrieved temperature and humidity. Except for the lowest pressure level which exhibits larger variability, the mean biases are within ±0.3 °C for temperature and within ±0.2 g/kg for specific humidity at standard pressure levels, globally. Overall, the HIRS temperature and specific humidity retrievals closely align with radiosonde and GPS RO observations in providing measurements of the global atmosphere to support other relevant climate dataset development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Satellite Climate Data Records and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Assessing the Impact of Climate Variability on Cropland Productivity in the Canadian Prairies Using Time Series MODIS FAPAR
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 281; doi:10.3390/rs8040281
Received: 4 January 2016 / Revised: 12 March 2016 / Accepted: 21 March 2016 / Published: 28 March 2016
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Abstract
Cropland productivity is impacted by climate. Knowledge on spatial-temporal patterns of the impacts at the regional scale is extremely important for improving crop management under limiting climatic factors. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of climate variability on cropland
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Cropland productivity is impacted by climate. Knowledge on spatial-temporal patterns of the impacts at the regional scale is extremely important for improving crop management under limiting climatic factors. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of climate variability on cropland productivity in the Canadian Prairies between 2000 and 2013 based on time series of MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) FAPAR (Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation) product. Key phenological metrics, including the start (SOS) and end of growing season (EOS), and the cumulative FAPAR (CFAPAR) during the growing season (between SOS and EOS), were extracted and calculated from the FAPAR time series with the Parametric Double Hyperbolic Tangent (PDHT) method. The Mann-Kendall test was employed to assess the trends of cropland productivity and climatic variables, and partial correlation analysis was conducted to explore the potential links between climate variability and cropland productivity. An assessment using crop yield statistical data showed that CFAPAR can be taken as a surrogate of cropland productivity in the Canadian Prairies. Cropland productivity showed an increasing trend in most areas of Canadian Prairies, in general, during the period from 2000 to 2013. Interannual variability in cropland productivity on the Canadian Prairies was influenced positively by rainfall variation and negatively by mean air temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Vegetation Structure and Dynamics)
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Open AccessArticle Pi-SAR-L2 Observation of the Landslide Caused by Typhoon Wipha on Izu Oshima Island
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 282; doi:10.3390/rs8040282
Received: 24 December 2015 / Revised: 16 March 2016 / Accepted: 22 March 2016 / Published: 29 March 2016
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Abstract
Pi-SAR-L2 full polarimetic data observed in four different observational directions over a landslide area on Izu Oshima Island, induced by Typhoon Wipha on 16 October 2013, were analyzed to clarify the most appropriate L-band full polarimetric parameters and observational direction to detect a
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Pi-SAR-L2 full polarimetic data observed in four different observational directions over a landslide area on Izu Oshima Island, induced by Typhoon Wipha on 16 October 2013, were analyzed to clarify the most appropriate L-band full polarimetric parameters and observational direction to detect a landslide area. Japanese airborne Pi-SAR-L2 and PiSAR-L data were used in this analysis. Several L-band full polarimetric parameters, including backscattering coefficient (σ°), coherence between two polarimetric states, four-component decomposition parameters (double-bounce/volume/surface/helix scattering), and eigenvalue decomposition parameters (entropy/α/anisotropy), were calculated to determine the most appropriate parameters for detecting landslide areas. The change in land cover from forest before the disaster to bare soil after the disaster was detected well by α, and coherence between HH and VV. Observational data from the bottom to the top of the landslide detected the landslide well, whereas observations from the opposite sides were not as useful, indicating that a smaller local incident angle is better to distinguish landslide and forested areas. Soil from the landslide intruded into the urban areas; however, none of the full polarimetric parameters showed any significant differences between the landslide-affected urban areas after the disaster and unaffected areas before the disaster. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Earth Observations for Geohazards)
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Open AccessArticle Optical Models for Remote Sensing of Colored Dissolved Organic Matter Absorption and Salinity in New England, Middle Atlantic and Gulf Coast Estuaries USA
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 283; doi:10.3390/rs8040283
Received: 29 December 2015 / Revised: 4 March 2016 / Accepted: 17 March 2016 / Published: 29 March 2016
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Abstract
Ocean color algorithms have been successfully developed to estimate chlorophyll a and total suspended solids concentrations in coastal and estuarine waters but few have been created to estimate light absorption due to colored dissolved inorganic matter (CDOM) and salinity from the spectral signatures
