Open AccessArticle
Modeling the Effects of the Urban Built-Up Environment on Plant Phenology Using Fused Satellite Data
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(1), 99; doi:10.3390/rs9010099 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Understanding the effects that the Urban Heat Island (UHI) has on plant phenology is important in predicting ecological impacts of expanding cities and the impacts of the projected global warming. However, the underlying methods to monitor phenological events often limit this understanding. Generally,
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Understanding the effects that the Urban Heat Island (UHI) has on plant phenology is important in predicting ecological impacts of expanding cities and the impacts of the projected global warming. However, the underlying methods to monitor phenological events often limit this understanding. Generally, one can either have a small sample of in situ measurements or use satellite data to observe large areas of land surface phenology (LSP). In the latter, a tradeoff exists among platforms with some allowing better temporal resolution to pick up discrete events and others possessing the spatial resolution appropriate for observing heterogeneous landscapes, such as urban areas. To overcome these limitations, we applied the Spatial and Temporal Adaptive Reflectance Model (STARFM) to fuse Landsat surface reflectance and MODIS nadir BRDF-adjusted reflectance (NBAR) data with three separate selection conditions for input data across two versions of the software. From the fused images, we derived a time-series of high temporal and high spatial resolution synthetic Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) imagery to identify the dates of the start of the growing season (SOS), end of the season (EOS), and the length of the season (LOS). The results were compared between the urban and exurban developed areas within the vicinity of Ogden, UT and across all three data scenarios. The results generally show an earlier urban SOS, later urban EOS, and longer urban LOS, with variation across the results suggesting that phenological parameters are sensitive to input changes. Although there was strong evidence that STARFM has the potential to produce images capable of capturing the UHI effect on phenology, we recommend that future work refine the proposed methods and compare the results against ground events. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Hierarchical Terrain Classification Based on Multilayer Bayesian Network and Conditional Random Field
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(1), 96; doi:10.3390/rs9010096 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
This paper presents a hierarchical classification approach for Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images. The Conditional Random Field (CRF) and Bayesian Network (BN) are employed to incorporate prior knowledge into this approach for facilitating SAR image classification. (1) A multilayer region pyramid is constructed
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This paper presents a hierarchical classification approach for Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images. The Conditional Random Field (CRF) and Bayesian Network (BN) are employed to incorporate prior knowledge into this approach for facilitating SAR image classification. (1) A multilayer region pyramid is constructed based on multiscale oversegmentation, and then, CRF is used to model the spatial relationships among those extracted regions within each layer of the region pyramid; the boundary prior knowledge is exploited and integrated into the CRF model as a strengthened constraint to improve classification performance near the boundaries. (2) Multilayer BN is applied to establish the causal connections between adjacent layers of the constructed region pyramid, where the classification probabilities of those sub-regions in the lower layer, conditioned on their parents’ regions in the upper layer, are used as adjacent links. More contextual information is taken into account in this framework, which is a benefit to the performance improvement. Several experiments are conducted on real ESAR and TerraSAR data, and the results show that the proposed method achieves better classification accuracy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Gross Primary Production of a Wheat Canopy Relates Stronger to Far Red Than to Red Solar-Induced Chlorophyll Fluorescence
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(1), 97; doi:10.3390/rs9010097 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) is a radiation flux emitted by chlorophyll molecules in the red (RSIF) and far red region (FRSIF), and is considered as a potential indicator of the functional state of photosynthesis in remote sensing applications. Recently, ground studies and space
