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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(3), 3153-3183;

Toward Estimating Wetland Water Level Changes Based on Hydrological Sensitivity Analysis of PALSAR Backscattering Coefficients over Different Vegetation Fields

1,2,* and 3,4
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Houston, N107 Engineering Building 1, Houston, TX 77204, USA
National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping, University of Houston, 5000 Gulf Freeway Building 4 Room 216, Houston, TX 77204, USA
Office of Applied Sciences, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 8800 Greenbelt Road, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
Science Systems and Applications, Inc. (SSAI), 10210 Greenbelt Road, Lanham, MD 20706, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Guy J.-P. Schumann and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 13 January 2015 / Revised: 2 March 2015 / Accepted: 9 March 2015 / Published: 19 March 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing in Flood Monitoring and Management)
Full-Text   |   PDF [15772 KB, uploaded 24 March 2015]   |  


Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) has been successfully used to map wetland’s inundation extents and types of vegetation based on the fact that the SAR backscatter signal from the wetland is mainly controlled by the wetland vegetation type and water level changes. This study describes the relation between L-band PALSAR and seasonal water level changes obtained from Envisat altimetry over the island of Île Mbamou in the Congo Basin where two distinctly different vegetation types are found. We found positive correlations between and water level changes over the forested southern Île Mbamou whereas both positive and negative correlations were observed over the non-forested northern Île Mbamou depending on the amount of water level increase. Based on the analysis of sensitivity, we found that denser vegetation canopy leads to less sensitive variation with respect to the water level changes regardless of forested or non-forested canopy. Furthermore, we attempted to estimate water level changes which were then compared with the Envisat altimetry and InSAR results. Our results demonstrated a potential to generate two-dimensional maps of water level changes over the wetlands, and thus may have substantial synergy with the planned Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission. View Full-Text
Keywords: SAR; radar altimetry; water level changes; SWOT SAR; radar altimetry; water level changes; SWOT

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Yuan, T.; Lee, H.; Jung, H.C. Toward Estimating Wetland Water Level Changes Based on Hydrological Sensitivity Analysis of PALSAR Backscattering Coefficients over Different Vegetation Fields. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 3153-3183.

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