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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(8), 661; doi:10.3390/rs8080661

Hyper-Temporal C-Band SAR for Baseline Woody Structural Assessments in Deciduous Savannas

1
Ecosystems Earth Observation, Natural Resources and the Environment, CSIR, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
2
Department of Geography, Geomatics and Meteorology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0028, South Africa
3
Remote Sensing Research Unit, Meraka Institute, CSIR, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
4
Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
5
Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Randolph H. Wynne and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 28 June 2016 / Accepted: 3 August 2016 / Published: 17 August 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3481 KB, uploaded 17 August 2016]   |  

Abstract

Savanna ecosystems and their woody vegetation provide valuable resources and ecosystem services. Locally calibrated and cost effective estimates of these resources are required in order to satisfy commitments to monitor and manage change within them. Baseline maps of woody resources are important for analyzing change over time. Freely available, and highly repetitive, C-band data has the potential to be a viable alternative to high-resolution commercial SAR imagery (e.g., RADARSAT-2, ALOS2) in generating large-scale woody resources maps. Using airborne LiDAR as calibration, we investigated the relationships between hyper-temporal C-band ASAR data and woody structural parameters, namely total canopy cover (TCC) and total canopy volume (TCV), in a deciduous savanna environment. Results showed that: the temporal filter reduced image variance; the random forest model out-performed the linear model; while the TCV metric consistently showed marginally higher accuracies than the TCC metric. Combinations of between 6 and 10 images could produce results comparable to high resolution commercial (C- & L-band) SAR imagery. The approach showed promise for producing a regional scale, locally calibrated, baseline maps for the management of deciduous savanna resources, and lay a foundation for monitoring using time series of data from newer C-band SAR sensors (e.g., Sentinel1). View Full-Text
Keywords: SAR; ASAR; hyper-temporal; C-band; canopy cover; canopy volume; savanna SAR; ASAR; hyper-temporal; C-band; canopy cover; canopy volume; savanna
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Main, R.; Mathieu, R.; Kleynhans, W.; Wessels, K.; Naidoo, L.; Asner, G.P. Hyper-Temporal C-Band SAR for Baseline Woody Structural Assessments in Deciduous Savannas. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 661.

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