Next Issue
Volume 12, July-2
Previous Issue
Volume 12, June-2

Table of Contents

Remote Sens., Volume 12, Issue 13 (July-1 2020) – 107 articles

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Cover Story (view full-size image) Monitoring of coastal areas through the analysis of hyperspectral remote sensing data is an [...] Read more.
Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
Open AccessArticle
Potential Approach for Single-Peak Extinction Fitting of Aerosol Profiles Based on In Situ Measurements for the Improvement of Surface PM2.5 Retrieval from Satellite AOD Product
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(13), 2174; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12132174 - 07 Jul 2020
Viewed by 286
Abstract
The vertical distribution of aerosols is important for accurate surface PM2.5 retrieval and initial modeling forecasts of air pollution, but the observation of aerosol profiles on the regional scale is usually limited. Therefore, in this study, an approach to aerosol extinction profile [...] Read more.
The vertical distribution of aerosols is important for accurate surface PM2.5 retrieval and initial modeling forecasts of air pollution, but the observation of aerosol profiles on the regional scale is usually limited. Therefore, in this study, an approach to aerosol extinction profile fitting is proposed to improve surface PM2.5 retrieval from satellite observations. Owing to the high similarity of the single-peak extinction profile in the distribution pattern, the log-normal distribution is explored for the fitting model based on a decadal dataset (3248 in total) from Micro Pulse LiDAR (MPL) measurements. The logarithmic mean, standard deviation, and the height of peak extinction near-surface (Mode) are manually derived as the references for model construction. Considering the seasonal impacts on the planetary boundary layer height (PBLH), Mode, and the height of the surface layer, the extinction profile is then constructed in terms of the planetary boundary layer height (PBLH) and the total column aerosol optical depth (AOD). A comparison between fitted profiles and in situ measurements showed a high level of consistency in terms of the correlation coefficient (0.8973) and root-mean-square error (0.0415). The satellite AOD is subsequently applied for three-dimensional aerosol extinction, and the good agreement of the extinction coefficient with the PM2.5 within the surface layer indicates the good performance of the proposed fitting approach and the potential of satellite observations for providing accurate PM2.5 data on a regional scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Atmosphere Remote Sensing)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Dynamics of the Estuarine Turbidity Maximum Zone from Landsat-8 Data: The Case of the Maroni River Estuary, French Guiana
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(13), 2173; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12132173 - 07 Jul 2020
Viewed by 282
Abstract
The estuarine turbidity maximum (ETM) zone occurs in river estuaries due to the effects of tidal dynamics, density-driven residual circulation and deposition/erosion of fine sediments. Even though tropical river estuaries contribute proportionally more to the sediment supply of coastal areas, the ETM in [...] Read more.
The estuarine turbidity maximum (ETM) zone occurs in river estuaries due to the effects of tidal dynamics, density-driven residual circulation and deposition/erosion of fine sediments. Even though tropical river estuaries contribute proportionally more to the sediment supply of coastal areas, the ETM in them has been hardly studied. In this study, surface suspended particulate matter (SPM) determined from OLI (Operational Land Imager)-Landsat 8images was used to gain a better understanding of the spatio-temporal dynamics of the ETM of the tropical Maroni estuary (located on the Guianas coast, South America). A method to estimate the remotely-sensed ETM location and its spatiotemporal evolution between 2013 and 2019 was developed. Each ETM was defined from an envelope of normalized SPM values > 0.6 calculated from images of the estuary. The results show the influence of the well-marked seasonal river discharge and of tides, especially during the dry season. The ETM is located in the middle estuary during low river-flow conditions, whereas it shifts towards the mouth during high river flow. Neap–spring tidal cycles result in a push of the ETM closer to the mouth under spring-tide conditions or even outside the mouth during the rainy season. An increase in SPM, especially since 2017, coincident with an extension of the ETM, is shown to reflect the periodic influence of mud banks originating from the mouth of the Amazon and migrating along the coast towards the Orinoco (Venezuela). These results demonstrate the advantages of ocean color data in an exploratory study of the spatio-temporal dynamics of the ETM of a tropical estuary, such as that of the Maroni. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
An Algorithm to Estimate Suspended Particulate Matter Concentrations and Associated Uncertainties from Remote Sensing Reflectance in Coastal Environments
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(13), 2172; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12132172 - 07 Jul 2020
Viewed by 345
Abstract
Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) is a major constituent in coastal waters, involved in processes such as light attenuation, pollutant propagation, and waterways blockage. The spatial distribution of SPM is an indicator of deposition and erosion patterns in estuaries and coastal zones and a [...] Read more.
Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) is a major constituent in coastal waters, involved in processes such as light attenuation, pollutant propagation, and waterways blockage. The spatial distribution of SPM is an indicator of deposition and erosion patterns in estuaries and coastal zones and a necessary input to estimate the material fluxes from the land through rivers to the sea. In-situ methods to estimate SPM provide limited spatial data in comparison to the coverage that can be obtained remotely. Ocean color remote sensing complements field measurements by providing estimates of the spatial distributions of surface SPM concentration in natural waters, with high spatial and temporal resolution. Existing methods to obtain SPM from remote sensing vary between purely empirical ones to those that are based on radiative transfer theory together with empirical inputs regarding the optical properties of SPM. Most algorithms use a single satellite band that is switched to other bands for different ranges of turbidity. The necessity to switch bands is due to the saturation of reflectance as SPM concentration increases. Here we propose a multi-band approach for SPM retrievals that also provides an estimate of uncertainty, where the latter is based on both uncertainties in reflectance and in the assumed optical properties of SPM. The approach proposed is general and can be applied to any ocean color sensor or in-situ radiometer system with red and near-infra-red bands. We apply it to six globally distributed in-situ datasets of spectral water reflectance and SPM measurements over a wide range of SPM concentrations collected in estuaries and coastal environments (the focus regions of our study). Results show good performance for SPM retrieval at all ranges of concentration. As with all algorithms, better performance may be achieved by constraining empirical assumptions to specific environments. To demonstrate the flexibility of the algorithm we apply it to a remote sensing scene from an environment with highly variable sediment concentrations. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Extreme Events of Precipitation over Complex Terrain Derived from Satellite Data for Climate Applications: An Evaluation of the Southern Slopes of the Pyrenees
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(13), 2171; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12132171 - 07 Jul 2020
Viewed by 234
Abstract
Estimating extreme precipitation events over complex terrain is challenging but crucial for evaluating the performance of climate models for the present climate and expected changes of the climate in the future. New satellites operating in the microwave wavelengths have started to open new [...] Read more.