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Sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) is a radiation flux emitted by chlorophyll molecules in the red (RSIF) and far red region (FRSIF), and is considered as a potential indicator of the functional state of photosynthesis in remote sensing applications. Recently, ground studies and space observations have demonstrated a strong empirical linear relationship between FRSIF and carbon uptake through photosynthesis (GPP, gross primary production). In this study, we investigated the potential of RSIF and FRSIF to represent the functional status of photosynthesis at canopy level on a wheat crop. RSIF and FRSIF were continuously measured in the O2-B (SIF687) and O2-A bands (SIF760) at a high frequency rate from a nadir view at a height of 21 m, simultaneously with carbon uptake using eddy covariance (EC) techniques. The relative fluorescence yield (Fyield) and the photochemical yield were acquired at leaf level using active fluorescence measurements. SIF was normalized with photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) to derive apparent spectral fluorescence yields (ASFY687, ASFY760). At the diurnal scale, we found limited variations of ASFY687 and ASFY760 during sunny days. We also did not find any link between Fyield and light use efficiency (LUE) derived from EC, which would prevent SIF from indicating LUE changes. The coefficient of determination (r2) of the linear regression between SIF and GPP is found to be highly variable, depending on the emission wavelength, the time scale of observation, sky conditions, and the phenological stage. Despite its photosystem II (PSII) origin, SIF687 correlates less than SIF760 with GPP in any cases. The strongest SIF–GPP relationship was found for SIF760 during canopy growth. When canopy is in a steady state, SIF687 and SIF760 are almost as effective as PAR in predicting GPP. Our results imply some constraints in the use of simple linear relationships to infer GPP from SIF, as they are expected to be better predictive with far red SIF for canopies with a high dynamic range of green biomass and a low LUE variation range. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Operational High Resolution Land Cover Map Production at the Country Scale Using Satellite Image Time Series
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(1), 95; doi:10.3390/rs9010095 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
A detailed and accurate knowledge of land cover is crucial for many scientific and operational applications, and as such, it has been identified as an Essential Climate Variable. This accurate knowledge needs frequent updates. This paper presents a methodology for the fully automatic
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A detailed and accurate knowledge of land cover is crucial for many scientific and operational applications, and as such, it has been identified as an Essential Climate Variable. This accurate knowledge needs frequent updates. This paper presents a methodology for the fully automatic production of land cover maps at country scale using high resolution optical image time series which is based on supervised classification and uses existing databases as reference data for training and validation. The originality of the approach resides in the use of all available image data, a simple pre-processing step leading to a homogeneous set of acquisition dates over the whole area and the use of a supervised classifier which is robust to errors in the reference data. The produced maps have a kappa coefficient of 0.86 with 17 land cover classes. The processing is efficient, allowing a fast delivery of the maps after the acquisition of the image data, does not need expensive field surveys for model calibration and validation, nor human operators for decision making, and uses open and freely available imagery. The land cover maps are provided with a confidence map which gives information at the pixel level about the expected quality of the result. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fusion of Ultrasonic and Spectral Sensor Data for Improving the Estimation of Biomass in Grasslands with Heterogeneous Sward Structure
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(1), 98; doi:10.3390/rs9010098 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
An accurate estimation of biomass is needed to understand the spatio-temporal changes of forage resources in pasture ecosystems and to support grazing management decisions. A timely evaluation of biomass is challenging, as it requires efficient means such as technical sensing methods to assess
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An accurate estimation of biomass is needed to understand the spatio-temporal changes of forage resources in pasture ecosystems and to support grazing management decisions. A timely evaluation of biomass is challenging, as it requires efficient means such as technical sensing methods to assess numerous data and create continuous maps. In order to calibrate ultrasonic and spectral sensors, a field experiment with heterogeneous pastures continuously stocked by cows at three grazing intensities was conducted. Sensor data fusion by combining ultrasonic sward height (USH) with narrow band normalized difference spectral index (NDSI) (R2CV = 0.52) or simulated WorldView2 (WV2) (R2CV = 0.48) satellite broad bands increased the prediction accuracy significantly, compared to the exclusive use of USH or spectral measurements. Some combinations were even better than the use of the full hyperspectral information (R2CV = 0.48). Spectral regions related to plant water content were found to be of particular importance (996–1225 nm). Fusion of ultrasonic and spectral sensors is a promising approach to assess biomass even in heterogeneous pastures. However, the suggested technique may have limited usefulness in the second half of the growing season, due to an increasing abundance of senesced material. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
