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Remote Sens. 2014, 6(5), 4621-4646;

Multi-Polarization ASAR Backscattering from Herbaceous Wetlands in Poyang Lake Region, China

Chinese Academy of Surveying and Mapping, 28 Lianhuachi West Road, Haidian District, Beijing100830, China
Institute of Space and Earth Information Science, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin N.T., Hong Kong
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 December 2013 / Revised: 25 April 2014 / Accepted: 28 April 2014 / Published: 22 May 2014
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Wetlands are one of the most important ecosystems on Earth. There is an urgent need to quantify the biophysical parameters (e.g., plant height, aboveground biomass) and map total remaining areas of wetlands in order to evaluate the ecological status of wetlands. In this study, Environmental Satellite/Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ENVISAT/ASAR) dual-polarization C-band data acquired in 2005 is tested to investigate radar backscattering mechanisms with the variation of hydrological conditions during the growing cycle of two types of herbaceous wetland species, which colonize lake borders with different elevation in Poyang Lake region, China. Phragmites communis (L.) Trin. is semi-aquatic emergent vegetation with vertical stem and blade-like leaves, and the emergent Carex spp. has rhizome and long leaves. In this study, the potential of ASAR data in HH-, HV-, and VV-polarization in mapping different wetland types is examined, by observing their dynamic variations throughout the whole flooding cycle. The sensitivity of ASAR backscattering coefficients to vegetation parameters of plant height, fresh and dry biomass, and vegetation water content is also analyzed for Phragmites communis (L.) Trin. and Carex spp. The research for Phragmites communis (L.) Trin. shows that HH polarization is more sensitive to plant height and dry biomass than HV polarization. ASAR backscattering coefficients are relatively less sensitive to fresh biomass, especially in HV polarization. However, both are highly dependent on canopy water content. In contrast, the dependence of HH- and HV- backscattering from Carex community on vegetation parameters is poor, and the radar backscattering mechanism is controlled by ground water level. View Full-Text
Keywords: SAR remote sensing; wetlands; ENVISAT-ASAR; biomass SAR remote sensing; wetlands; ENVISAT-ASAR; biomass
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Sang, H.; Zhang, J.; Lin, H.; Zhai, L. Multi-Polarization ASAR Backscattering from Herbaceous Wetlands in Poyang Lake Region, China. Remote Sens. 2014, 6, 4621-4646.

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