This research is related to the eco-hydrological problems of the herbaceous wetland drying and biodiversity loss in the floodplain lakes of the Middle Basin of the Biebrza River (Poland). An experiment was set up, with its main goals as follows: (i) mapping the vegetation types and the temporarily or permanently flooded areas, and (ii) comparing the usefulness of the C-band Sentinel-1A (S1A) and X-band TerraSAR-X/TanDEM-X (TSX/TDX) for mapping purposes. The S1A imagery was acquired on a regular basis using the dual polarization VV/VH and the Interferometric Wide Swath Mode. The TSX/TDX data were acquired in quad-pol, a fully polarimetric mode, during the Science Phase. The paper addresses the following aspects: (i) wetland mapping with the S1A multi-temporal series; (ii) wetland mapping with the fully polarimetric TSX/TDX data; (iii) comparing the wetland mapping using dual polarization TSX/TDX subsets, that is, the HH-HV, HH-VV and VV-VH; (iv) comparing wetland mapping using the S1A and TSX/TDX data based on the same polarization (VV-VH); (v) studying the suitability of the Shannon Entropy for wetland mapping; and (vi) assessing the contribution of interferometric coherence for wetland classification. Though the experimental results show the main limitations of the S1A dataset, they also highlight the good accuracy that can be achieved using the TSX/TDX data, especially those taken in fully polarimetric mode. Some practical outcomes significant for the study area management using SAR were also described.
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