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Ocean color algorithms have been successfully developed to estimate chlorophyll a and total suspended solids concentrations in coastal and estuarine waters but few have been created to estimate light absorption due to colored dissolved inorganic matter (CDOM) and salinity from the spectral signatures of these waters. In this study, we used remotely sensed reflectances in the red and blue-green portions of the visible spectrum retrieved from Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) and the International Space Station (ISS) Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean (HICO) images to create a model to estimate CDOM absorption. CDOM absorption results were then used to develop an algorithm to predict the surface salinities of coastal bays and estuaries in New England, Middle Atlantic, and Gulf of Mexico regions. Algorithm-derived CDOM absorptions and salinities were successfully validated using laboratory measured absorption values over magnitudes of ~0.1 to 7.0 m−1 and field collected CTD data from oligohaline to polyhaline (S less than 5 to 18–30) environments in Narragansett Bay (Rhode Island); the Neuse River Estuary (North Carolina); Pensacola Bay (Florida); Choctawhatchee Bay (Florida); St. Andrews Bay (Florida); St. Joseph Bay (Florida); and inner continental shelf waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Complex Deformation Monitoring over the Linfen–Yuncheng Basin (China) with Time Series InSAR Technology
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 284; doi:10.3390/rs8040284
Received: 16 January 2016 / Revised: 7 March 2016 / Accepted: 21 March 2016 / Published: 28 March 2016
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Abstract
The Linfen–Yuncheng basin is an area prone to geological disasters, such as surface subsidence, ground fissuring, fault activity, and earthquakes. For the purpose of disaster prevention and mitigation, Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) was used to map ground deformation in this area. After
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The Linfen–Yuncheng basin is an area prone to geological disasters, such as surface subsidence, ground fissuring, fault activity, and earthquakes. For the purpose of disaster prevention and mitigation, Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) was used to map ground deformation in this area. After the ground deformation characteristics over the Linfen–Yuncheng basin were obtained, the cross-correlations among regional ground subsidence, fault activity, and underground water level were analyzed in detail. Additionally, an area of abnormal deformation was found and examined. Through time series deformation monitoring and mechanism inversion, we found that the abnormal deformation was related mainly to excessive groundwater exploitation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Earth Observations for Geohazards)
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Open AccessArticle Remote Sensing of the North American Laurentian Great Lakes’ Surface Temperature
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 286; doi:10.3390/rs8040286
Received: 22 January 2016 / Revised: 14 March 2016 / Accepted: 22 March 2016 / Published: 29 March 2016
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Abstract
The Great Lakes Surface Temperature (GLST) is the key to understanding the effects of climate change on the Great Lakes (GL). This study provides the first techniques to retrieve pixel-based GLST under all sky conditions by merging skin temperature derived from the MODIS
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The Great Lakes Surface Temperature (GLST) is the key to understanding the effects of climate change on the Great Lakes (GL). This study provides the first techniques to retrieve pixel-based GLST under all sky conditions by merging skin temperature derived from the MODIS Land Surface Temperature (MOD11L2) and the MODIS Cloud product (MOD06L2) from 6 July 2001 to 31 December 2014, resulting in 18,807 scenes in total 9373 (9434) scenes for MOD11L2 (MOD06L2). The pixel-based GLST under all sky conditions was well-correlated with the in situ observations (R2 = 0.9102) with a cool bias of −1.10 °C and a root mean square error (RMSE) of 1.39 °C. The study also presents the long-term trends of GLST. Contrary to expectations, it decreased slightly due to the impact of an anomalously cold winter in 2013–2014. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A New Soil Moisture Agricultural Drought Index (SMADI) Integrating MODIS and SMOS Products: A Case of Study over the Iberian Peninsula
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 287; doi:10.3390/rs8040287
Received: 10 February 2016 / Revised: 14 March 2016 / Accepted: 22 March 2016 / Published: 29 March 2016
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Abstract
A new index for agricultural drought monitoring is presented based on the integration of different soil/vegetation remote sensing observations. The synergistic fusion of the surface soil moisture (SSM) from the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission, with the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer
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A new index for agricultural drought monitoring is presented based on the integration of different soil/vegetation remote sensing observations. The synergistic fusion of the surface soil moisture (SSM) from the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission, with the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) derived land surface temperature (LST), and water/vegetation indices for agricultural drought monitoring was tested. The rationale of the approach is based on the inverse relationship between LST, vegetation condition and soil moisture content. Thus, the proposed Soil Moisture Agricultural Drought Index (SMADI) combines the soil and temperature conditions while including the lagged response of vegetation. SMADI was retrieved every eight days at 500 m spatial resolution for the whole Iberian Peninsula (IP) from 2010 to 2014, and a time lag of eight days was used to account for the plant response to the varying soil/climatic conditions. The results of SMADI compared well with other agricultural indices in a semiarid area in the Duero basin, in Spain, and also with a climatic index in areas of the Iberian Peninsula under contrasted climatic conditions. Based on a standard classification of drought severity, the proposed index allowed for a coherent description of the drought conditions of the IP during the study period. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Hyperspectral Anomaly Detection Based on Low-Rank Representation and Learned Dictionary
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 289; doi:10.3390/rs8040289
Received: 17 December 2015 / Revised: 15 March 2016 / Accepted: 22 March 2016 / Published: 28 March 2016