Estimating extreme precipitation events over complex terrain is challenging but crucial for evaluating the performance of climate models for the present climate and expected changes of the climate in the future. New satellites operating in the microwave wavelengths have started to open new opportunities for performing such estimation at adequate temporal and spatial scales and within sensible error limits. This paper illustrates the feasibility and limits of estimating precipitation extremes from satellite data for climatological applications. Using a high-resolution gauge database as ground truth, it was found that global precipitation measurement (GPM) constellation data can provide valuable estimates of extreme precipitation over the southern slopes of the Pyrenees, a region comprising several climates and a very diverse terrain (a challenge for satellite precipitation algorithms). Validation using an object-based quality measure showed reasonable performance, suggesting that GPM estimates can be advantageous reference data for climate model evaluation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Precipitation and Water Cycle Measurements Using Remote Sensing)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Detection of Parking Cars in Stereo Satellite Images
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(13), 2170; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12132170 - 07 Jul 2020
Viewed by 264
Abstract
In this paper, we present a Remote Sens. approach to localize parking cars in a city in order to enable the development of parking space availability models. We propose to use high-resolution stereo satellite images for this problem, as they provide enough details [...] Read more.
In this paper, we present a Remote Sens. approach to localize parking cars in a city in order to enable the development of parking space availability models. We propose to use high-resolution stereo satellite images for this problem, as they provide enough details to make individual cars recognizable and the time interval between the stereo shots allows to reason about the moving or static condition of a car. Consequently, we describe a complete processing pipeline where raw satellite images are georeferenced, ortho-rectified, equipped with a digital surface model and an inclusion layer generated from Open Street Model vector data, and finally analyzed for parking cars by means of an adapted Faster R-CNN oriented bounding box detector. As a test site for the proposed approach, a new publicly available dataset of the city of Barcelona labeled with parking cars is presented. On this dataset, a Faster R-CNN model directly trained on the two ortho-rectified stereo images achieves an average precision of 0.65 for parking car detection. Finally, an extensive empirical and analytical evaluation shows the validity of our idea, as parking space occupancy can be broadly derived in fully visible areas, whereas moving cars are efficiently ruled out. Our evaluation also includes an in-depth analysis of the stereo occlusion problem in view of our application scenario as well as the suitability of using a reconstructed Digital Surface Model (DSM) as additional data modality for car detection. While an additional adoption of the DSM in our pipeline does not provide a beneficial cue for the detection task, the stereo images provide essentially two views of the dynamic scene at different timestamps. Therefore, for future studies, we recommend a satellite image acquisition geometry with smaller incidence angles, to decrease occlusions by buildings and thus improve the results with respect to completeness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Satellite Image Processing and Applications)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Automated 3D Reconstruction Using Optimized View-Planning Algorithms for Iterative Development of Structure-from-Motion Models
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(13), 2169; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12132169 - 07 Jul 2020
Viewed by 326
Abstract
Unsupervised machine learning algorithms (clustering, genetic, and principal component analysis) automate Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) missions as well as the creation and refinement of iterative 3D photogrammetric models with a next best view (NBV) approach. The novel approach uses Structure-from-Motion (SfM) to achieve [...] Read more.
Unsupervised machine learning algorithms (clustering, genetic, and principal component analysis) automate Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) missions as well as the creation and refinement of iterative 3D photogrammetric models with a next best view (NBV) approach. The novel approach uses Structure-from-Motion (SfM) to achieve convergence to a specified orthomosaic resolution by identifying edges in the point cloud and planning cameras that “view” the holes identified by edges without requiring an initial model. This iterative UAV photogrammetric method successfully runs in various Microsoft AirSim environments. Simulated ground sampling distance (GSD) of models reaches as low as 3.4 cm per pixel, and generally, successive iterations improve resolution. Besides analogous application in simulated environments, a field study of a retired municipal water tank illustrates the practical application and advantages of automated UAV iterative inspection of infrastructure using 63 % fewer photographs than a comparable manual flight with analogous density point clouds obtaining a GSD of less than 3 cm per pixel. Each iteration qualitatively increases resolution according to a logarithmic regression, reduces holes in models, and adds details to model edges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Latest Developments in 3D Mapping with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessLetter
Improving on MODIS MCD64A1 Burned Area Estimates in Grassland Systems: A Case Study in Kansas Flint Hills Tall Grass Prairie
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(13), 2168; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12132168 - 07 Jul 2020
Viewed by 243
Abstract
Uncertainty in satellite-derived burned area estimates are especially high in grassland systems, which are some of the most frequently burned ecosystems in the world. In this study, we compare differences in predicted burned area estimates for a region with the highest fire activity [...] Read more.
Uncertainty in satellite-derived burned area estimates are especially high in grassland systems, which are some of the most frequently burned ecosystems in the world. In this study, we compare differences in predicted burned area estimates for a region with the highest fire activity in North America, the Flint Hills of Kansas, USA, using the moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) MCD64A1 burned area product and a customization of the MODIS MCD64A1 product using a major ground-truthing effort by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE-MODIS customization). Local-scale ground-truthing and the KDHE-MODIS product suggests MODIS burned area estimates under predicted fire occurrence by 28% over a 19-year period in the Flint Hills ecoregion. Between 2001 and 2019, MODIS product indicated <1 million acres burned on average, which was far below the KDHE-MODIS customization (mean = 2.6 million acres). MODIS also showed that <1% of the Flint Hills burned 5 times from 2001–2019 (2001, 2002, 2007, 2012 and 2013), whereas KDHE-MODIS customization showed this never happened in any single year. KDHE-MODIS also captured some areas of the Flint Hills that burned every year (19 times out of 19 years), which is well-known with field inventory data, whereas the maximum fire occurrence in MODIS was 14 times in 19 years. Finally, MODIS never captured >8% burned area for any given year in the Flint Hills, even in years when fire activity was highest (2008, 2009, 2011, 2014). Based on these results, coupling MODIS burned area computations with local scale ground-truth efforts has the potential to significantly improve fire occurrence estimates and reduce uncertainty in other grassland and savanna regions. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Generation of a Global Spatially Continuous TanSat Solar-Induced Chlorophyll Fluorescence Product by Considering the Impact of the Solar Radiation Intensity
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(13), 2167; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12132167 - 07 Jul 2020
Viewed by 244
Abstract
Solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) provides a new and direct way of monitoring photosynthetic activity. However, current SIF products are limited by low spatial resolution or sparse sampling. In this paper, we present a data-driven method of generating a global, spatially continuous TanSat SIF [...] Read more.
Solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) provides a new and direct way of monitoring photosynthetic activity. However, current SIF products are limited by low spatial resolution or sparse sampling. In this paper, we present a data-driven method of generating a global, spatially continuous TanSat SIF product. Firstly, the key explanatory variables for modelling canopy SIF were investigated using in-situ and satellite observations. According to theoretical and experimental analysis, the solar radiation intensity was found to be a dominant driving environmental variable for the SIF yield at both the canopy and global scales; this has, however, been neglected in previous research. The cosine value of the solar zenith angle at noon (cos (SZA0)), a proxy for solar radiation intensity, was found to be a dominant abiotic factor for the SIF yield. Next, a Random Forest (RF) approach was employed for SIF prediction based on Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) visible-to-NIR reflectance data, the normalized difference vegetation (NDVI), cos (SZA0), and air temperature. The machine learning model performed well at predicting SIF, giving R2 values of 0.73, an RMSE of 0.30 mW m−2 nm−1 sr−1 and a bias of 0.22 mW m−2 nm−1 sr−1 for 2018. If cos (SZA0) was not included, the accuracy of the RF model decreased: the R2 value was then 0.65, the RMSE 0.34 mW m−2 nm−1 sr−1 and an bias of 0.26 mW m−2 nm−1 sr−1, further verifying the importance of cos (SZA0). Finally, the globally continuous TanSat SIF product was developed and compared to the TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) SIF data. The results showed that the globally continuous TanSat SIF product agreed well with the TROPOMI SIF data, with an R2 value of 0.73. Thus, this paper presents an improved approach to modelling satellite SIF that has a better accuracy, and the study also generated a global, spatially continuous TanSat SIF product with a spatial resolution of 0.05°. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessEditorial
Editorial for Special Issue “High Resolution Active Optical Remote Sensing Observations of Aerosols, Clouds and Aerosol–Cloud Interactions and Their Implication to Climate”
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(13), 2166; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12132166 - 07 Jul 2020
Viewed by 257
Abstract
This Special Issue contains twelve publications that, through different remote sensing techniques, investigate how the atmospheric aerosol layers and their radiative effects influence cloud formation, precipitation and air-quality. The investigations are carried out analyzing observations obtained from high-resolution optical devices deployed on different [...] Read more.
This Special Issue contains twelve publications that, through different remote sensing techniques, investigate how the atmospheric aerosol layers and their radiative effects influence cloud formation, precipitation and air-quality. The investigations are carried out analyzing observations obtained from high-resolution optical devices deployed on different platforms as satellite and ground-based observational sites. In this editorial, the published contributions are taken in review to highlight their innovative contribution and research main findings. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Classification of Sea Ice Types in Sentinel-1 SAR Data Using Convolutional Neural Networks
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(13), 2165; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12132165 - 07 Jul 2020
Viewed by 633
Abstract
A new algorithm for classification of sea ice types on Sentinel-1 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data using a convolutional neural network (CNN) is presented. The CNN is trained on reference ice charts produced by human experts and compared with an existing machine learning [...] Read more.
A new algorithm for classification of sea ice types on Sentinel-1 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data using a convolutional neural network (CNN) is presented. The CNN is trained on reference ice charts produced by human experts and compared with an existing machine learning algorithm based on texture features and random forest classifier. The CNN is trained on two datasets in 2018 and 2020 for retrieval of four classes: ice free, young ice, first-year ice and old ice. The accuracy of our classification is 90.5% for the 2018-dataset and 91.6% for the 2020-dataset. The uncertainty is a bit higher for young ice (85%/76% accuracy in 2018/2020) and first-year ice (86%/84% accuracy in 2018/2020). Our algorithm outperforms the existing random forest product for each ice type. It has also proved to be more efficient in computing time and less sensitive to the noise in SAR data. The code is publicly available. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polar Sea Ice: Detection, Monitoring and Modeling)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Maximizing Temporal Correlations in Long-Term Global Satellite Soil Moisture Data-Merging
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(13), 2164; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12132164 - 07 Jul 2020
Viewed by 312
Abstract
In this study, an existing combination approach that maximizes temporal correlations is used to combine six passive microwave satellite soil moisture products from 1998 to 2015 to assess its added value in long-term applications. Five of the products used are included in existing [...] Read more.
In this study, an existing combination approach that maximizes temporal correlations is used to combine six passive microwave satellite soil moisture products from 1998 to 2015 to assess its added value in long-term applications. Five of the products used are included in existing merging schemes such as the European Space Agency’s essential climate variable soil moisture (ECV) program. These include the Special Sensor Microwave Imagers (SSM/I), the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM/TMI), the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-Earth Observing System (AMSR-E) sensor on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Aqua satellite, the WindSAT radiometer, onboard the Coriolis satellite and the soil moisture retrievals from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2) sensor onboard the Global Change Observation Mission on Water (GCOM-W). The sixth, the microwave radiometer imager (MWRI) onboard China’s Fengyun-3B (FY3B) satellite, is absent in the ECV scheme. Here, the normalized soil moisture products are merged based on their availability within the study period. Evaluation of the merged product demonstrated that the correlations and unbiased root mean square differences were improved over the whole period. Compared to ECV, the merged product from this scheme performed better over dense and sparsely vegetated regions. Additionally, the trends in the parent inputs are preserved in the merged data. Further analysis of FY3B’s contribution to the merging scheme showed that it is as dependable as the widely used AMSR2, as it contributed significantly to the improvements in the merged product. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
A Ridgeline-Based Terrain Co-registration for Satellite LiDAR Point Clouds in Rough Areas
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(13), 2163; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12132163 - 06 Jul 2020
Viewed by 320
Abstract
It is still a completely new and challenging task to register extensive, enormous and sparse satellite light detection and ranging (LiDAR) point clouds. Aimed at this problem, this study provides a ridgeline-based terrain co-registration method in preparation for satellite LiDAR point clouds in [...] Read more.
It is still a completely new and challenging task to register extensive, enormous and sparse satellite light detection and ranging (LiDAR) point clouds. Aimed at this problem, this study provides a ridgeline-based terrain co-registration method in preparation for satellite LiDAR point clouds in rough areas. This method has several merits: (1) only ridgelines are extracted as neighbor information for feature description and their intersections are extracted as keypoints, which can greatly reduce the number of points for subsequent processing, and extracted keypoints is of high repeatability and distinctiveness; (2) a new local-reference frame (LRF) construction method is designed by combining both three dimensional (3D) coordinate and normal vector covariance matrices, which effectively improves its direction consistency; (3) a minimum cost–maximum flow (MCMF) graph-matching strategy is adopted to maximize similarity sum in a sparse-matching graph. It can avoid the problem of “many-to-many” and “one to many” caused by traditional matching strategies; (4) a transformation matrix-based clustering is adopted with a least square (LS)-based registration, where mismatches are eliminated and correct pairs are fully participated in optimal parameters evaluation to improve its stability. Experiments on simulated satellite LiDAR point clouds show that this method can effectively remove mismatches and estimate optimal parameters with high accuracy, especially in rough areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensing Image Processing)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
An Adaptive and Extensible System for Satellite-Based, Large Scale Burnt Area Monitoring in Near-Real Time
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(13), 2162; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12132162 - 06 Jul 2020
Viewed by 312
Abstract
In the case of ongoing wildfire events, timely information on current fire parameters is crucial for informed decision making. Satellite imagery can provide valuable information in this regard, since thermal sensors can detect the exact location and intensity of an active fire at [...] Read more.
