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Open AccessArticle

Refugee Camp Monitoring and Environmental Change Assessment of Kutupalong, Bangladesh, Based on Radar Imagery of Sentinel-1 and ALOS-2

1
Institute of Geography, University of Tübingen, Rümelinstraße 19-23, 72072 Tübingen, Germany
2
Independent Researcher
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(17), 2047; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11172047
Received: 23 June 2019 / Revised: 27 August 2019 / Accepted: 28 August 2019 / Published: 30 August 2019
Approximately one million refugees of the Rohingya minority population in Myanmar crossed the border to Bangladesh on 25 August 2017, seeking shelter from systematic oppression and persecution. This led to a dramatic expansion of the Kutupalong refugee camp within a couple of months and a decrease of vegetation in the surrounding forests. As many humanitarian organizations demand frameworks for camp monitoring and environmental impact analysis, this study suggests a workflow based on spaceborne radar imagery to measure the expansion of settlements and the decrease of forests. Eleven image pairs of Sentinel-1 and ALOS-2, as well as a digital elevation model, were used for a supervised land cover classification. These were trained on automatically-derived reference areas retrieved from multispectral images to reduce required user input and increase transferability. Results show an overall decrease of vegetation of 1500 hectares, of which 20% were used to expand the camp and 80% were deforested, which matches findings from other studies of this case. The time-series analysis reduced the impact of seasonal variations on the results, and accuracies between 88% and 95% were achieved. The most important input variables for the classification were vegetation indices based on synthetic aperture radar (SAR) backscatter intensity, but topographic parameters also played a role. View Full-Text
Keywords: synthetic aperture radar (SAR); deforestation; machine learning; humanitarian action; Sentinel-1; ALOS-2 synthetic aperture radar (SAR); deforestation; machine learning; humanitarian action; Sentinel-1; ALOS-2
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MDPI and ACS Style

Braun, A.; Fakhri, F.; Hochschild, V. Refugee Camp Monitoring and Environmental Change Assessment of Kutupalong, Bangladesh, Based on Radar Imagery of Sentinel-1 and ALOS-2. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 2047.

AMA Style

Braun A, Fakhri F, Hochschild V. Refugee Camp Monitoring and Environmental Change Assessment of Kutupalong, Bangladesh, Based on Radar Imagery of Sentinel-1 and ALOS-2. Remote Sensing. 2019; 11(17):2047.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Braun, Andreas; Fakhri, Falah; Hochschild, Volker. 2019. "Refugee Camp Monitoring and Environmental Change Assessment of Kutupalong, Bangladesh, Based on Radar Imagery of Sentinel-1 and ALOS-2" Remote Sens. 11, no. 17: 2047.

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