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Abstract
In this paper, a novel hyperspectral anomaly detector based on low-rank representation (LRR) and learned dictionary (LD) has been proposed. This method assumes that a two-dimensional matrix transformed from a three-dimensional hyperspectral imagery can be decomposed into two parts: a low rank matrix
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In this paper, a novel hyperspectral anomaly detector based on low-rank representation (LRR) and learned dictionary (LD) has been proposed. This method assumes that a two-dimensional matrix transformed from a three-dimensional hyperspectral imagery can be decomposed into two parts: a low rank matrix representing the background and a sparse matrix standing for the anomalies. The direct application of LRR model is sensitive to a tradeoff parameter that balances the two parts. To mitigate this problem, a learned dictionary is introduced into the decomposition process. The dictionary is learned from the whole image with a random selection process and therefore can be viewed as the spectra of the background only. It also requires a less computational cost with the learned dictionary. The statistic characteristic of the sparse matrix allows the application of basic anomaly detection method to obtain detection results. Experimental results demonstrate that, compared to other anomaly detection methods, the proposed method based on LRR and LD shows its robustness and has a satisfactory anomaly detection result. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Exploring Long Term Spatial Vegetation Trends in Taiwan from AVHRR NDVI3g Dataset Using RDA and HCA Analyses
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 290; doi:10.3390/rs8040290
Received: 30 November 2015 / Revised: 2 March 2016 / Accepted: 21 March 2016 / Published: 29 March 2016
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Abstract
Due to 4000 m elevation variation with temperature differences equivalent to 50 degrees of latitudinal gradient, exploring Taiwan’s spatial vegetation trends is valuable in terms of diverse ecosystems and climatic types covering a relatively small island with an area of 36,000 km2
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Due to 4000 m elevation variation with temperature differences equivalent to 50 degrees of latitudinal gradient, exploring Taiwan’s spatial vegetation trends is valuable in terms of diverse ecosystems and climatic types covering a relatively small island with an area of 36,000 km2. This study analyzed Taiwan’s spatial vegetation trends with controlling environmental variables through redundancy (RDA) and hierarchical cluster (HCA) analyses over three decades (1982–2012) of monthly normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) derived from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) NDVI3g data for 19 selected weather stations over the island. Results showed two spatially distinct vegetation response groups. Group 1 comprises weather stations which remained relatively natural showing a slight increasing NDVI tendency accompanied with rising temperature, whereas Group 2 comprises stations with high level of human development showing a slight decreasing NDVI tendency associated with increasing temperature-induced moisture stress. Statistically significant controlling variables include climatic factors (temperature and precipitation), orographic factors (mean slope and aspects), and anthropogenic factor (population density). Given the potential trajectories for future warming, variable precipitation, and population pressure, challenges, such as land-cover and water-induced vegetation stress, need to be considered simultaneously for establishing adequate adaptation strategies to combat climate change challenges in Taiwan. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Impact of Forest Density on Forest Height Inversion Modeling from Polarimetric InSAR Data
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 291; doi:10.3390/rs8040291
Received: 14 December 2015 / Revised: 14 March 2016 / Accepted: 21 March 2016 / Published: 29 March 2016
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Abstract
Forest height is of great significance in analyzing the carbon cycle on a global or a local scale and in reconstructing the accurate forest underlying terrain. Major algorithms for estimating forest height, such as the three-stage inversion process, are depending on the random-volume-over-ground
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Forest height is of great significance in analyzing the carbon cycle on a global or a local scale and in reconstructing the accurate forest underlying terrain. Major algorithms for estimating forest height, such as the three-stage inversion process, are depending on the random-volume-over-ground (RVoG) model. However, the RVoG model is characterized by a lot of parameters, which influence its applicability in forest height retrieval. Forest density, as an important biophysical parameter, is one of those main influencing factors. However, its influence to the RVoG model has been ignored in relating researches. For this paper, we study the applicability of the RVoG model in forest height retrieval with different forest densities, using the simulated and real Polarimetric Interferometric SAR data. P-band ESAR datasets of the European Space Agency (ESA) BioSAR 2008 campaign were selected for experiments. The test site was located in Krycklan River catchment in Northern Sweden. The experimental results show that the forest density clearly affects the inversion accuracy of forest height and ground phase. For the four selected forest stands, with the density increasing from 633 to 1827 stems/Ha, the RMSEs of inversion decrease from 4.6 m to 3.1 m. The RVoG model is not quite applicable for forest height retrieval especially in sparsely vegetated areas. We conclude that the forest stand density is positively related to the estimation accuracy of the ground phase, but negatively correlates to the ground-to-volume scattering ratio. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Vegetation Structure and Dynamics)
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Open AccessArticle An Integrated Field and Remote Sensing Method for Mapping Seagrass Species, Cover, and Biomass in Southern Thailand
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 292; doi:10.3390/rs8040292