In the case of ongoing wildfire events, timely information on current fire parameters is crucial for informed decision making. Satellite imagery can provide valuable information in this regard, since thermal sensors can detect the exact location and intensity of an active fire at the moment the satellite passes over. This information can be derived and distributed in near-real time, allowing for a picture of current fire activity. However, the derivation of the size and shape of an already affected area is more complex and therefore most often not available within a short time frame. For urgent decision making though, it would be desirable to have this information available in near-real time, and on a large scale. The approach presented here works fully automatic and provides perimeters of burnt areas within two hours after the satellite scene acquisition. It uses the red and near-infrared bands of mid-resolution imagery to facilitate continental-scale monitoring of recently occurred burnt areas. To allow for a high detection capacity independent of the affected vegetation type, segmentation thresholds are derived dynamically from contextual information. This is done by using a Morphological Active Contour approach for perimeter determination. The results are validated against semi-automatically derived burnt areas for five wildfire incidents in Europe. Furthermore, these results are compared with three widely used burnt area datasets on a country-wide scale. It is shown that a high detection quality can be reached in near real-time. The large-scale inter-comparison shows that the results coincide with 63% to 76% of the burnt area in the reference datasets. While these established datasets are only available with a time lag of several months or are created by using manual interaction, the presented approach produces results in near-real time fully automatically. This work is therefore supposed to represent a valuable improvement in wildfire related rapid damage assessment. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
EANet: Edge-Aware Network for the Extraction of Buildings from Aerial Images
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(13), 2161; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12132161 - 06 Jul 2020
Viewed by 274
Abstract
Deep learning methods have been used to extract buildings from remote sensing images and have achieved state-of-the-art performance. Most previous work has emphasized the multi-scale fusion of features or the enhancement of more receptive fields to achieve global features rather than focusing on [...] Read more.
Deep learning methods have been used to extract buildings from remote sensing images and have achieved state-of-the-art performance. Most previous work has emphasized the multi-scale fusion of features or the enhancement of more receptive fields to achieve global features rather than focusing on low-level details such as the edges. In this work, we propose a novel end-to-end edge-aware network, the EANet, and an edge-aware loss for getting accurate buildings from aerial images. Specifically, the architecture is composed of image segmentation networks and edge perception networks that, respectively, take charge of building prediction and edge investigation. The International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) Potsdam segmentation benchmark and the Wuhan University (WHU) building benchmark were used to evaluate our approach, which, respectively, was found to achieve 90.19% and 93.33% intersection-over-union and top performance without using additional datasets, data augmentation, and post-processing. The EANet is effective in extracting buildings from aerial images, which shows that the quality of image segmentation can be improved by focusing on edge details. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Land Use Mapping and Analysis in the Big Data Era)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Long-Term Grass Biomass Estimation of Pastures from Satellite Data
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(13), 2160; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12132160 - 06 Jul 2020
Viewed by 264
Abstract
The general consensus on future climate projections poses new and increased concerns about climate change and its impacts. Droughts are primarily worrying, since they contribute to altering the composition, distribution, and abundance of species. Grasslands, for example, are the primary source for grazing [...] Read more.
The general consensus on future climate projections poses new and increased concerns about climate change and its impacts. Droughts are primarily worrying, since they contribute to altering the composition, distribution, and abundance of species. Grasslands, for example, are the primary source for grazing mammals and modifications in climate determine variation in the available yields for cattle. To support the agriculture sector, international organizations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations are promoting the development of dedicated monitoring initiatives, with particular attention for undeveloped and disadvantaged countries. The temporal scale is very important in this context, where long time series of data are required to compute consistent analyses. In this research, we discuss the results regarding long-term grass biomass estimation in an extended African region. The results are obtained by means of a procedure that is mostly automatic and replicable in other contexts. Zambia has been identified as a significant test area due to its vulnerability to the adverse impacts of climate change as a result of its geographic location, socioeconomic stresses, and low adaptive capacity. In fact, analysis and estimations were performed over a long time window (21 years) to identify correlations with climate variables, such as precipitation, to clarify sensitivity to climate change and possible effects already in place. From the analysis, decline in both grass quality and quantity was not currently evident in the study area. However, pastures in the considered area were found to be vulnerable to changing climate and, in particular, to the water shortages accompanying drought periods. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Deep Semantic Segmentation of Center Pivot Irrigation Systems from Remotely Sensed Data
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(13), 2159; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12132159 - 06 Jul 2020
Viewed by 292
Abstract
The center pivot irrigation system (CPIS) is a modern irrigation technique widely used in precision agriculture due to its high efficiency in water consumption and low labor compared to traditional irrigation methods. The CPIS is a leader in mechanized irrigation in Brazil, with [...] Read more.
The center pivot irrigation system (CPIS) is a modern irrigation technique widely used in precision agriculture due to its high efficiency in water consumption and low labor compared to traditional irrigation methods. The CPIS is a leader in mechanized irrigation in Brazil, with growth forecast for the coming years. Therefore, the mapping of center pivot areas is a strategic factor for the estimation of agricultural production, ensuring food security, water resources management, and environmental conservation. In this regard, digital processing of satellite images is the primary tool allowing regional and continuous monitoring with low costs and agility. However, the automatic detection of CPIS using remote sensing images remains a challenge, and much research has adopted visual interpretation. Although CPIS presents a consistent circular shape in the landscape, these areas can have a high internal variation with different plantations that vary over time, which is difficult with just the spectral behavior. Deep learning using convolutional neural networks (CNNs) is an emerging approach that provokes a revolution in image segmentation, surpassing traditional methods, and achieving higher accuracy and efficiency. This research aimed to evaluate the use of deep semantic segmentation of CPIS from CNN-based algorithms using Landsat-8 surface reflectance images (seven bands). The developed methodology can be subdivided into the following steps: (a) Definition of three study areas with a high concentration of CPIS in Central Brazil; (b) acquisition of Landsat-8 images considering the seasonal variations of the rain and drought periods; (c) definition of CPIS datasets containing Landsat images and ground truth mask of 256×256 pixels; (d) training using three CNN architectures (U-net, Deep ResUnet, and SharpMask); (e) accuracy analysis; and (f) large image reconstruction using six stride values (8, 16, 32, 64, 128, and 256). The three methods achieved state-of-the-art results with a slight prevalence of U-net over Deep ResUnet and SharpMask (0.96, 0.95, and 0.92 Kappa coefficients, respectively). A novelty in this research was the overlapping pixel analysis in the large image reconstruction. Lower stride values had improvements quantified by the Receiver Operating Characteristic curve (ROC curve) and Kappa, and fewer errors in the frame edges were also perceptible. The overlapping images significantly improved the accuracy and reduced the error present in the edges of the classified frames. Additionally, we obtained greater accuracy results during the beginning of the dry season. The present study enabled the establishment of a database of center pivot images and an adequate methodology for mapping the center pivot in central Brazil. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Hydrometeor Identification Using Multiple-Frequency Microwave Links: A Numerical Simulation
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(13), 2158; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12132158 - 06 Jul 2020
Viewed by 238
Abstract
A method for identifying hydrometeor types (rain, graupel, and wet snow) based on a microwave link is proposed in this paper. The measured hydrometeor size distribution (HSD) data from the winters of 2014 to 2019 in Nanjing, China, were used to carry out [...] Read more.