A Graph-Based Approach for 3D Building Model Reconstruction from Airborne LiDAR Point Clouds
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(1), 92; doi:10.3390/rs9010092 -
Abstract
3D building model reconstruction is of great importance for environmental and urban applications. Airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) is a very useful data source for acquiring detailed geometric and topological information of building objects. In this study, we employed a graph-based method
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3D building model reconstruction is of great importance for environmental and urban applications. Airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) is a very useful data source for acquiring detailed geometric and topological information of building objects. In this study, we employed a graph-based method based on hierarchical structure analysis of building contours derived from LiDAR data to reconstruct urban building models. The proposed approach first uses a graph theory-based localized contour tree method to represent the topological structure of buildings, then separates the buildings into different parts by analyzing their topological relationships, and finally reconstructs the building model by integrating all the individual models established through the bipartite graph matching process. Our approach provides a more complete topological and geometrical description of building contours than existing approaches. We evaluated the proposed method by applying it to the Lujiazui region in Shanghai, China, a complex and large urban scene with various types of buildings. The results revealed that complex buildings could be reconstructed successfully with a mean modeling error of 0.32 m. Our proposed method offers a promising solution for 3D building model reconstruction from airborne LiDAR point clouds. Full article
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Open AccessComment
Comment on Hicham Bahi, et al. Effects of Urbanization and Seasonal Cycle on the Surface Urban Heat Island Patterns in the Coastal Growing Cities: A Case Study of Casablanca, Morocco. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 829
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(1), 91; doi:10.3390/rs9010091 -
Abstract
A statement in this recently published paper makes a point that is largely at odds with the main point of the paper that is cited. Stating that higher air temperatures lead to greater evapotranspiration is an oversimplification; the true story is more complex.
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A statement in this recently published paper makes a point that is largely at odds with the main point of the paper that is cited. Stating that higher air temperatures lead to greater evapotranspiration is an oversimplification; the true story is more complex. Although this is by no means central to the conclusions of the paper being commented on, we have demonstrated the danger in taking too literally the idea that air temperature determines potential evapotranspiration. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Multi-Staged NDVI Dependent Snow-Free Land-Surface Shortwave Albedo Narrowband-to-Broadband (NTB) Coefficients and Their Sensitivity Analysis
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(1), 93; doi:10.3390/rs9010093 -
Abstract
Narrowband-to-broadband conversion is a critical procedure for mapping land-surface broadband albedo using multi-spectral narrowband remote-sensing observations. Due to the significant difference in optical characteristics between soil and vegetation, NTB conversion is influenced by the variation in vegetation coverage on different surface types. To
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Narrowband-to-broadband conversion is a critical procedure for mapping land-surface broadband albedo using multi-spectral narrowband remote-sensing observations. Due to the significant difference in optical characteristics between soil and vegetation, NTB conversion is influenced by the variation in vegetation coverage on different surface types. To reduce this influence, this paper applies an approach that couples NTB coefficient with the NDVI. Multi-staged NDVI dependent NTB coefficient look-up tables (LUT) for Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), Polarization and Directionality of Earth’s Reflectance (POLDER) and Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) were calculated using 6000 spectra samples collected from two typical spectral databases. Sensitivity analysis shows that NTB conversion is affected more by the NDVI for sensors with fewer band numbers, such as POLDER and AVHRR. Analysis of the validation results based on simulations, in situ measurements and global albedo products indicates that by using the multi-staged NDVI dependent NTB method, the conversion accuracies of these two sensors could be improved by 2%–13% on different NDVI classes compared with the general method. This improvement could be as high as 15%, on average, and 35% on dense vegetative surface compared with the global broadband albedo product of POLDER. This paper shows that it is necessary to consider surface reflectance characteristics associated with the NDVI on albedo-NTB conversion for remote sensors with fewer than five bands. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Satellite Attitude Determination and Map Projection Based on Robust Image Matching