Received: 30 December 2015 / Revised: 20 March 2016 / Accepted: 22 March 2016 / Published: 30 March 2016
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Abstract
Accurate and up-to-date maps of seagrass biodiversity are important for marine resource management but it is very challenging to test the accuracy of remote sensing techniques for mapping seagrass in coastal waters with variable water turbidity. In this study, Worldview-2 (WV-2) imagery was
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Accurate and up-to-date maps of seagrass biodiversity are important for marine resource management but it is very challenging to test the accuracy of remote sensing techniques for mapping seagrass in coastal waters with variable water turbidity. In this study, Worldview-2 (WV-2) imagery was combined with field sampling to demonstrate the capability of mapping species type, percentage cover, and above-ground biomass of seagrasses in monsoonal southern Thailand. A high accuracy positioning technique, involving the Real Time Kinematic (RTK) Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), was used to record field sample data positions and reduce uncertainties in matching locations between satellite and field data sets. Our results showed high accuracy (90.67%) in mapping seagrass distribution and moderate accuracies for mapping percentage cover and species type (73.74% and 75.00%, respectively). Seagrass species type mapping was successfully achieved despite discrimination confusion among Halophila ovalis, Thalassia hemprichii, and Enhalus acoroides species with greater than 50% cover. The green, yellow, and near infrared spectral channels of WV-2 were used to estimate the above-ground biomass using a multiple linear regression model (RMSE of ±10.38 g·DW/m2, R = 0.68). The average total above-ground biomass was 23.95 ± 10.38 g·DW/m2. The seagrass maps produced in this study are an important step towards measuring the attributes of seagrass biodiversity and can be used as inputs to seagrass dynamic models and conservation efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue What can Remote Sensing Do for the Conservation of Wetlands?)
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Open AccessArticle Error Analysis of Satellite Precipitation-Driven Modeling of Flood Events in Complex Alpine Terrain
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 293; doi:10.3390/rs8040293
Received: 10 January 2016 / Revised: 1 March 2016 / Accepted: 22 March 2016 / Published: 30 March 2016
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Abstract
The error in satellite precipitation-driven complex terrain flood simulations is characterized in this study for eight different global satellite products and 128 flood events over the Eastern Italian Alps. The flood events are grouped according to two flood types: rain floods and flash
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The error in satellite precipitation-driven complex terrain flood simulations is characterized in this study for eight different global satellite products and 128 flood events over the Eastern Italian Alps. The flood events are grouped according to two flood types: rain floods and flash floods. The satellite precipitation products and runoff simulations are evaluated based on systematic and random error metrics applied on the matched event pairs and basin-scale event properties (i.e., rainfall and runoff cumulative depth and time series shape). Overall, error characteristics exhibit dependency on the flood type. Generally, timing of the event precipitation mass center and dispersion of the time series derived from satellite precipitation exhibits good agreement with the reference; the cumulative depth is mostly underestimated. The study shows a dampening effect in both systematic and random error components of the satellite-driven hydrograph relative to the satellite-retrieved hyetograph. The systematic error in shape of the time series shows a significant dampening effect. The random error dampening effect is less pronounced for the flash flood events and the rain flood events with a high runoff coefficient. This event-based analysis of the satellite precipitation error propagation in flood modeling sheds light on the application of satellite precipitation in mountain flood hydrology. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Multiyear Arctic Ice Classification Using ASCAT and SSMIS
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 294; doi:10.3390/rs8040294
Received: 5 January 2016 / Revised: 14 March 2016 / Accepted: 25 March 2016 / Published: 30 March 2016
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Abstract
The concentration, type, and extent of sea ice in the Arctic can be estimated based on measurements from satellite active microwave sensors, passive microwave sensors, or both. Here, data from the Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT) and the Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder (SSMIS) are employed
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The concentration, type, and extent of sea ice in the Arctic can be estimated based on measurements from satellite active microwave sensors, passive microwave sensors, or both. Here, data from the Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT) and the Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder (SSMIS) are employed to broadly classify Arctic sea ice type as first-year (FY) or multiyear (MY). Combining data from both active and passive sensors can improve the performance of MY and FY ice classification. The classification method uses C-band σ0 measurements from ASCAT and 37 GHz brightness temperature measurements from SSMIS to derive a probabilistic model based on a multivariate Gaussian distribution. Using a Gaussian model, a Bayesian estimator selects between FY and MY ice to classify pixels in images of Arctic sea ice. The ASCAT/SSMIS classification results are compared with classifications using the Oceansat-2 scatterometer (OSCAT), the Equal-Area Scalable Earth Grid (EASE-Grid) Sea Ice Age dataset available from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), and the Canadian Ice Service (CIS) charts, also available from the NSIDC. The MY ice extent of the ASCAT/SSMIS classifications demonstrates an average difference of 282 thousand km - + from that of the OSCAT classifications from 2009 to 2014. The difference is an average of 13.6% of the OSCAT MY ice extent, which averaged 2.19 million km2 over the same period. Compared to the ice classified as two years or older in the EASE-Grid Sea Ice Age dataset (EASE-2+) from 2009 to 2012, the average difference is 617 thousand km2 . The difference is an average of 22.8% of the EASE-2+ MY ice extent, which averaged 2.79 million km2 from 2009 to 2012. Comparison with the Canadian Ice Service (CIS) charts shows that most ASCAT/SSMIS classifications of MY ice correspond to a MY ice concentration of approximately 50% or greater in the CIS charts. The addition of the passive SSMIS data appears to improve classifications by mitigating misclassifications caused by ASCAT's sensitivity to rough patches of ice which can appear similar to, but are not, MY ice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sea Ice Remote Sensing and Analysis)
