In recent years, sequential tests for detecting structural changes in time series have been adapted for deforestation monitoring using satellite data. The input time series of such sequential tests is typically a vegetation index (e.g., NDVI), which uses two or three bands and ignores all other bands. Being limited to a vegetation index will not benefit from the richer spectral information provided by newly launched satellites and will bring two bottle-necks for deforestation monitoring. Firstly, it is hard to select a suitable vegetation index a priori. Secondly, a single vegetation index is typically affected by seasonal signals, noise and other natural dynamics, which decrease its power for deforestation detection. A novel multispectral time series change monitoring method that combines dimension reduction methods with a sequential hypothesis test is proposed to address these limitations. For each location, the proposed method automatically chooses a “suitable” index for deforestation monitoring. To demonstrate our approach, we implemented it in two study areas: a dry tropical forest in Bolivia (time series length: 444) with strong seasonality and a moist tropical forest in Brazil (time series length: 225) with almost no seasonality. Our method significantly improves accuracy in the presence of strong seasonality, in particular the temporal lag between disturbance and its detection.
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