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(1), 90; doi:10.3390/rs9010090 -
Abstract
Small satellites have limited payload and their attitudes are sometimes difficult to determine from the limited onboard sensors alone. Wrong attitudes lead to inaccurate map projections and measurements that require post-processing correction. In this study, we propose an automated and robust scheme that
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Small satellites have limited payload and their attitudes are sometimes difficult to determine from the limited onboard sensors alone. Wrong attitudes lead to inaccurate map projections and measurements that require post-processing correction. In this study, we propose an automated and robust scheme that derives the satellite attitude from its observation images and known satellite position by matching land features from an observed image and from well-registered base-map images. The scheme combines computer vision algorithms (i.e., feature detection, and robust optimization) and geometrical constraints of the satellite observation. Applying the proposed method to UNIFORM-1 observations, which is a 50 kg class small satellite, satellite attitudes were determined with an accuracy of 0.02°, comparable to that of star trackers, if the satellite position is accurately determined. Map-projected images can be generated based on the accurate attitudes. Errors in the satellite position can add systematic errors to derived attitudes. The proposed scheme focuses on determining satellite attitude with feature detection algorithms applying to raw satellite images, unlike image registration studies which register already map-projected images. By delivering accurate attitude determination and map projection, the proposed method can improve the image geometries of small satellites, and thus reveal fine-scale information about the Earth. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
High Resolution Aerosol Optical Depth Retrieval Using Gaofen-1 WFV Camera Data
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(1), 89; doi:10.3390/rs9010089 -
Abstract
Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) is crucial for urban air quality assessment. However, the frequently used moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) AOD product at 10 km resolution is too coarse to be applied in a regional-scale study. Gaofen-1 (GF-1) wide-field-of-view (WFV) camera data, with high
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Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) is crucial for urban air quality assessment. However, the frequently used moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) AOD product at 10 km resolution is too coarse to be applied in a regional-scale study. Gaofen-1 (GF-1) wide-field-of-view (WFV) camera data, with high spatial and temporal resolution, has great potential in estimation of AOD. Due to the lack of shortwave infrared (SWIR) band and complex surface reflectivity brought from high spatial resolution, it is difficult to retrieve AOD from GF-1 WFV data with traditional methods. In this paper, we propose an improved AOD retrieval algorithm for GF-1 WFV data. The retrieved AOD has a spatial resolution of 160 m and covers all land surface types. Significant improvements in the algorithm include: (1) adopting an improved clear sky composite method by using the MODIS AOD product to identify the clearest days and correct the background atmospheric effect; and (2) obtaining local aerosol models from long-term CIMEL sun-photometer measurements. Validation against MODIS AOD and ground measurements showed that the GF-1 WFV AOD has a good relationship with MODIS AOD (R2 = 0.66; RMSE = 0.27) and ground measurements (R2 = 0.80; RMSE = 0.25). Nevertheless, the proposed algorithm was found to overestimate AOD in some cases, which will need to be improved upon in future research. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing for Earth Observations: An Analysis of Stakeholder Opinions on the Present and Future
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(1), 87; doi:10.3390/rs9010087 -
Abstract
The impact of Crowdsourcing and citizen science activities on academia, businesses, governance and society has been enormous. This is more prevalent today with citizens and communities collaborating with organizations, businesses and authorities to contribute in a variety of manners, starting from mere data