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Open AccessArticle Performance Evaluation of Cluster Validity Indices (CVIs) on Multi/Hyperspectral Remote Sensing Datasets
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 295; doi:10.3390/rs8040295
Received: 21 December 2015 / Revised: 26 February 2016 / Accepted: 21 March 2016 / Published: 30 March 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3842 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The number of clusters (i.e., the number of classes) for unsupervised classification has been recognized as an important part of remote sensing image clustering analysis. The number of classes is usually determined by cluster validity indices (CVIs). Although many CVIs have
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The number of clusters (i.e., the number of classes) for unsupervised classification has been recognized as an important part of remote sensing image clustering analysis. The number of classes is usually determined by cluster validity indices (CVIs). Although many CVIs have been proposed, few studies have compared and evaluated their effectiveness on remote sensing datasets. In this paper, the performance of 16 representative and commonly-used CVIs was comprehensively tested by applying the fuzzy c-means (FCM) algorithm to cluster nine types of remote sensing datasets, including multispectral (QuickBird, Landsat TM, Landsat ETM+, FLC1, and GaoFen-1) and hyperspectral datasets (Hyperion, HYDICE, ROSIS, and AVIRIS). The preliminary experimental results showed that most CVIs, including the commonly used DBI (Davies-Bouldin index) and XBI (Xie-Beni index), were not suitable for remote sensing images (especially for hyperspectral images) due to significant between-cluster overlaps; the only effective index for both multispectral and hyperspectral data sets was the WSJ index (WSJI). Such important conclusions can serve as a guideline for future remote sensing image clustering applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Spectral-Spatial Classification of Hyperspectral Images Based on the Algebraic Multigrid Method and Hierarchical Segmentation Algorithm
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 296; doi:10.3390/rs8040296
Received: 31 December 2015 / Revised: 2 March 2016 / Accepted: 21 March 2016 / Published: 31 March 2016
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Abstract
The algebraic multigrid (AMG) method is used to solve linear systems of equations on a series of progressively coarser grids and has recently attracted significant attention for image segmentation due to its high efficiency and robustness. In this paper, a novel spectral-spatial classification
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The algebraic multigrid (AMG) method is used to solve linear systems of equations on a series of progressively coarser grids and has recently attracted significant attention for image segmentation due to its high efficiency and robustness. In this paper, a novel spectral-spatial classification method for hyperspectral images based on the AMG method and hierarchical segmentation (HSEG) algorithm is proposed. Our method consists of the following steps. First, the AMG method is applied to hyperspectral imagery to construct a multigrid structure of fine-to-coarse grids based on the anisotropic diffusion partial differential equation (PDE). The vertices in the multigrid structure are then considered as the initial seeds (markers) for growing regions and are clustered to obtain a sequence of segmentation results. In the next step, a maximum vote decision rule is employed to combine the pixel-wise classification map and the segmentation maps. Finally, a final classification map is produced by choosing the optimal grid level to extract representative spectra. Experiments based on three different types of real hyperspectral datasets with different resolutions and contexts demonstrate that our method can obtain 3.84%–13.81% higher overall accuracies than the SVM classifier. The performance of our method was further compared to several marker-based spectral-spatial classification methods using objective quantitative measures and a visual qualitative evaluation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Comparison of Multiple Datasets for Monitoring Thermal Time in Urban Areas over the U.S. Upper Midwest
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 297; doi:10.3390/rs8040297
Received: 18 February 2016 / Revised: 18 March 2016 / Accepted: 22 March 2016 / Published: 31 March 2016
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Abstract
Traditional studies of urban climate used air temperature observations from local urban/rural weather stations in order to analyze the general pattern of higher temperatures in urban areas compared with corresponding rural regions, also known as the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect. More recently,