A method for identifying hydrometeor types (rain, graupel, and wet snow) based on a microwave link is proposed in this paper. The measured hydrometeor size distribution (HSD) data from the winters of 2014 to 2019 in Nanjing, China, were used to carry out simulation experiments to verify the performance of the model. Single-, dual-, and tri-frequency models (combinations of 15 GHz, 18 GHz, 25 GHz, 38 GHz, 50 GHz, 60 GHz, 70 GHz, and 80 GHz) were established with the extreme learning machine (ELM) algorithm. The results showed that the performance of the tri-frequency models was overall better than that of the dual-frequency models, for which the performance was better than that of the single-frequency models. The mean (maximum) test set accuracies of the single-frequency, dual-frequency, and tri-frequency models reached 75.8%, 80.7%, and 83.2% (83.0%, 84.4%, and 85.6%), respectively. For the dual-frequency and tri-frequency models, it was found that the accuracy increased with the overall frequency or the frequency difference. In addition, the influences of different noise levels on the model performance were also analyzed. Finally, the effects of position and length of link relative to precipitation cell were analyzed and are also discussed. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessLetter
A New Method of De-Aliasing Large-Scale High-Frequency Barotropic Signals in the Mediterranean Sea
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(13), 2157; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12132157 - 06 Jul 2020
Viewed by 211
Abstract
With the development of satellite observation technology, higher resolution and shorter return cycle have also placed higher demands on satellite data processing. The non-tide high-frequency barotropic oscillation in the marginal sea produces large aliasing errors in satellite altimeter observations. In previous studies, the [...] Read more.
With the development of satellite observation technology, higher resolution and shorter return cycle have also placed higher demands on satellite data processing. The non-tide high-frequency barotropic oscillation in the marginal sea produces large aliasing errors in satellite altimeter observations. In previous studies, the satellite altimeter aliasing correction generally relied on a few bottom pressure data or the model data. Here, we employed the high-frequency tide gauge data to extract the altimeter non-tide aliasing correction in the west Mediterranean Sea. The spatial average method and EOF analysis method were adopted to track the high-frequency oscillation signals from 15 tide gauge records (TGs), and then were used to correct the aliasing errors in the Jason-1 and Envisat observations. The results showed that the EOF analysis method is better than the spatial average method in the altimeter data correction. After EOF correction, 90% of correlation (COR) between TG and sea level of Jason-1 has increased ~5%, and ~3% increase for the Envisat sea level; for the spatial average correction method, only ~70% of Jason-1 and Envisat data at the TGs location has about 2% increase in correlation. The EOF correction reduced the average percentage of error variance (PEL) by ~30%, while the spatial average correction increased the average percentage of PEL by ~20%. After correction by the EOF method, the altimeter observations are more consistent with the distribution of strong currents and eddies in the west Mediterranean Sea. The results prove that the proposed EOF method is more effective and accurate for the non-tide aliasing correction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Ocean Remote Sensing through Data and Algorithm Fusion)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Drought Impacts on Vegetation in Southeastern Europe
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(13), 2156; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12132156 - 06 Jul 2020
Viewed by 253
Abstract
We evaluated the response of vegetation’s photosynthetic activity to drought conditions from 1998 to 2014 over Romania and the Republic of Moldova. The connection between vegetation stress and drought events was assessed by means of a correlation analysis between the monthly Standardized Precipitation [...] Read more.
We evaluated the response of vegetation’s photosynthetic activity to drought conditions from 1998 to 2014 over Romania and the Republic of Moldova. The connection between vegetation stress and drought events was assessed by means of a correlation analysis between the monthly Standardized Precipitation Evaporation Index (SPEI), at several time scales, and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), as well as an assessment of the simultaneous occurrence of extremes in both indices. The analysis of the relationship between drought and vegetation was made for the growing season (from April to October of the entire period), and special attention was devoted to the severe drought event of 2000/2001, considered as the driest since 1961 for the study area. More than three quarters (77%) of the agricultural land exhibits a positive correlation between the two indices. The sensitivity of crop areas to drought is strong, as the impacts were detected from May to October, with a peak in July. On the other hand, forests were found to be less sensitive to drought, as the impacts were limited mostly to July and August. Moreover, vegetation of all land cover classes showed a dependence between the sign of the correlation and the elevation gradient. Roughly 60% (20%) of the study domain shows a concordance of anomalously low vegetation activity with dry conditions of at least 50% (80%) in August. By contrast, a lower value of concordance was observed over the Carpathian Mountains. During the severe drought event of 2000/2001, a decrease in vegetation activity was detected for most of the study area, showing a decrease lasting at least 4 months, between April and October, for more than two thirds (71%) of the study domain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Paper Special Issue on Forest Remote Sensing)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Combining and Comparing an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle and Multiple Remote Sensing Satellites to Calculate Long-Term River Discharge in an Ungauged Water Source Region on the Tibetan Plateau
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(13), 2155; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12132155 - 06 Jul 2020
Viewed by 214
Abstract
Research into global water resources is challenged by the lack of ground-based hydrometric stations and limited data sharing. It is difficult to collect good quality, long-term information about river discharges in ungauged regions. Herein, an approach was developed to determine the river discharges [...] Read more.
