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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(2), 140;

L-Band Polarimetric Target Decomposition of Mangroves of the Rufiji Delta, Tanzania

Department of Physical Geography, Stockholm University, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden
Bolin Centre for Climate Change, Stockholm University, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden
Institute of Resource Assessment, University of Dar es Salaam, PO Box 35097, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 August 2015 / Revised: 15 January 2016 / Accepted: 1 February 2016 / Published: 9 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Mangroves: Observation and Monitoring)
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The mangroves of the Rufiji Delta are an important habitat and resource. The mangrove forest reserve is home to an indigenous population and has been under pressure from an influx of migrants from the landward side of the delta. Timely and effective forest management is needed to preserve the delta and mangrove forest. Here, we investigate the potential of polarimetric target decomposition for mangrove forest monitoring and analysis. Using three ALOS PALSAR images, we show that L-band polarimetry is capable of mapping mangrove dynamics and is sensitive to stand structure and the hydro-geomorphology of stands. Entropy-alpha-anisotropy and incoherent target decompositions provided valuable measures of scattering behavior related to forest structure. Little difference was found between Yamaguchi and Arii decompositions, despite the conceptual differences between these models. Using these models, we were able to differentiate the scattering behavior of the four main species found in the delta, though classification was impractical due to the lack of pure stands. Scattering differences related to season were attributed primarily to differences in ground moisture or inundation. This is the first time mangrove species have been identified by their scattering behavior in L-band polarimetric data. These results suggest higher resolution L-band quad-polarized imagery, such as from PALSAR-2, may be a powerful tool for mangrove species mapping. View Full-Text
Keywords: mangroves; synthetic aperture radar; polarimetry; ALOS PALSAR; deltas; Rufiji; L-band mangroves; synthetic aperture radar; polarimetry; ALOS PALSAR; deltas; Rufiji; L-band

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Brown, I.; Mwansasu, S.; Westerberg, L.-O. L-Band Polarimetric Target Decomposition of Mangroves of the Rufiji Delta, Tanzania. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 140.

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