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Traditional studies of urban climate used air temperature observations from local urban/rural weather stations in order to analyze the general pattern of higher temperatures in urban areas compared with corresponding rural regions, also known as the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect. More recently, satellite remote sensing datasets of land surface temperature have been exploited to monitor UHIs. While closely linked, air temperature and land surface temperature (LST) observations do not measure the same variables. Here we analyze land surface temperature vs. air temperature-based characterization and seasonality of the UHI and the surface UHI (SUHI) from 2003 to 2012 over the Upper Midwest region of the United States using LST from MODIS, and air temperature from the Daymet modeled gridded daily air temperature dataset, and compare both datasets to ground station data from first-order weather stations of the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) located in eleven urban areas spanning our study region. We first convert the temperature data to metrics of nocturnal, diurnal, and daily thermal time and their annual accumulations to draw conclusions on nighttime vs. daytime and seasonal dynamics of the UHI. In general, the MODIS LST-derived results are able to capture urban–rural differences in daytime, nighttime, and daily thermal time while the Daymet air temperature-derived results show very little urban–rural differences in thermal time. Compared to the GHCN ground station air temperature-derived observations, MODIS LST-derived results are closer in terms of urban–rural differences in nighttime thermal time, while the results from Daymet are closer to the observations from GHCN during the daytime. We also found differences in the seasonal dynamics of UHIs measured by air temperature observations and SUHIs measured by LST observations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Assessment of the Added-Value of Sentinel-2 for Detecting Built-up Areas
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 299; doi:10.3390/rs8040299
Received: 29 December 2015 / Revised: 18 March 2016 / Accepted: 25 March 2016 / Published: 1 April 2016
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (8684 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Monitoring of the human-induced changes and the availability of reliable and methodologically consistent urban area maps are essential to support sustainable urban development on a global scale. The Global Human Settlement Layer (GHSL) is a project funded by the European Commission, Joint Research
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Monitoring of the human-induced changes and the availability of reliable and methodologically consistent urban area maps are essential to support sustainable urban development on a global scale. The Global Human Settlement Layer (GHSL) is a project funded by the European Commission, Joint Research Centre, which aims at providing scientific methods and systems for reliable and automatic mapping of built-up areas from remote sensing data. In the frame of the GHSL, the opportunities offered by the recent availability of Sentinel-2 data are being explored using a novel image classification method, called Symbolic Machine Learning (SML), for detailed urban land cover mapping. In this paper, a preliminary test was implemented with the purpose of: (i) assessing the applicability of the SML classifier on Sentinel-2 imagery; (ii) evaluating the complementarity of Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2; and (iii) understanding the added-value of Sentinel-2 with respect to Landsat for improving global high-resolution human settlement mapping. The overall objective is to explore areas of improvement, including the possibility of synergistic use of the different sensors. The results showed that noticeable improvement of the quality of the classification could be gained from the increased spatial detail and from the thematic contents of Sentinel-2 compared to the Landsat derived product as well as from the complementarity between Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 images. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview Satellite Climate Data Records: Development, Applications, and Societal Benefits
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 331; doi:10.3390/rs8040331
Received: 15 February 2016 / Revised: 25 March 2016 / Accepted: 6 April 2016 / Published: 15 April 2016
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Abstract
This review paper discusses how to develop, produce, sustain, and serve satellite climate data records (CDRs) in the context of transitioning research to operation (R2O). Requirements and critical procedures of producing various CDRs, including Fundamental CDRs (FCDRs), Thematic CDRs (TCDRs), Interim CDRs (ICDRs),
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This review paper discusses how to develop, produce, sustain, and serve satellite climate data records (CDRs) in the context of transitioning research to operation (R2O). Requirements and critical procedures of producing various CDRs, including Fundamental CDRs (FCDRs), Thematic CDRs (TCDRs), Interim CDRs (ICDRs), and climate information records (CIRs) are discussed in detail, including radiance/reflectance and the essential climate variables (ECVs) of land, ocean, and atmosphere. Major international CDR initiatives, programs, and projects are summarized. Societal benefits of CDRs in various user sectors, including Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Energy, Heath, Water, Transportation, and Tourism are also briefly discussed. The challenges and opportunities for CDR development, production and service are also addressed. It is essential to maintain credible CDR products by allowing free access to products and keeping the production process transparent by making source code and documentation available with the dataset. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Satellite Climate Data Records and Applications)
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Open AccessReview Trends in Automatic Individual Tree Crown Detection and Delineation—Evolution of LiDAR Data
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 333; doi:10.3390/rs8040333
Received: 30 January 2016 / Revised: 30 March 2016 / Accepted: 12 April 2016 / Published: 15 April 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (2092 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Automated individual tree crown detection and delineation (ITCD) using remotely sensed data plays an increasingly significant role in efficiently, accurately, and completely monitoring forests. This paper reviews trends in ITCD research from 1990–2015 from several perspectives—data/forest type, method applied, accuracy assessment and research
