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Estimating Peatland Water Table Depth and Net Ecosystem Exchange: A Comparison between Satellite and Airborne Imagery

1
Applied Remote Sensing Laboratory, Department of Geography, McGill University, Montréal, QC H3A 0B9, Canada
2
Flight Research Laboratory, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, ON K1A-0R6, Canada
3
Geography and Environmental Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(5), 687; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10050687
Received: 23 February 2018 / Revised: 24 April 2018 / Accepted: 24 April 2018 / Published: 29 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Peatlands)
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Abstract

Peatlands play a fundamental role in climate regulation through their long-term accumulation of atmospheric carbon. Despite their resilience, peatlands are vulnerable to climate change. Remote sensing offers the opportunity to better understand these ecosystems at large spatial scales through time. In this study, we estimated water table depth from a 6-year time sequence of airborne shortwave infrared (SWIR) hyperspectral imagery. We found that the narrowband index NDWI1240 is a strong predictor of water table position. However, we illustrate the importance of considering peatland anisotropy on SWIR imagery from the summer months when the vascular plants are in full foliage, as not all illumination conditions are suitable for retrieving water table position. We also model net ecosystem exchange (NEE) from 10 years of Landsat TM5 imagery and from 4 years of Landsat OLI 8 imagery. Our results show the transferability of the model between imagery from sensors with similar spectral and radiometric properties such as Landsat 8 and Sentinel-2. NEE modeled from airborne hyperspectral imagery more closely correlated to eddy covariance tower measurements than did models based on satellite images. With fine spectral, spatial and radiometric resolutions, new generation satellite imagery and airborne hyperspectral imagery allow for monitoring the response of peatlands to both allogenic and autogenic factors. View Full-Text
Keywords: hyperspectral; Sentinel-2; Landsat TM5; Landsat 8 OLI; bog; CASI; SASI; northern peatland; hydrology; Mer Bleue hyperspectral; Sentinel-2; Landsat TM5; Landsat 8 OLI; bog; CASI; SASI; northern peatland; hydrology; Mer Bleue
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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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Kalacska, M.; Arroyo-Mora, J.P.; Soffer, R.J.; Roulet, N.T.; Moore, T.R.; Humphreys, E.; Leblanc, G.; Lucanus, O.; Inamdar, D. Estimating Peatland Water Table Depth and Net Ecosystem Exchange: A Comparison between Satellite and Airborne Imagery. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 687.

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