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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(10), 984; doi:10.3390/rs9100984

Modelling above Ground Biomass in Tanzanian Miombo Woodlands Using TanDEM-X WorldDEM and Field Data

Department of National Forest Inventory, Norwegian Institute for Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO), Ås 1430, Norway
Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Resource Management, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), Ås 1430, Norway
Department of Forest Mensuration and Management, Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), Morogoro 3000, Tanzania
Department of Forest Engineering and Wood Sciences, Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), Morogoro 3000, Tanzania
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 August 2017 / Revised: 13 September 2017 / Accepted: 19 September 2017 / Published: 22 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Remote Sensing in Forest Landscapes)
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The use of Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) data has great potential for monitoring large scale forest above ground biomass (AGB) in the tropics due to the increased ability to retrieve 3D information even under cloud cover. To date; results in tropical forests have been inconsistent and further knowledge on the accuracy of models linking AGB and InSAR height data is crucial for the development of large scale forest monitoring programs. This study provides an example of the use of TanDEM-X WorldDEM data to model AGB in Tanzanian woodlands. The primary objective was to assess the accuracy of a model linking AGB with InSAR height from WorldDEM after the subtraction of ground heights. The secondary objective was to assess the possibility of obtaining InSAR height for field plots when the terrain heights were derived from global navigation satellite systems (GNSS); i.e., as an alternative to using airborne laser scanning (ALS). The results revealed that the AGB model using InSAR height had a predictive accuracy of R M S E = 24.1 t·ha−1; or 38.8% of the mean AGB when terrain heights were derived from ALS. The results were similar when using terrain heights from GNSS. The accuracy of the predicted AGB was improved when compared to a previous study using TanDEM-X for a sub-area of the area of interest and was of similar magnitude to what was achieved in the same sub-area using ALS data. Overall; this study sheds new light on the opportunities that arise from the use of InSAR data for large scale AGB modelling in tropical woodlands. View Full-Text
Keywords: InSAR; TanDEM-X; above ground biomass; tropical woodlands; LiDAR; forest monitoring; REDD+ InSAR; TanDEM-X; above ground biomass; tropical woodlands; LiDAR; forest monitoring; REDD+

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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Puliti, S.; Solberg, S.; Næsset, E.; Gobakken, T.; Zahabu, E.; Mauya, E.; Malimbwi, R.E. Modelling above Ground Biomass in Tanzanian Miombo Woodlands Using TanDEM-X WorldDEM and Field Data. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 984.

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