Research into global water resources is challenged by the lack of ground-based hydrometric stations and limited data sharing. It is difficult to collect good quality, long-term information about river discharges in ungauged regions. Herein, an approach was developed to determine the river discharges of 24 rivers in ungauged regions on the Tibetan Plateau on a long-term scale. This method involved coupling the Manning–Strickler formula, and data from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and the Gaofen-2, SPOT-5, and Sentinel-2 satellites. We also compared the discharges calculated by using the three satellites’ data. Fundamental information about the rivers was extracted from the UAV data. Comparison of the discharges calculated from the in-situ measurements and the UAV data gave an R2 value of 0.84, an average NSE of 0.79, and an RMSE of 0.11 m3/s. The river discharges calculated with the GF-2 remote sensing data and the in-situ experiments for the same months were compared and the R2, RMSE, and the NSE were 0.80, 1.8 m3/s, and 0.78, respectively. Comparing the discharges calculated over the long term from the measured in-situ data and the SPOT-5 and Sentinel-2 data gave R2 values of 0.93 and 0.92, and RMSE values of 2.56 m3/s and 3.16 m3/s, respectively. The results showed that the GF-2 and UAV were useful for calculating the discharges for low-flow rivers, while the SPOT-5 or the Sentinel-2 satellite gave good results for high-flow river discharges in the long-term. Our results demonstrate that the discharges in ungauged tributaries can be reliably estimated in the long-term with this method. This method extended the previous research, which described river discharge only in one period and provided more support to the monitoring and management of the tributaries in ungauged regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensing in Geology, Geomorphology and Hydrology)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Spectral-Similarity-Based Kernel of SVM for Hyperspectral Image Classification
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(13), 2154; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12132154 - 06 Jul 2020
Viewed by 238
Abstract
Spectral similarity measures can be regarded as potential metrics for kernel functions, and can be used to generate spectral-similarity-based kernels. However, spectral-similarity-based kernels have not received significant attention from researchers. In this paper, we propose two novel spectral-similarity-based kernels based on spectral angle [...] Read more.
Spectral similarity measures can be regarded as potential metrics for kernel functions, and can be used to generate spectral-similarity-based kernels. However, spectral-similarity-based kernels have not received significant attention from researchers. In this paper, we propose two novel spectral-similarity-based kernels based on spectral angle mapper (SAM) and spectral information divergence (SID) combined with the radial basis function (RBF) kernel: Power spectral angle mapper RBF (Power-SAM-RBF) and normalized spectral information divergence-based RBF (Normalized-SID-RBF) kernels. First, we prove these spectral-similarity-based kernels to be Mercer’s kernels. Second, we analyze their efficiency in terms of local and global kernels. Finally, we consider three hyperspectral datasets to analyze the effectiveness of the proposed spectral-similarity-based kernels. Experimental results demonstrate that the Power-SAM-RBF and SAM-RBF kernels can obtain an impressive performance, particularly the Power-SAM-RBF kernel. For example, when the ratio of the training set is 20 % , the kappa coefficient of Power-SAM-RBF kernel (0.8561) is 1.61 % , 1.32 % , and 1.23 % higher than that of the RBF kernel on the Indian Pines, University of Pavia, and Salinas Valley datasets, respectively. We present three conclusions. First, the superiority of the Power-SAM-RBF kernel compared to other kernels is evident. Second, the Power-SAM-RBF kernel can provide an outstanding performance when the similarity between spectral signatures in the same hyperspectral dataset is either extremely high or extremely low. Third, the Power-SAM-RBF kernel provides even greater benefits compared to other commonly used kernels when the sizes of the training sets increase. In future work, multiple kernels combining with the spectral-similarity-based kernel are expected to be provide better hyperspectral classification. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Identification of Short-Rotation Eucalyptus Plantation at Large Scale Using Multi-Satellite Imageries and Cloud Computing Platform
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(13), 2153; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12132153 - 05 Jul 2020
Viewed by 353
Abstract
A new method to identify short-rotation eucalyptus plantations by exploring both the changing pattern of vegetation indices due to tree crop rotation and spectral characteristics of eucalyptus in the red-edge region is presented. It can be adopted to produce eucalyptus maps of high [...] Read more.
A new method to identify short-rotation eucalyptus plantations by exploring both the changing pattern of vegetation indices due to tree crop rotation and spectral characteristics of eucalyptus in the red-edge region is presented. It can be adopted to produce eucalyptus maps of high spatial resolution (30 m) at large scales, with the use of open remote sensing images from Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI), MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), and Sentinel-2 MultiSpectral Instrument (MSI), as well as a free cloud computing platform, Google Earth Engine (GEE). The method is composed of three main steps. First, a time series of Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) is constructed from Landsat data for each pixel, and a statistical hypothesis testing is followed to determine whether the pixel belongs to a tree plantation or not based on the idea that tree crops should be harvested in a specific period. Then, a broadleaf/needleleaf classification is applied to distinguish eucalyptus from coniferous trees such as pine and fir using the red-edge bands of Sentinel-2 data. Refinements based on superpixel are performed at last to remove the salt-and-pepper effects resulted from per-pixel detection. The proposed method allows gaps in the time series that are very common in tropical and subtropical regions by employing time series segmentation and statistical hypothesis testing, and could capture forest disturbances such as conversion of natural forest or agricultural lands to eucalyptus plantations emerged in recent years by using a short observing time. The experiment in Guangxi province of China demonstrated that the method had an overall accuracy of 87.97%, with producer’s accuracy of 63.85% and user’s accuracy of 66.89% for eucalyptus plantations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Remote Sensing in Agroforestry)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
An Anisotropic Scattering Analysis Method Based on the Statistical Properties of Multi-Angular SAR Images
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(13), 2152; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12132152 - 05 Jul 2020
Viewed by 320
Abstract
The scatterings of many targets are aspect dependent, which is called anisotropy. Multi-angular synthetic aperture radar (SAR) is a suitable means of detecting this kind of anisotropic scattering behavior by viewing targets from different aspect angles. First, the statistical properties of anisotropic and [...] Read more.
The scatterings of many targets are aspect dependent, which is called anisotropy. Multi-angular synthetic aperture radar (SAR) is a suitable means of detecting this kind of anisotropic scattering behavior by viewing targets from different aspect angles. First, the statistical properties of anisotropic and isotropic scatterings are studied in this paper. X-band chamber circular SAR data are used. The result shows that isotropic scatterings have stable distributions in different aspect viewing angles while the distributions of anisotropic scatterings are various. Then the statistical properties of single polarization high-resolution multi-angular SAR images are modeled by different distributions. G 0 distribution performs best in all types of areas. An anisotropic scattering analysis method based on the multi-angular statistical properties is proposed. A likelihood ratio test based on G 0 distribution is used to measure the anisotropy. Anisotropic scatterings can be discriminated from isotropic scatterings by thresholding. Besides, the scattering direction can also be estimated by our method. AHH polarization C-band circular SAR data are used to validate our method. The result of using G 0 distribution is compared with the result of using Rayleigh distribution. The result of using G 0 distribution is the better one. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multi-Angular Remote Sensing)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Comparing Groundwater Storage Changes in Two Main Grain Producing Areas in China: Implications for Sustainable Agricultural Water Resources Management
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(13), 2151; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12132151 - 04 Jul 2020
Viewed by 389
Abstract
Balancing groundwater supply and food production is challenging, especially in large regions where there is often insufficient information on the groundwater budget, such as in the North China Plain (NCP) and the Northeast China Plain (NECP), which are major food producing areas in [...] Read more.
