Next Issue
Previous Issue

E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Table of Contents

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

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Cover Story (view full-size image) The Global Human Settlement Layer (GHSL) is a project funded by the European Commission, Joint [...] Read more.
View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-89
Export citation of selected articles as:
Open AccessArticle Amazon Forests’ Response to Droughts: A Perspective from the MAIAC Product
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 356; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs8040356
Received: 4 February 2016 / Revised: 13 April 2016 / Accepted: 20 April 2016 / Published: 23 April 2016
Cited by 9 | 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
[...] Read more.
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)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Spectral-Spatial Hyperspectral Image Classification Using Subspace-Based Support Vector Machines and Adaptive Markov Random Fields
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 355; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs8040355
Received: 24 February 2016 / Revised: 15 April 2016 / Accepted: 20 April 2016 / Published: 23 April 2016
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (4168 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1

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; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs8040354
Received: 29 December 2015 / Revised: 20 March 2016 / Accepted: 18 April 2016 / Published: 22 April 2016
Cited by 46 | 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
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1a

Open AccessArticle Monitoring Plastic-Mulched Farmland by Landsat-8 OLI Imagery Using Spectral and Textural Features
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 353; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs8040353
Received: 4 February 2016 / Revised: 8 April 2016 / Accepted: 14 April 2016 / Published: 22 April 2016
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (4933 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Seasonal Variations of the Surface Urban Heat Island in a Semi-Arid City
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 352; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs8040352
Received: 9 February 2016 / Revised: 7 April 2016 / Accepted: 12 April 2016 / Published: 21 April 2016
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (16827 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1

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; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs8040351
Received: 15 January 2016 / Revised: 11 April 2016 / Accepted: 14 April 2016 / Published: 21 April 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (14134 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1

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; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs8040349
Received: 27 January 2016 / Revised: 22 March 2016 / Accepted: 14 April 2016 / Published: 21 April 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (8884 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1

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; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs8040350
Received: 10 March 2016 / Revised: 11 April 2016 / Accepted: 14 April 2016 / Published: 20 April 2016
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (5084 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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
[...] Read more.
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) Printed Edition available
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Advancements for Snowmelt Monitoring by Means of Sentinel-1 SAR
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 348; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs8040348
Received: 24 February 2016 / Revised: 6 April 2016 / Accepted: 11 April 2016 / Published: 20 April 2016
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (16234 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1

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; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs8040347
Received: 20 January 2016 / Revised: 28 March 2016 / Accepted: 12 April 2016 / Published: 20 April 2016
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (4383 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Sensor Stability for SST (3S): Toward Improved Long-Term Characterization of AVHRR Thermal Bands
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 346; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs8040346
Received: 16 February 2016 / Revised: 31 March 2016 / Accepted: 11 April 2016 / Published: 20 April 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4786 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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
[...] Read more.
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)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Detection of Drought-Induced Hickory Disturbances in Western Lin An County, China, Using Multitemporal Landsat Imagery
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 345; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs8040345
Received: 15 December 2015 / Revised: 29 February 2016 / Accepted: 4 April 2016 / Published: 20 April 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (6118 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Application of the Frequency Spectrum to Spectral Similarity Measures
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 344; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs8040344
Received: 18 January 2016 / Revised: 2 March 2016 / Accepted: 11 March 2016 / Published: 20 April 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1698 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1

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; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs8040342
Received: 7 January 2016 / Revised: 18 March 2016 / Accepted: 6 April 2016 / Published: 20 April 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1810 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle A Combined Satellite-Derived Drought Indicator to Support Humanitarian Aid Organizations
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 340; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs8040340
Received: 14 October 2015 / Revised: 29 March 2016 / Accepted: 6 April 2016 / Published: 20 April 2016
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (6671 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
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),
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Automatic Geometric Processing for Very High Resolution Optical Satellite Data Based on Vector Roads and Orthophotos
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 343; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs8040343
Received: 3 December 2015 / Revised: 22 March 2016 / Accepted: 11 April 2016 / Published: 19 April 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (6317 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1

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; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs8040341
Received: 10 November 2015 / Revised: 9 April 2016 / Accepted: 12 April 2016 / Published: 19 April 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1787 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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
[...] Read more.
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)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Estimating Stand Volume and Above-Ground Biomass of Urban Forests Using LiDAR
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 339; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs8040339
Received: 4 March 2016 / Revised: 6 April 2016 / Accepted: 14 April 2016 / Published: 19 April 2016
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (4025 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
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
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1

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; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs8040338
Received: 21 February 2016 / Revised: 31 March 2016 / Accepted: 12 April 2016 / Published: 19 April 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (16231 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Hydrological Response of Alpine Wetlands to Climate Warming in the Eastern Tibetan Plateau
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 336; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs8040336
Received: 21 January 2016 / Revised: 7 April 2016 / Accepted: 12 April 2016 / Published: 18 April 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (4133 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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
[...] Read more.
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?)
Figures

Figure 1

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; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs8040335
Received: 7 December 2015 / Revised: 5 April 2016 / Accepted: 12 April 2016 / Published: 18 April 2016
Cited by 4 | 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
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Estimating the Fractional Vegetation Cover from GLASS Leaf Area Index Product
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 337; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs8040337
Received: 28 December 2015 / Revised: 11 April 2016 / Accepted: 13 April 2016 / Published: 16 April 2016
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (3601 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1

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; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs8040334
Received: 1 December 2015 / Revised: 5 April 2016 / Accepted: 5 April 2016 / Published: 15 April 2016
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (5472 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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
[...] Read more.
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)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview Trends in Automatic Individual Tree Crown Detection and Delineation—Evolution of LiDAR Data
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 333; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs8040333
Received: 30 January 2016 / Revised: 30 March 2016 / Accepted: 12 April 2016 / Published: 15 April 2016
Cited by 29 | 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
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Validation of ATMS Calibration Accuracy Using Suomi NPP Pitch Maneuver Observations
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 332; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs8040332
Received: 31 January 2016 / Revised: 5 April 2016 / Accepted: 7 April 2016 / Published: 15 April 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1763 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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
[...] Read more.
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)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview Satellite Climate Data Records: Development, Applications, and Societal Benefits
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 331; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs8040331
Received: 15 February 2016 / Revised: 25 March 2016 / Accepted: 6 April 2016 / Published: 15 April 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1312 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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),
[...] Read more.
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)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Comparison of Small Baseline Interferometric SAR Processors for Estimating Ground Deformation
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 330; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs8040330
Received: 23 January 2016 / Revised: 27 March 2016 / Accepted: 7 April 2016 / Published: 15 April 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (8585 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Classification and Segmentation of Satellite Orthoimagery Using Convolutional Neural Networks
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 329; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs8040329
Received: 19 January 2016 / Revised: 1 April 2016 / Accepted: 6 April 2016 / Published: 14 April 2016
Cited by 42 | PDF Full-text (2759 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1a

Open AccessArticle Validation of MODIS 3 km Resolution Aerosol Optical Depth Retrievals Over Asia
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 328; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs8040328
Received: 19 February 2016 / Revised: 1 April 2016 / Accepted: 6 April 2016 / Published: 14 April 2016
Cited by 34 | PDF Full-text (1014 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle A Comparison of Mangrove Canopy Height Using Multiple Independent Measurements from Land, Air, and Space
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 327; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs8040327
Received: 21 January 2016 / Revised: 5 April 2016 / Accepted: 6 April 2016 / Published: 14 April 2016
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (5165 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1

Back to Top