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Remote Sens., Volume 9, Issue 9 (September 2017)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Satellite data from the polar-orbiting Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2 sensors offer multi-spectral global [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Impacts of Urbanization on Vegetation Phenology over the Past Three Decades in Shanghai, China
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(9), 970; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9090970
Received: 23 July 2017 / Revised: 11 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 20 September 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (24659 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Vegetation phenology manifests the rhythm of annual plant life activities. It has been extensively studied in natural ecosystems. However, major knowledge gaps still exist in understanding the impacts of urbanization on vegetation phenology. This study addresses two questions to fill the knowledge gaps:
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Vegetation phenology manifests the rhythm of annual plant life activities. It has been extensively studied in natural ecosystems. However, major knowledge gaps still exist in understanding the impacts of urbanization on vegetation phenology. This study addresses two questions to fill the knowledge gaps: (1) How does vegetation phenology vary spatially and temporally along a rural-to-urban transect in Shanghai, China, over the past three decades? (2) How do landscape composition and configuration affect those variations of vegetation phenology? To answer these questions, 30 m × 30 m mean vegetation phenology metrics, including the start of growing season (SOS), end of growing season (EOS), and length of growing season (LOS), were derived for urban vegetation using dense stacks of enhanced vegetation index (EVI) time series from images collected by Landsat 5–8 satellites from 1984 to 2015. Landscape pattern metrics were calculated using high spatial resolution aerial photos. We then used Pearson correlation analysis to quantify the associations between phenology patterns and landscape metrics. We found that vegetation in urban centers experienced advances of SOS for 5–10 days and delays of EOS for 5–11 days compared with those located in the surrounding rural areas. Additionally, we observed strong positive correlations between landscape composition (percentage of landscape area) of developed land and LOS of urban vegetation. We also found that the landscape configuration of local land cover types, especially patch density and edge density, was significantly correlated with the spatial patterns of vegetation phenology. These results demonstrate that vegetation phenology in the urban area is significantly different from its rural surroundings. These findings have implications for urban environmental management, ranging from biodiversity protection to public health risk reduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Urban Ecology)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Calibration of the Water Cloud Model at C-Band for Winter Crop Fields and Grasslands
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(9), 969; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9090969
Received: 21 August 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 20 September 2017
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Abstract
In a perspective to develop an inversion approach for estimating surface soil moisture of crop fields from Sentinel-1/2 data (radar and optical sensors), the Water Cloud Model (WCM) was calibrated from C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI)
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In a perspective to develop an inversion approach for estimating surface soil moisture of crop fields from Sentinel-1/2 data (radar and optical sensors), the Water Cloud Model (WCM) was calibrated from C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) values collected over crops fields and grasslands. The soil contribution that depends on soil moisture and surface roughness (in addition to SAR instrumental parameters) was simulated using the physical backscattering model IEM (Integral Equation Model). The vegetation descriptor used in the WCM is the NDVI because it can be directly calculated from optical images. A large dataset consisting of radar backscattered signal in Vertical transmit and Vertical receive (VV) and Vertical transmit and Horizontal receive (VH) polarizations with wide range of incidence angle, soil moisture, surface roughness, and NDVI-values was used. It was collected over two agricultural study sites. Results show that the soil contribution to the total radar backscattered signal is lower in VH than in VV because VH is more sensitive to vegetation cover. Thus, the use of VH alone or in addition to VV for retrieving the soil moisture is not advantageous in presence of well-developed vegetation cover. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensing in Agriculture and Vegetation)
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Open AccessArticle Temporal Interpolation of Satellite-Derived Leaf Area Index Time Series by Introducing Spatial-Temporal Constraints for Heterogeneous Grasslands
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(9), 968; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9090968
Received: 2 August 2017 / Revised: 16 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 19 September 2017