Balancing groundwater supply and food production is challenging, especially in large regions where there is often insufficient information on the groundwater budget, such as in the North China Plain (NCP) and the Northeast China Plain (NECP), which are major food producing areas in China. This study aimed to understand this process in a simple but efficient way by using Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) data, and it focused on historical and projected groundwater storage (GWS) changes in response to changes in grain-sown areas. The results showed that during 2003–2016, the GWS was depleted in the NCP at a rate of −17.2 ± 0.8 mm/yr despite a decrease in groundwater abstraction along with an increase in food production and a stable sown area, while in the NECP, the GWS increased by 2.3 ± 0.7 mm/yr and the groundwater abstraction, food production and the sown area also increased. The scenario simulation using GRACE-derived GWS anomalies during 2003–2016 as the baseline showed that the GWS changes in the NCP can be balanced (i.e., no decreasing trend in storage) by reducing the area of winter wheat and maize by 1.31 × 106 ha and 3.21 × 106 ha, respectively, or by reducing both by 0.93 × 106 ha. In the NECP, the groundwater can sustain an additional area of 0.62 × 106 ha of maize without a decrease in storage. The results also revealed that the current groundwater management policies cannot facilitate the recovery of the GWS in the NCP unless the sown ratio of drought-resistance wheat is increased from 90% to 95%. This study highlights the effectiveness of using GRACE to understanding the nexus between groundwater supply and food production at large scales. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Spatio-Temporal Variability of Chlorophyll-A and Environmental Variables in the Panama Bight
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(13), 2150; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12132150 - 04 Jul 2020
Viewed by 570
Abstract
The analysis of synoptic satellite data of total chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) and the environmental drivers that influence nutrient and light availability for phytoplankton growth allows us to understand the spatio-temporal variability of phytoplankton biomass. In the Panama Bight Tropical region (PB; 1–9°N, 79–84°W), the [...] Read more.
The analysis of synoptic satellite data of total chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) and the environmental drivers that influence nutrient and light availability for phytoplankton growth allows us to understand the spatio-temporal variability of phytoplankton biomass. In the Panama Bight Tropical region (PB; 1–9°N, 79–84°W), the spatial distribution of Chl-a is mostly related to the seasonal wind patterns and the intensity of localized upwelling centers. However, the association between the Chl-a and different physical variables and nutrient availability is still not fully assessed. In this study, we evaluate the relationship between the Chl-a and multiple physical (wind, Ekman pumping, geostrophic circulation, mixed layer depth, sea level anomalies, river discharges, sea surface temperature, and photosynthetically available radiation) and chemical (nutrients) drivers in order to explain the spatio-temporal Chl-a variability in the PB. We used satellite data of Chl-a and physical variables, and a re-analysis of a biogeochemical product for nutrients (2002–2016). Our results show that at the regional scale, the Chl-a varies seasonally in response to the wind forcing and sea surface temperature. However, in the coastal areas (mainly Gulf of Panama and off central-southern Colombia), the maximum non-seasonal Chl-a values are found in association with the availability of nutrients by river discharges, localized upwelling centers and the geostrophic circulation field. From this study, we infer that the interplay among these physical-chemical drivers is crucial for supporting the phytoplankton growth and the high biodiversity of the PB region. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Intercomparison of Satellite-Derived Solar Irradiance from the GEO-KOMSAT-2A and HIMAWARI-8/9 Satellites by the Evaluation with Ground Observations
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(13), 2149; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12132149 - 04 Jul 2020
Viewed by 352
Abstract
Solar irradiance derived from satellite imagery is useful for solar resource assessment, as well as climate change research without spatial limitation. The University of Arizona Solar Irradiance Based on Satellite–Korea Institute of Energy Research (UASIBS-KIER) model has been updated to version 2.0 in [...] Read more.
Solar irradiance derived from satellite imagery is useful for solar resource assessment, as well as climate change research without spatial limitation. The University of Arizona Solar Irradiance Based on Satellite–Korea Institute of Energy Research (UASIBS-KIER) model has been updated to version 2.0 in order to employ the satellite imagery produced by the new satellite platform, GK-2A, launched on 5 December 2018. The satellite-derived solar irradiance from UASIBS-KIER model version 2.0 is evaluated against the two ground observations in Korea at instantaneous, hourly, and daily time scales in comparison with the previous version of UASIBS-KIER model that was optimized for the COMS satellite. The root mean square error of the UASIBS-KIER model version 2.0, normalized for clear-sky solar irradiance, ranges from 4.8% to 5.3% at the instantaneous timescale when the sky is clear. For cloudy skies, the relative root mean square error values are 14.5% and 15.9% at the stations located in Korea and Japan, respectively. The model performance was improved when the UASIBS-KIER model version 2.0 was used for the derivation of solar irradiance due to the finer spatial resolution. The daily aggregates from the proposed model are proven to be the most reliable estimates, with 0.5 km resolution, compared with the solar irradiance derived by the other models. Therefore, the solar resource map built by major outputs from the UASIBS-KIER model is appropriate for solar resource assessment. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Watershed Modeling with Remotely Sensed Big Data: MODIS Leaf Area Index Improves Hydrology and Water Quality Predictions
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(13), 2148; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12132148 - 04 Jul 2020
Viewed by 346
Abstract
Traditional watershed modeling often overlooks the role of vegetation dynamics. There is also little quantitative evidence to suggest that increased physical realism of vegetation dynamics in process-based models improves hydrology and water quality predictions simultaneously. In this study, we applied a modified Soil [...] Read more.