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The impact of Crowdsourcing and citizen science activities on academia, businesses, governance and society has been enormous. This is more prevalent today with citizens and communities collaborating with organizations, businesses and authorities to contribute in a variety of manners, starting from mere data providers to being key stakeholders in various decision-making processes. The “Crowdsourcing for observations from Satellites” project is a recently concluded study supported by demonstration projects funded by European Space Agency (ESA). The objective of the project was to investigate the different facets of how crowdsourcing and citizen science impact upon the validation, use and enhancement of Observations from Satellites (OS) products and services. This paper presents our findings in a stakeholder analysis activity involving participants who are experts in crowdsourcing, citizen science for Earth Observations. The activity identified three critical areas that needs attention by the community as well as provides suggestions to potentially help in addressing some of the challenges identified. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Self-Calibrating Runoff and Streamflow Remote Sensing Model for Ungauged Basins Using Open-Access Earth Observation Data
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(1), 86; doi:10.3390/rs9010086 -
Abstract
Due to increasing pressures on water resources, there is a need to monitor regional water resource availability in a spatially and temporally explicit manner. However, for many parts of the world, there is insufficient data to quantify stream flow or ground water infiltration
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Due to increasing pressures on water resources, there is a need to monitor regional water resource availability in a spatially and temporally explicit manner. However, for many parts of the world, there is insufficient data to quantify stream flow or ground water infiltration rates. We present the results of a pixel-based water balance formulation to partition rainfall into evapotranspiration, surface water runoff and potential ground water infiltration. The method leverages remote sensing derived estimates of precipitation, evapotranspiration, soil moisture, Leaf Area Index, and a single F coefficient to distinguish between runoff and storage changes. The study produced significant correlations between the remote sensing method and field based measurements of river flow in two Vietnamese river basins. For the Ca basin, we found R2 values ranging from 0.88–0.97 and Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) values varying between 0.44–0.88. The R2 for the Red River varied between 0.87–0.93 and NSE values between 0.61 and 0.79. Based on these findings, we conclude that the method allows for a fast and cost-effective way to map water resource availability in basins with no gauges or monitoring infrastructure, without the need for application of sophisticated hydrological models or resource-intensive data. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Need for Accurate Geometric and Radiometric Corrections of Drone-Borne Hyperspectral Data for Mineral Exploration: MEPHySTo—A Toolbox for Pre-Processing Drone-Borne Hyperspectral Data
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(1), 88; doi:10.3390/rs9010088 -
Abstract
Drone-borne hyperspectral imaging is a new and promising technique for fast and precise acquisition, as well as delivery of high-resolution hyperspectral data to a large variety of end-users. Drones can overcome the scale gap between field and air-borne remote sensing, thus providing high-resolution
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Drone-borne hyperspectral imaging is a new and promising technique for fast and precise acquisition, as well as delivery of high-resolution hyperspectral data to a large variety of end-users. Drones can overcome the scale gap between field and air-borne remote sensing, thus providing high-resolution and multi-temporal data. They are easy to use, flexible and deliver data within cm-scale resolution. So far, however, drone-borne imagery has prominently and successfully been almost solely used in precision agriculture and photogrammetry. Drone technology currently mainly relies on structure-from-motion photogrammetry, aerial photography and agricultural monitoring. Recently, a few hyperspectral sensors became available for drones, but complex geometric and radiometric effects complicate their use for geology-related studies. Using two examples, we first show that precise corrections are required for any geological mapping. We then present a processing toolbox for frame-based hyperspectral imaging systems adapted for the complex correction of drone-borne hyperspectral imagery. The toolbox performs sensor- and platform-specific geometric distortion corrections. Furthermore, a topographic correction step is implemented to correct for rough terrain surfaces. We recommend the c-factor-algorithm for geological applications. To our knowledge, we demonstrate for the first time the applicability of the corrected dataset for lithological mapping and mineral exploration. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Remote Sensing-Based Assessment of the 2005–2011 Bamboo Reproductive Event in the Arakan Mountain Range and Its Relation with Wildfires
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(1), 85; doi:10.3390/rs9010085 -
Abstract
Pulse ecological events have major impacts on regional and global biogeochemical cycles, potentially inducing a vast set of cascading ecological effects. This study analyzes the widespread reproductive event of bamboo (Melocanna baccifera) that occurred in the Arakan Mountains (Southeast Asia) from
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Pulse ecological events have major impacts on regional and global biogeochemical cycles, potentially inducing a vast set of cascading ecological effects. This study analyzes the widespread reproductive event of bamboo (Melocanna baccifera) that occurred in the Arakan Mountains (Southeast Asia) from 2005 to 2011, and investigates the possible relationship between massive fuel loading due to bamboo synchronous mortality over large areas and wildfire regime. Multiple remote sensing data products are used to map the areal extent of the bamboo-dominated forest. MODIS NDVI time series are then analyzed to detect the spatiotemporal patterns of the reproductive event. Finally, MODIS Active Fire and Burned Area Products are used to investigate the distribution and extension of wildfires before and after the reproductive event. Bamboo dominates about 62,000 km2 of forest in Arakan. Over 65% of the region shows evidence of synchronous bamboo flowering, fruiting, and mortality over large areas, with wave-like spatiotemporal dynamics. A significant change in the regime of wildfires is observed, with total burned area doubling in the bamboo-dominated forest area and reaching almost 16,000 km2. Wildfires also severely affect the remnant patches of the evergreen forest adjacent to the bamboo forest. These results demonstrate a clear interconnection between the 2005–2011 bamboo reproductive event and the wildfires spreading in the region, with potential relevant socio-economic and environmental impacts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Is Spatial Resolution Critical in Urbanization Velocity Analysis? Investigations in the Pearl River Delta
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(1), 80; doi:10.3390/rs9010080 -
Abstract
Grid-based urbanization velocity analysis of remote sensing imagery is used to measure urban growth rates. However, it remains unclear how critical the spatial resolution of the imagery is to such grid-based approaches. This research therefore investigated how urbanization velocity estimates respond to different
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Grid-based urbanization velocity analysis of remote sensing imagery is used to measure urban growth rates. However, it remains unclear how critical the spatial resolution of the imagery is to such grid-based approaches. This research therefore investigated how urbanization velocity estimates respond to different spatial resolutions, as determined by the grid sizes used. Landsat satellite images of the Pearl River Delta (PRD) in China from the years 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015 were hierarchically aggregated using different grid sizes. Statistical analyses of urbanization velocity derived using different spatial resolutions (or grid sizes) were used to investigate the relationships between socio-economic indicators and the velocity of urbanization for 27 large cities in PRD. The results revealed that those cities with above-average urbanization velocities remain unaffected by the spatial resolution (or grid-size), and the relationships between urbanization velocities and socio-economic indicators are independent of spatial resolution (or grid sizes) used. Moreover, empirical variogram models, the local variance model, and the geographical variance model all indicated that coarse resolution version (480 m) of Landsat images based on aggregated pixel yielded more appropriate results than the original fine resolution version (30 m), when identifying the characteristics of spatial autocorrelation and spatial structure variability of urbanization patterns and processes. The results conclude that the most appropriate spatial resolution for investigations into urbanization velocities is not always the highest resolution. The resulting patterns of urbanization velocities at different spatial resolutions can be used as a basis for studying the spatial heterogeneity of other datasets with variable spatial resolutions, especially for evaluating the capability of a multi-resolution dataset in reflecting spatial structure and spatial autocorrelation features in an urban environment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Mapping Extent Dynamics of Small Lakes Using Downscaling MODIS Surface Reflectance
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(1), 82; doi:10.3390/rs9010082 -
Abstract
Lake extent is an indicator of water capacity as well as the aquatic ecological and environmental conditions. Due to the small sizes and rapid water dynamics, monitoring the extent of small lakes fluctuating between 2.5 and 30 km2 require observations with both
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Lake extent is an indicator of water capacity as well as the aquatic ecological and environmental conditions. Due to the small sizes and rapid water dynamics, monitoring the extent of small lakes fluctuating between 2.5 and 30 km2 require observations with both high spatial and temporal resolutions. The paper applied an improved surface reflectance (SR) downscaling method (i.e., IMAR (Improved Modified Adaptive Regression model)) to downscale the daily SR acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Terra platform to a consistent 250-m resolution, and derived monthly water extent of four small lakes in the Tibetan Plateau (Longre Co, Ayonggongma Co, Ayonggama Co, and Ayongwama Co)) from 2000 to 2014. Using Landsat ETM+ acquired on the same date, the downscaled MODIS SR and identified water extent were compared to the original MODIS, observations downscaled using an early SR downscaling method (MAR (Modified Adaptive Regression model)) and Wavelet fusion. The results showed IMAR achieved the highest correlation coefficients (R2) (0.89–0.957 for SR and 0.79–0.933 for water extent). The errors in the derived water extents were significantly decreased comparing to the results of MAR and Wavelet fusion, and lakes morphometry of IMAR is more comparable to Landsat results. The detected lake extents dynamic between 2000 and 2014 were analyzed using the trend and season decomposition model (BFAST), indicating an increasing trend after 2005, and it likely had higher correlations with temperature and precipitation variation in the Tibetan region (R2: 0.598–0.728 and 0.61–0.735, respectively). Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Characterization of Active Layer Thickening Rate over the Northern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau Permafrost Region Using ALOS Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar Data, 2007–2009
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(1), 84; doi:10.3390/rs9010084 -
Abstract
The Qinghai-Tibetan plateau (QTP), also known as the Third Pole and the World Water Tower, is the largest and highest plateau with distinct and competing surface and subsurface processes. It is covered by a large layer of discontinuous and sporadic alpine permafrost which
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The Qinghai-Tibetan plateau (QTP), also known as the Third Pole and the World Water Tower, is the largest and highest plateau with distinct and competing surface and subsurface processes. It is covered by a large layer of discontinuous and sporadic alpine permafrost which has degraded 10% during the past few decades. The average active layer thickness (ALT) increase rate is approximately 7.5 cm·yr−1 from 1995 to 2007, based on soil temperature measurements from 10 borehole sites along Qinghai-Tibetan Highway, and approximately 6.3 cm·yr−1, 2006–2010, using soil temperature profiles for 27 monitoring sites along Qinghai-Tibetan railway. In this study, we estimated the ALT and its AL thickening rate in the northern QTP near the railway using ALOS PALSAR L-band small baseline subset interferometric synthetic aperture radar (SBAS-InSAR) data observed land subsidence and the corresponding ALT modeling. The InSAR estimated ALT and AL thickening rate were validated with ground-based observations from the borehole site WD4 within our study region, indicating excellent agreement. We concluded that we have generated high spatial resolution (30 m) and spatially-varying ALT and AL thickening rates, 2007–2009, over approximately an area of 150 km2 of permafrost-covered region in the northern QTP. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
DInSAR-Based Detection of Land Subsidence and Correlation with Groundwater Depletion in Konya Plain, Turkey
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(1), 83; doi:10.3390/rs9010083 -
Abstract
In areas where groundwater overexploitation occurs, land subsidence triggered by aquifer compaction is observed, resulting in high socio-economic impacts for the affected communities. In this paper, we focus on the Konya region, one of the leading economic centers in the agricultural and industrial
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In areas where groundwater overexploitation occurs, land subsidence triggered by aquifer compaction is observed, resulting in high socio-economic impacts for the affected communities. In this paper, we focus on the Konya region, one of the leading economic centers in the agricultural and industrial sectors in Turkey. We present a multi-source data approach aimed at investigating the complex and fragile environment of this area which is heavily affected by groundwater drawdown and ground subsidence. In particular, in order to analyze the spatial and temporal pattern of the subsidence process we use the Small BAseline Subset DInSAR technique to process two datasets of ENVISAT SAR images spanning the 2002–2010 period. The produced ground deformation maps and associated time-series allow us to detect a wide land subsidence extending for about 1200 km2 and measure vertical displacements reaching up to 10 cm in the observed time interval. DInSAR results, complemented with climatic, stratigraphic and piezometric data as well as with land-cover changes information, allow us to give more insights on the impact of climate changes and human activities on groundwater resources depletion and land subsidence. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Refinement of Hyperspectral Image Classification with Segment-Tree Filtering
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(1), 69; doi:10.3390/rs9010069 -
Abstract
This paper proposes a novel method of segment-tree filtering to improve the classification accuracy of hyperspectral image (HSI). Segment-tree filtering is a versatile method that incorporates spatial information and has been widely applied in image preprocessing. However, to use this powerful framework in
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This paper proposes a novel method of segment-tree filtering to improve the classification accuracy of hyperspectral image (HSI). Segment-tree filtering is a versatile method that incorporates spatial information and has been widely applied in image preprocessing. However, to use this powerful framework in hyperspectral image classification, we must reduce the original feature dimensionality to avoid the Hughes problem; otherwise, the computational costs are high and the classification accuracy by original bands in the HSI is unsatisfactory. Therefore, feature extraction is adopted to produce new salient features. In this paper, the Semi-supervised Local Fisher (SELF) method of discriminant analysis is used to reduce HSI dimensionality. Then, a tree-structure filter that adaptively incorporates contextual information is constructed. Additionally, an initial classification map is generated using multi-class support vector machines (SVMs), and segment-tree filtering is conducted using this map. Finally, a simple Winner-Take-All (WTA) rule is applied to determine the class of each pixel in an HSI based on the maximum probability. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed method can improve HSI classification accuracy significantly. Furthermore, a comparison between the proposed method and the current state-of-the-art methods, such as Extended Morphological Profiles (EMPs), Guided Filtering (GF), and Markov Random Fields (MRFs), suggests that our method is both competitive and robust. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing the Potential of Sentinel-2 and Pléiades Data for the Detection of Prosopis and Vachellia spp. in Kenya
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(1), 74; doi:10.3390/rs9010074 -
Abstract
Prosopis was introduced to Baringo, Kenya in the early 1980s for provision of fuelwood and for controlling desertification through the Fuelwood Afforestation Extension Project (FAEP). Since then, Prosopis has hybridized and spread throughout the region. Prosopis has negative ecological impacts on biodiversity and
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Prosopis was introduced to Baringo, Kenya in the early 1980s for provision of fuelwood and for controlling desertification through the Fuelwood Afforestation Extension Project (FAEP). Since then, Prosopis has hybridized and spread throughout the region. Prosopis has negative ecological impacts on biodiversity and socio-economic effects on livelihoods. Vachellia tortilis, on the other hand, is the dominant indigenous tree species in Baringo and is an important natural resource, mostly preferred for wood, fodder and charcoal production. High utilization due to anthropogenic pressure is affecting the Vachellia populations, whereas the well adapted Prosopis—competing for nutrients and water—has the potential to replace the native Vachellia vegetation. It is vital that both species are mapped in detail to inform stakeholders and for designing management strategies for controlling the Prosopis invasion. For the Baringo area, few remote sensing studies have been carried out. We propose a detailed and robust object-based Random Forest (RF) classification on high spatial resolution Sentinel-2 (ten meter) and Pléiades (two meter) data to detect Prosopis and Vachellia spp. for Marigat sub-county, Baringo, Kenya. In situ reference data were collected to train a RF classifier. Classification results were validated by comparing the outputs to independent reference data of test sites from the “Woody Weeds” project and the Out-Of-Bag (OOB) confusion matrix generated in RF. Our results indicate that both datasets are suitable for object-based Prosopis and Vachellia classification. Higher accuracies were obtained by using the higher spatial resolution Pléiades data (OOB accuracy 0.83 and independent reference accuracy 0.87–0.91) compared to the Sentinel-2 data (OOB accuracy 0.79 and independent reference accuracy 0.80–0.96). We conclude that it is possible to separate Prosopis and Vachellia with good accuracy using the Random Forest classifier. Given the cost of Pléiades, the free of charge Sentinel-2 data provide a viable alternative as the increased spectral resolution compensates for the lack of spatial resolution. With global revisit times of five days from next year onwards, Sentinel-2 based classifications can probably be further improved by using temporal information in addition to the spectral signatures. Full article
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