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Automated individual tree crown detection and delineation (ITCD) using remotely sensed data plays an increasingly significant role in efficiently, accurately, and completely monitoring forests. This paper reviews trends in ITCD research from 1990–2015 from several perspectives—data/forest type, method applied, accuracy assessment and research objective—with a focus on studies using LiDAR data. This review shows that active sources are becoming more prominent in ITCD studies. Studies using active data—LiDAR in particular—accounted for 80% of the total increase over the entire time period, those using passive data or fusion of passive and active data comprised relatively small proportions of the total increase (8% and 12%, respectively). Additionally, ITCD research has moved from incremental adaptations of algorithms developed for passive data sources to innovative approaches that take advantage of the novel characteristics of active datasets like LiDAR. These improvements make it possible to explore more complex forest conditions (e.g., closed hardwood forests, suburban/urban forests) rather than a single forest type although most published ITCD studies still focused on closed softwood (41%) or mixed forest (22%). Approximately one-third of studies applied individual tree level (30%) assessment, with only a quarter reporting more comprehensive multi-level assessment (23%). Almost one-third of studies (32%) that concentrated on forest parameter estimation based on ITCD results had no ITCD-specific evaluation. Comparison of methods continues to be complicated by both choice of reference data and assessment metric; it is imperative to establish a standardized two-level assessment framework to evaluate and compare ITCD algorithms in order to provide specific recommendations about suitable applications of particular algorithms. However, the evolution of active remotely sensed data and novel platforms implies that automated ITCD will continue to be a promising technology and an attractive research topic for both the forestry and remote sensing communities. Full article
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Open AccessReview Observing Volcanoes from the Seafloor in the Central Mediterranean Area
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 298; doi:10.3390/rs8040298
Received: 2 October 2015 / Revised: 16 February 2016 / Accepted: 16 March 2016 / Published: 1 April 2016
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Abstract
The three volcanoes that are the object of this paper show different types of activity that are representative of the large variety of volcanism present in the Central Mediterranean area. Etna and Stromboli are sub-aerial volcanoes, with significant part of their structure under
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The three volcanoes that are the object of this paper show different types of activity that are representative of the large variety of volcanism present in the Central Mediterranean area. Etna and Stromboli are sub-aerial volcanoes, with significant part of their structure under the sea, while the Marsili Seamount is submerged, and its activity is still open to debate. The study of these volcanoes can benefit from multi-parametric observations from the seafloor. Each volcano was studied with a different kind of observation system. Stromboli seismic recordings are acquired by means of a single Ocean Bottom Seismometer (OBS). From these data, it was possible to identify two different magma chambers at different depths. At Marsili Seamount, gravimetric and seismic signals are recorded by a battery-powered multi-disciplinary observatory (GEOSTAR). Gravimetric variations and seismic Short Duration Events (SDE) confirm the presence of hydrothermal activity. At the Etna observation site, seismic signals, water pressure, magnetic field and acoustic echo intensity are acquired in real-time thanks to a cabled multi-disciplinary observatory (NEMO-SN1 ). This observatory is one of the operative nodes of the European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and water-column Observatory (EMSO; www.emso-eu.org) research infrastructure. Through a multidisciplinary approach, we speculate about deep Etna sources and follow some significant events, such as volcanic ash diffusion in the seawater. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volcano Remote Sensing)
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Other

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Open AccessTechnical Note Land Cover Mapping in Southwestern China Using the HC-MMK Approach
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 305; doi:10.3390/rs8040305
Received: 24 December 2015 / Revised: 9 March 2016 / Accepted: 29 March 2016 / Published: 7 April 2016
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Abstract
Land cover mapping in mountainous areas is a notoriously challenging task due to the rugged terrain and high spatial heterogeneity of land surfaces as well as the frequent cloud contamination of satellite imagery. Taking Southwestern China (a typical mountainous region) as an example,
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Land cover mapping in mountainous areas is a notoriously challenging task due to the rugged terrain and high spatial heterogeneity of land surfaces as well as the frequent cloud contamination of satellite imagery. Taking Southwestern China (a typical mountainous region) as an example, this paper established a new HC-MMK approach (Hierarchical Classification based on Multi-source and Multi-temporal data and geo-Knowledge), which was especially designed for land cover mapping in mountainous areas. This approach was taken in order to generate a 30 m-resolution land cover product in Southwestern China in 2010 (hereinafter referred to as CLC-SW2010). The multi-temporal native HJ (HuanJing, small satellite constellation for disaster and environmental monitoring) CCD (Charge-Coupled Device) images, Landsat TM (Thematic Mapper) images and topographical data (including elevation, aspect, slope, etc.) were taken as the main input data sources. Hierarchical classification tree construction and a five-step knowledge-based interactive quality control were the major components of this proposed approach. The CLC-SW2010 product contained six primary categories and 38 secondary categories, which covered about 2.33 million km2 (accounting for about a quarter of the land area of China). The accuracies of primary and secondary categories for CLC-SW2010 reached 95.09% and 87.14%, respectively, which were assessed independently by a third-party group. This product has so far been used to estimate the terrestrial carbon stocks and assess the quality of the ecological environments. The proposed HC-MMK approach could be used not only in mountainous areas, but also for plains, hills and other regions. Meanwhile, this study could also be used as a reference for other land cover mapping projects over large areas or even the entire globe. Full article