Traditional watershed modeling often overlooks the role of vegetation dynamics. There is also little quantitative evidence to suggest that increased physical realism of vegetation dynamics in process-based models improves hydrology and water quality predictions simultaneously. In this study, we applied a modified Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to quantify the extent of improvements that the assimilation of remotely sensed Leaf Area Index (LAI) would convey to streamflow, soil moisture, and nitrate load simulations across a 16,860 km2 agricultural watershed in the midwestern United States. We modified the SWAT source code to automatically override the model’s built-in semiempirical LAI with spatially distributed and temporally continuous estimates from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). Compared to a “basic” traditional model with limited spatial information, our LAI assimilation model (i) significantly improved daily streamflow simulations during medium-to-low flow conditions, (ii) provided realistic spatial distributions of growing season soil moisture, and (iii) substantially reproduced the long-term observed variability of daily nitrate loads. Further analysis revealed that the overestimation or underestimation of LAI imparted a proportional cascading effect on how the model partitions hydrologic fluxes and nutrient pools. As such, assimilation of MODIS LAI data corrected the model’s LAI overestimation tendency, which led to a proportionally increased rootzone soil moisture and decreased plant nitrogen uptake. With these new findings, our study fills the existing knowledge gap regarding vegetation dynamics in watershed modeling and confirms that assimilation of MODIS LAI data in watershed models can effectively improve both hydrology and water quality predictions. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Modeling and Multi-Temporal Characterization of Total Suspended Matter by the Combined Use of Sentinel 2-MSI and Landsat 8-OLI Data: The Pertusillo Lake Case Study (Italy)
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(13), 2147; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12132147 - 04 Jul 2020
Viewed by 282
Abstract
The total suspended matter (TSM) variability plays a crucial role in a lake’s ecological functioning and its biogeochemical cycle. Sentinel-2A MultiSpectral Instrument (MSI) and Landsat 8 Operational Land Instrument (OLI) data offer unique opportunities for investigating certain in-water constituents (e.g., TSM and chlorophyll-a) [...] Read more.
The total suspended matter (TSM) variability plays a crucial role in a lake’s ecological functioning and its biogeochemical cycle. Sentinel-2A MultiSpectral Instrument (MSI) and Landsat 8 Operational Land Instrument (OLI) data offer unique opportunities for investigating certain in-water constituents (e.g., TSM and chlorophyll-a) owing to their spatial resolution (10–60 m). In this framework, we assessed the potential of MSI–OLI combined data in characterizing the multi-temporal (2014–2018) TSM variability in Pertusillo Lake (Basilicata region, Southern Italy). We developed and validated a customized MSI-based TSM model (R2 = 0.81) by exploiting ground measurements acquired during specific measurement campaigns. The model was then exported as OLI data through an intercalibration procedure (R2 = 0.87), allowing for the generation of a TSM multi-temporal MSI–OLI merged dataset. The analysis of the derived multi-year TSM monthly maps showed the influence of hydrological factors on the TSM seasonal dynamics over two sub-regions of the lake, the west and east areas. The western side is more influenced by inflowing rivers and water level fluctuations, the effects of which tend to longitudinally decrease, leading to less sediment within the eastern sub-area. The achieved results can be exploited by regional authorities for better management of inland water quality and monitoring systems. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
High-Resolution Coherency Functionals for Improving the Velocity Analysis of Ground-Penetrating Radar Data
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(13), 2146; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12132146 - 04 Jul 2020
Viewed by 302
Abstract
We aim at verifying whether the use of high-resolution coherency functionals could improve the signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) of Ground-Penetrating Radar data by introducing a variable and precisely picked velocity field in the migration process. After carrying out tests on synthetic data to schematically [...] Read more.
We aim at verifying whether the use of high-resolution coherency functionals could improve the signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) of Ground-Penetrating Radar data by introducing a variable and precisely picked velocity field in the migration process. After carrying out tests on synthetic data to schematically simulate the problem, assessing the types of functionals most suitable for GPR data analysis, we estimated a varying velocity field relative to a real dataset. This dataset was acquired in an archaeological area where an excavation after a GPR survey made it possible to define the position, type, and composition of the detected targets. Two functionals, the Complex Matched Coherency Measure and the Complex Matched Analysis, turned out to be effective in computing coherency maps characterized by high-resolution and strong noise rejection, where velocity picking can be done with high precision. By using the 2D velocity field thus obtained, migration algorithms performed better than in the case of constant or 1D velocity field, with satisfactory collapsing of the diffracted events and moving of the reflected energy in the correct position. The varying velocity field was estimated on different lines and used to migrate all the GPR profiles composing the survey covering the entire archaeological area. The time slices built with the migrated profiles resulted in a higher S/N than those obtained from non-migrated or migrated at constant velocity GPR profiles. The improvements are inherent to the resolution, continuity, and energy content of linear reflective areas. On the basis of our experience, we can state that the use of high-resolution coherency functionals leads to migrated GPR profiles with a high-grade of hyperbolas focusing. These profiles favor better imaging of the targets of interest, thereby allowing for a more reliable interpretation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Techniques for Ground Penetrating Radar Imaging)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Gudalur Spectral Target Detection (GST-D): A New Benchmark Dataset and Engineered Material Target Detection in Multi-Platform Remote Sensing Data
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(13), 2145; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12132145 - 03 Jul 2020
Viewed by 376
Abstract
Target detection in remote sensing imagery, mapping of sparsely distributed materials, has vital applications in defense security and surveillance, mineral exploration, agriculture, environmental monitoring, etc. The detection probability and the quality of retrievals are functions of various parameters of the sensor, platform, target–background [...] Read more.
Target detection in remote sensing imagery, mapping of sparsely distributed materials, has vital applications in defense security and surveillance, mineral exploration, agriculture, environmental monitoring, etc. The detection probability and the quality of retrievals are functions of various parameters of the sensor, platform, target–background dynamics, targets’ spectral contrast, and atmospheric influence. Generally, target detection in remote sensing imagery has been approached using various statistical detection algorithms with an assumption of linearity in the image formation process. Knowledge on the image acquisition geometry, and spectral features and their stability across different imaging platforms is vital for designing a spectral target detection system. We carried out an integrated target detection experiment for the detection of various artificial target materials. As part of this work, we acquired a benchmark multi-platform hyperspectral and multispectral remote sensing dataset named as ‘Gudalur Spectral Target Detection (GST-D)’ dataset. Positioning artificial targets on different surface backgrounds, we acquired remote sensing data by terrestrial, airborne, and space-borne sensors on 20th March 2018. Various statistical and subspace detection algorithms were applied on the benchmark dataset for the detection of targets, considering the different sources of reference target spectra, background, and the spectral continuity across the platforms. We validated the detection results using the receiver operation curve (ROC) for different cases of detection algorithms and imaging platforms. Results indicate, for some combinations of algorithms and imaging platforms, consistent detection of specific material targets with a detection rate of about 80% at a false alarm rate between 10−2 to 10−3. Target detection in satellite imagery using reference target spectra from airborne hyperspectral imagery match closely with the satellite imagery derived reference spectra. The ground-based in-situ reference spectra offer a quantifiable detection in airborne or satellite imagery. However, ground-based hyperspectral imagery has also provided an equivalent target detection in the airborne and satellite imagery paving the way for rapid acquisition of reference target spectra. The benchmark dataset generated in this work is a valuable resourcefor addressing intriguing questions in target detection using hyperspectral imagery from a realistic landscape perspective. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop