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Article

Combining Optical and Radar Satellite Imagery to Investigate the Surface Properties and Evolution of the Lordsburg Playa, New Mexico, USA

1
Environmental Science and Engineering Program, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX 79968, USA
2
Department of Earth, Environmental and Resource Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX 79968, USA
3
USDA—Agricultural Research Service, Big Spring, TX 79720, USA
4
Department of Atmospheric, Ocean and Earth Sciences, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Faiz Rahman
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(17), 3402; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13173402
Received: 16 July 2021 / Revised: 10 August 2021 / Accepted: 21 August 2021 / Published: 27 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensing Image Processing)
Driven by erodible soil, hydrological stresses, land use/land cover (LULC) changes, and meteorological parameters, windblown dust events initiated from Lordsburg Playa, New Mexico, United States, threaten public safety and health through low visibility and exposure to dust emissions. Combining optical and radar satellite imagery products can provide invaluable benefits in characterizing surface properties of desert playas—a potent landform for wind erosion. The optical images provide a long-term data record, while radar images can observe land surface irrespective of clouds, darkness, and precipitation. As a home for optical and radar imagery, powerful algorithms, cloud computing infrastructure, and application programming interface applications, Google Earth Engine (GEE) is an invaluable resource facilitating acquisition, processing, and analysis. In this study, the fractional abundance of soil, vegetation, and water endmembers were determined from pixel mixtures using the linear spectral unmixing model in GEE for Lordsburg Playa. For this approach, Landsat 5 and 8 images at 30 m spatial resolution and Sentinel-2 images at 10–20 m spatial resolution were used. Employing the Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) techniques, the playa’s land surface changes and possible sinks for sediment loading from the surrounding catchment area were identified. In this data recipe, a pair of Sentinel-1 images bracketing a monsoon day with high rainfall and a pair of images representing spring (dry, windy) and monsoon seasons were used. The combination of optical and radar images significantly improved the effort to identify long-term changes in the playa and locations within the playa susceptible to hydrological stresses and LULC changes. The linear spectral unmixing algorithm addressed the limitation of Landsat and Sentinel-2 images related to their moderate spatial resolutions. The application of GEE facilitated the study by minimizing the time required for acquisition, processing, and analysis of images, and storage required for the big satellite data. View Full-Text
Keywords: spectral unmxing; optical imagery; SAR imagery; Google Earth Engine; hydrology; playa spectral unmxing; optical imagery; SAR imagery; Google Earth Engine; hydrology; playa
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MDPI and ACS Style

Eibedingil, I.G.; Gill, T.E.; Van Pelt, R.S.; Tong, D.Q. Combining Optical and Radar Satellite Imagery to Investigate the Surface Properties and Evolution of the Lordsburg Playa, New Mexico, USA. Remote Sens. 2021, 13, 3402. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13173402

AMA Style

Eibedingil IG, Gill TE, Van Pelt RS, Tong DQ. Combining Optical and Radar Satellite Imagery to Investigate the Surface Properties and Evolution of the Lordsburg Playa, New Mexico, USA. Remote Sensing. 2021; 13(17):3402. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13173402

Chicago/Turabian Style

Eibedingil, Iyasu G., Thomas E. Gill, R. S. Van Pelt, and Daniel Q. Tong 2021. "Combining Optical and Radar Satellite Imagery to Investigate the Surface Properties and Evolution of the Lordsburg Playa, New Mexico, USA" Remote Sensing 13, no. 17: 3402. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13173402

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