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Open AccessTechnical Note Integration of Hyperspectral Shortwave and Longwave Infrared Remote-Sensing Data for Mineral Mapping of Makhtesh Ramon in Israel
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 318; doi:10.3390/rs8040318
Received: 1 February 2016 / Revised: 28 March 2016 / Accepted: 7 April 2016 / Published: 9 April 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (6797 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hyperspectral remote-sensing in the reflected infrared and thermal infrared regions offers a unique and efficient alternative for mineral mapping, as most minerals exhibit spectral features in these regions, mainly in the shortwave and longwave infrared. Airborne hyperspectral data in both spectral regions, acquired
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Hyperspectral remote-sensing in the reflected infrared and thermal infrared regions offers a unique and efficient alternative for mineral mapping, as most minerals exhibit spectral features in these regions, mainly in the shortwave and longwave infrared. Airborne hyperspectral data in both spectral regions, acquired with the AisaFENIX and AisaOWL (Specim) sensors over Makhtesh Ramon in Israel, were analyzed. Calculating the reflectance and emissivity spectra of each pixel in the shortwave infrared and longwave infrared region images, respectively, and determining mineral indices enabled identifying the dominant minerals in this area—kaolinite, calcite, dolomite, quartz, feldspars and gypsum—and mapping their spatial distribution in the surface. The benefit of using hyperspectral data from both reflected infrared and thermal infrared regions to improve mineral identification was demonstrated. Full article
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Open AccessTechnical Note Operational Surface Water Detection and Monitoring Using Radarsat 2
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 285; doi:10.3390/rs8040285
Received: 20 January 2016 / Revised: 16 March 2016 / Accepted: 21 March 2016 / Published: 31 March 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (7558 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Traditional on-site methods for mapping and monitoring surface water extent are prohibitively expensive at a national scale within Canada. Despite successful cost-sharing programs between the provinces and the federal government, an extensive number of water features within the country remain unmonitored. Particularly difficult
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Traditional on-site methods for mapping and monitoring surface water extent are prohibitively expensive at a national scale within Canada. Despite successful cost-sharing programs between the provinces and the federal government, an extensive number of water features within the country remain unmonitored. Particularly difficult to monitor are the potholes in the Canadian Prairie region, most of which are ephemeral in nature and represent a discontinuous flow that influences water pathways, runoff response, flooding and local weather. Radarsat-2 and the Radarsat Constellation Mission (RCM) offer unique capabilities to map the extent of water bodies at a national scale, including unmonitored sites, and leverage the current infrastructure of the Meteorological Service of Canada to monitor water information in remote regions. An analysis of the technical requirements of the Radarsat-2 beam mode, polarization and resolution is presented. A threshold-based procedure to map locations of non-vegetated water bodies after the ice break-up is used and complemented with a texture-based indicator to capture the most homogeneous water areas and automatically delineate their extents. Some strategies to cope with the radiometric artifacts of noise inherent to Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images are also discussed. Our results show that Radarsat-2 Fine mode can capture 88% of the total water area in a fully automated way. This will greatly improve current operational procedures for surface water monitoring information and impact a number of applications including weather forecasting, hydrological modeling, and drought/flood predictions. Full article
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Open AccessComment We Must all Pay More Attention to Rigor in Accuracy Assessment: Additional Comment to “The Improvement of Land Cover Classification by Thermal Remote Sensing”. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 8368–8390
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 288; doi:10.3390/rs8040288
Received: 14 January 2016 / Revised: 11 February 2016 / Accepted: 15 March 2016 / Published: 26 March 2016
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Abstract
Despite recent calls for statistically robust and transparent accuracy assessment [1], further attention to rigor is still needed. Here I take the opportunity of a disputed accuracy assessment recently published in Remote Sensing [2,3,4] to
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Despite recent calls for statistically robust and transparent accuracy assessment [1], further attention to rigor is still needed. Here I take the opportunity of a disputed accuracy assessment recently published in Remote Sensing [2,3,4] to highlight some issues regarding sampling design, response design and analysis that I often find as a reviewer, and that I too have neglected in the past, among them: (i) use of a sampling design that is purposive instead of probability based; (ii) use of suboptimal label allocation procedures for reference data; and (iii) incorrect computation of accuracy estimates and lack of reporting of confidence intervals. Following the good practices in [1] will enhance the scientific credibility of our discipline. Full article
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