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Abstract
Continuous satellite-derived leaf area index (LAI) time series are critical for modeling land surface process. In this study, we present an interpolation algorithm to predict the missing data in LAI time series for ecosystems with high within-ecosystem heterogeneity, particularly heterogeneous grasslands. The algorithm
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Continuous satellite-derived leaf area index (LAI) time series are critical for modeling land surface process. In this study, we present an interpolation algorithm to predict the missing data in LAI time series for ecosystems with high within-ecosystem heterogeneity, particularly heterogeneous grasslands. The algorithm is based on spatial-temporal constraints, i.e., the missing data in the LAI time series of a pixel are predicted by the phenological links with other pixels. To address the uncertainties in the construction and selection of reference curves in a heterogeneous landscape, the algorithm constructs a reference dataset for each missing data in the LAI time series from all pixels showing very strong linear phenological links with the target pixel within a region. We also use an iterative process to update the available spatial-temporal constraints. We tested the algorithm with an eight-day composite Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) LAI product in the Songnen grasslands, Northeast China in 2010 and 2011. The validation dataset was generated based on high quality time series by artificially adding data gaps. The algorithm achieved high overall interpolation accuracies with high coefficient of determination R2 (>0.9) and low root mean square error (RMSE) (<0.2) in both dry (2010) and wet (2011) years. The algorithm showed advantages in predicting missing data for different seasons and proportions of missing data versus the algorithm that uses regional average LAI curve as a reference. These results suggest that the proposed algorithm could more effectively characterize spatial-temporal constraint information in heterogeneous grasslands for temporal interpolation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Surface Phenology)
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Open AccessReview Developments in Landsat Land Cover Classification Methods: A Review
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(9), 967; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9090967
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 13 September 2017 / Published: 19 September 2017
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (1166 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Land cover classification of Landsat images is one of the most important applications developed from Earth observation satellites. The last four decades were marked by different developments in land cover classification methods of Landsat images. This paper reviews the developments in land cover
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Land cover classification of Landsat images is one of the most important applications developed from Earth observation satellites. The last four decades were marked by different developments in land cover classification methods of Landsat images. This paper reviews the developments in land cover classification methods for Landsat images from the 1970s to date and highlights key ways to optimize analysis of Landsat images in order to attain the desired results. This review suggests that the development of land cover classification methods grew alongside the launches of a new series of Landsat sensors and advancements in computer science. Most classification methods were initially developed in the 1970s and 1980s; however, many advancements in specific classifiers and algorithms have occurred in the last decade. The first methods of land cover classification to be applied to Landsat images were visual analyses in the early 1970s, followed by unsupervised and supervised pixel-based classification methods using maximum likelihood, K-means and Iterative Self-Organizing Data Analysis Technique (ISODAT) classifiers. After 1980, other methods such as sub-pixel, knowledge-based, contextual-based, object-based image analysis (OBIA) and hybrid approaches became common in land cover classification. Attaining the best classification results with Landsat images demands particular attention to the specifications of each classification method such as selecting the right training samples, choosing the appropriate segmentation scale for OBIA, pre-processing calibration, choosing the right classifier and using suitable Landsat images. All these classification methods applied on Landsat images have strengths and limitations. Most studies have reported the superior performance of OBIA on different landscapes such as agricultural areas, forests, urban settlements and wetlands; however, OBIA has challenges such as selecting the optimal segmentation scale, which can result in over or under segmentation, and the low spatial resolution of Landsat images. Other classification methods have the potential to produce accurate classification results when appropriate procedures are followed. More research is needed on the application of hybrid classifiers as they are considered more complex methods for land cover classification. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Satellite-Based Assessment of the Distribution and Biomass of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation in the Optically Shallow Basin of Lake Biwa
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(9), 966; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9090966
Received: 15 July 2017 / Revised: 4 September 2017 / Accepted: 12 September 2017 / Published: 18 September 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (17564 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Assessing the abundance of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV), particularly in shallow lakes, is essential for effective lake management activities. In the present study we applied satellite remote sensing (a Landsat-8 image) in order to evaluate the SAV coverage area and its biomass for
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Assessing the abundance of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV), particularly in shallow lakes, is essential for effective lake management activities. In the present study we applied satellite remote sensing (a Landsat-8 image) in order to evaluate the SAV coverage area and its biomass for the peak growth period, which is mainly in September or October (2013 to 2016), in the eutrophic and shallow south basin of Lake Biwa. We developed and validated a satellite-based water transparency retrieval algorithm based on the linear regression approach (R2 = 0.77) to determine the water clarity (2013–2016), which was later used for SAV classification and biomass estimation. For SAV classification, we used Spectral Mixture Analysis (SMA), a Spectral Angle Mapper (SAM), and a binary decision tree, giving an overall classification accuracy of 86.5% and SAV classification accuracy of 76.5% (SAV kappa coefficient 0.74), based on in situ measurements. For biomass estimation, a new Spectral Decomposition Algorithm was developed. The satellite-derived biomass (R2 = 0.79) for the SAV classified area gives an overall root-mean-square error (RMSE) of 0.26 kg Dry Weight (DW) m-2. The mapped SAV coverage area was 20% and 40% in 2013 and 2016, respectively. Estimated SAV biomass for the mapped area shows an increase in recent years, with values of 3390 t (tons, dry weight) in 2013 as compared to 4550 t in 2016. The maximum biomass density (4.89 kg DW m-2) was obtained for a year with high water transparency (September 2014). With the change in water clarity, a slow change in SAV growth was noted from 2013 to 2016. The study shows that water clarity is important for the SAV detection and biomass estimation using satellite remote sensing in shallow eutrophic lakes. The present study also demonstrates the successful application of the developed satellite-based approach for SAV biomass estimation in the shallow eutrophic lake, which can be tested in other lakes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensing in Agriculture and Vegetation)
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Open AccessArticle Optimal Weight Design Approach for the Geometrically-Constrained Matching of Satellite Stereo Images
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(9), 965; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9090965
Received: 13 June 2017 / Revised: 12 August 2017 / Accepted: 13 September 2017 / Published: 18 September 2017
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Abstract
This study presents an optimal weighting approach for combined image matching of high-resolution satellite stereo images (HRSI). When the rational polynomial coefficients (RPCs) for a pair of stereo images are available, some geometric constraints can be combined in image matching equations. Combining least
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This study presents an optimal weighting approach for combined image matching of high-resolution satellite stereo images (HRSI). When the rational polynomial coefficients (RPCs) for a pair of stereo images are available, some geometric constraints can be combined in image matching equations. Combining least squares image matching (LSM) equations with geometric constraints equations necessitates determining the appropriate weights for different types of observations. The common terms between the two sets of equations are the image coordinates of the corresponding points in the search image. Considering the fact that the RPCs of a stereo pair are produced in compliance with the coplanarity condition, geometric constraints are expected to play an important role in the image matching process. In this study, in order to control the impacts of the imposed constraint, optimal weights for observations were assigned through equalizing their average redundancy numbers. For a detailed assessment of the proposed approach, a pair of CARTOSAT-1 sub-images, along with their precise RPCs, were used. On top of obtaining different matching results, the dimension of the error ellipses of the intersection points in the object space were compared. It was shown through analysis that the geometric mean of the semi-minor and semi-major axis by our method was reduced 0.17 times relative to the unit weighting approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensing Image Processing)
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Open AccessArticle A Method for Retrieving Vertical Air Velocities in Convective Clouds over the Tibetan Plateau from TIPEX-III Cloud Radar Doppler Spectra
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(9), 964; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9090964
Received: 20 July 2017 / Revised: 11 September 2017 / Accepted: 13 September 2017 / Published: 17 September 2017
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Abstract
In the summertime, convective cells occur frequently over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) because of the large dynamic and thermal effects of the landmass. Measurements of vertical air velocity in convective cloud are useful for advancing our understanding of the dynamic and microphysical mechanisms
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In the summertime, convective cells occur frequently over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) because of the large dynamic and thermal effects of the landmass. Measurements of vertical air velocity in convective cloud are useful for advancing our understanding of the dynamic and microphysical mechanisms of clouds and can be used to improve the parameterization of current numerical models. This paper presents a technique for retrieving high-resolution vertical air velocities in convective clouds over the TP through the use of Doppler spectra from vertically pointing Ka-band cloud radar. The method was based on the development of a “small-particle-traced” idea and its associated data processing, and it used three modes of radar. Spectral broadening corrections, uncertainty estimations, and results merging were used to ensure accurate results. Qualitative analysis of two typical convective cases showed that the retrievals were reliable and agreed with the expected results inferred from other radar measurements. A quantitative retrieval of vertical air motion from a ground-based optical disdrometer was used to compare with the radar-derived result. This comparison illustrated that, while the data trends from the two methods of retrieval were in agreement while identifying the updrafts and downdrafts, the cloud radar had a much higher resolution and was able to reveal the small-scale variations in vertical air motion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Atmosphere Remote Sensing)
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Open AccessArticle Effects of 4D-Var Data Assimilation Using Remote Sensing Precipitation Products in a WRF Model over the Complex Terrain of an Arid Region River Basin
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(9), 963; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9090963
Received: 23 June 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 14 September 2017 / Published: 17 September 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (4249 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Individually, ground-based, in situ observations, remote sensing, and regional climate modeling cannot provide the high-quality precipitation data required for hydrological prediction, especially over complex terrains. Data assimilation techniques can be used to bridge the gap between observations and models by assimilating ground observations
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Individually, ground-based, in situ observations, remote sensing, and regional climate modeling cannot provide the high-quality precipitation data required for hydrological prediction, especially over complex terrains. Data assimilation techniques can be used to bridge the gap between observations and models by assimilating ground observations and remote sensing products into models to improve precipitation simulation and forecasting. However, only a small portion of satellite-retrieved precipitation products assimilation research has been implemented over complex terrains in an arid region. Here, we used the weather research and forecasting (WRF) model to assimilate two satellite precipitation products (The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission: TRMM 3B42 and Fengyun-2D: FY-2D) using the 4D-Var data assimilation method for a typical inland river basin in northwest China’s arid region, the Heihe River Basin, where terrains are very complex. The results show that the assimilation of remote sensing precipitation products can improve the initial WRF fields of humidity and temperature, thereby improving precipitation forecasting and decreasing the spin-up time. Hence, assimilating TRMM and FY-2D remote sensing precipitation products using WRF 4D-Var can be viewed as a positive step toward improving the accuracy and lead time of numerical weather prediction models, particularly over regions with complex terrains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Atmosphere Remote Sensing)
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Open AccessArticle A Simplified Method for UAV Multispectral Images Mosaicking
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(9), 962; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9090962
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 11 September 2017 / Accepted: 13 September 2017 / Published: 17 September 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (18554 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This paper presents a method for mosaicking unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) multispectral images. The main purpose of the proposed method is to reduce spatial distortion in the mosaicking process and increase robustness and the speed of the operation. Most UAV multispectral images have
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This paper presents a method for mosaicking unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) multispectral images. The main purpose of the proposed method is to reduce spatial distortion in the mosaicking process and increase robustness and the speed of the operation. Most UAV multispectral images have multiple bands, and in every band, ground targets have a variety of reflection characteristics that will result in diverse feature quality for feature matching. In this research, an information entropy-based evaluation method is used to select the optimal band for feature matching among the UAV images. To produce more robust matching results for the following alignment step, the evaluation method takes the contrast and spatial distribution of the feature points into consideration at the same time. In most common image mosaicking processes, the digital orthophoto map (DOM) is generated to achieve maximum spatial accuracy. During this process, the original image data will experience considerable irregular resampling, and the process is also unstable in some circumstances. The alignment step uses a simplified projection model that treats the ground as planar is provided, by which the alignment parameters are applied directly to the images instead of generating 3D points, to avoid irregular resampling and unstable 3D reconstruction. The proposed method is proved to be more efficient and accurate and has lower spectral distortion than state-of-the-art mosaicking software. Full article
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Open AccessArticle High Resolution Multispectral and Thermal Remote Sensing-Based Water Stress Assessment in Subsurface Irrigated Grapevines
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(9), 961; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9090961
Received: 8 June 2017 / Revised: 17 August 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 16 September 2017
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (4946 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Precision irrigation management is based on the accuracy and feasibility of sensor data assessing the plant water status. Multispectral and thermal infrared images acquired from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) were analyzed to evaluate the applicability of the data in the assessment of
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Precision irrigation management is based on the accuracy and feasibility of sensor data assessing the plant water status. Multispectral and thermal infrared images acquired from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) were analyzed to evaluate the applicability of the data in the assessment of variants of subsurface irrigation configurations. The study was carried out in a Cabernet Sauvignon orchard located near Benton City, Washington. Plants were subsurface irrigated at a 30, 60, and 90 cm depth, with 15%, 30%, and 60% irrigation of the standard irrigation level as determined by the grower in commercial production management. Half of the plots were irrigated using pulse irrigation and the other half using continuous irrigation techniques. The treatments were compared to the control plots that received standard surface irrigation at a continuous rate. The results showed differences in fruit yield when the control was compared to deficit irrigated treatments (15%, 30%, 60% of standard irrigation), while no differences were found for comparisons of the techniques (pulse, continuous) or depths of irrigation (30, 60, 90 cm). Leaf stomatal conductance of control and 60% irrigation treatments were statistically different compared to treatments receiving 30% and 15% irrigation. The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), green normalized difference vegetation index (GNDVI), and canopy temperature were correlated to fruit yield and leaf stomatal conductance. Significant correlations (p < 0.01) were observed between NDVI, GNDVI, and canopy temperature with fruit yield (Pearson’s correlation coefficient, r = 0.68, 0.73, and −0.83, respectively), and with leaf stomatal conductance (r = 0.56, 0.65, and −0.63, respectively) at 44 days before harvest. This study demonstrates the potential of using low-altitude multispectral and thermal imagery data in the assessment of irrigation techniques and relative degree of plant water stress. In addition, results provide a feasibility analysis of our hypothesis that thermal infrared images can be used as a rapid tool to estimate leaf stomatal conductance, indicative of the spatial variation in the vineyard. This is critically important, as such data will provide a near real-time crop stress assessment for better irrigation management/scheduling in wine grape production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensing in Agriculture and Vegetation)
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Open AccessArticle An Enhanced IT2FCM* Algorithm Integrating Spectral Indices and Spatial Information for Multi-Spectral Remote Sensing Image Clustering
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(9), 960; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9090960
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 5 September 2017 / Accepted: 13 September 2017 / Published: 15 September 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5288 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Interval type-2 fuzzy c-means (IT2FCM) clustering methods for remote-sensing data classification are based on interval type-2 fuzzy sets and can effectively handle uncertainty of membership grade. However, most of these methods neglect the spatial information when they are used in image clustering. The
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Interval type-2 fuzzy c-means (IT2FCM) clustering methods for remote-sensing data classification are based on interval type-2 fuzzy sets and can effectively handle uncertainty of membership grade. However, most of these methods neglect the spatial information when they are used in image clustering. The spatial information and spectral indices are useful in remote-sensing data classification. Thus, determining how to integrate them into IT2FCM to improve the quality and accuracy of the classification is very important. This paper proposes an enhanced IT2FCM* (EnIT2FCM*) algorithm by combining spatial information and spectral indices for remote-sensing data classification. First, the new comprehensive spatial information is defined as the combination of the local spatial distance and attribute distance or membership-grade distance. Then, a novel distance metric is proposed by combining this new spatial information and the selected spectral indices; these selected spectral indices are treated as another dataset in this distance metric. To test the effectiveness of the EnIT2FCM* algorithm, four typical validity indices along with the confusion matrix and kappa coefficient are used. The experimental results show that the spatial information definition proposed here is effective, and some spectral indices and their combinations improve the performance of the EnIT2FCM*. Thus, the selection of suitable spectral indices is crucial, and the combination of soil adjusted vegetation index (SAVI) and the Automated Water Extraction Index (AWEIsh) is the best choice of spectral indices for this method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensing Image Processing)
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Open AccessArticle Estimating High Resolution Daily Air Temperature Based on Remote Sensing Products and Climate Reanalysis Datasets over Glacierized Basins: A Case Study in the Langtang Valley, Nepal
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(9), 959; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9090959
Received: 28 July 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 13 September 2017 / Published: 15 September 2017
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Abstract
Near surface air temperature (Ta) is one of the key input parameters in land surface models and hydrological models as it affects most biogeophysical and biogeochemical processes of the earth surface system. For distributed hydrological modeling over glacierized basins, obtaining high resolution Ta
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Near surface air temperature (Ta) is one of the key input parameters in land surface models and hydrological models as it affects most biogeophysical and biogeochemical processes of the earth surface system. For distributed hydrological modeling over glacierized basins, obtaining high resolution Ta forcing is one of the major challenges. In this study, we proposed a new high resolution daily Ta estimation scheme under both clear and cloudy sky conditions through integrating the moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) land surface temperature (LST) and China Meteorological Administration (CMA) land data assimilation system (CLDAS) reanalyzed daily Ta. Spatio-temporal continuous MODIS LST was reconstructed through the data interpolating empirical orthogonal functions (DINEOF) method. Multi-variable regression models were developed at CLDAS scale and then used to estimate Ta at MODIS scale. The new Ta estimation scheme was tested over the Langtang Valley, Nepal as a demonstrating case study. Observations from two automatic weather stations at Kyanging and Yala located in the Langtang Valley from 2012 to 2014 were used to validate the accuracy of Ta estimation. The RMSEs are 2.05, 1.88, and 3.63 K, and the biases are 0.42, −0.68 and −2.86 K for daily maximum, mean and minimum Ta, respectively, at the Kyanging station. At the Yala station, the RMSE values are 4.53, 2.68 and 2.36 K, and biases are 4.03, 1.96 and −0.35 K for the estimated daily maximum, mean and minimum Ta, respectively. Moreover, the proposed scheme can produce reasonable spatial distribution pattern of Ta at the Langtang Valley. Our results show the proposed Ta estimation scheme is promising for integration with distributed hydrological model for glacier melting simulation over glacierized basins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Land-Atmosphere Interactions)
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Open AccessArticle A Multi-Constraint Combined Method for Ground Surface Point Filtering from Mobile LiDAR Point Clouds
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(9), 958; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9090958
Received: 12 August 2017 / Revised: 3 September 2017 / Accepted: 13 September 2017 / Published: 15 September 2017
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Abstract
Point cloud filtering is an essential preprocessing step in 3D (three-dimensional) LiDAR (light detection and ranging) point cloud processing. The filtering of mobile LiDAR scanning point clouds is much more challenging due to their non-uniform distribution, the large-scale of missing data areas and
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Point cloud filtering is an essential preprocessing step in 3D (three-dimensional) LiDAR (light detection and ranging) point cloud processing. The filtering of mobile LiDAR scanning point clouds is much more challenging due to their non-uniform distribution, the large-scale of missing data areas and the existence of both large size objects and small land features. This paper proposes a new filtering method that combines range constraint, slope constraint and angular position constraint to filter ground surface points from mobile LiDAR point clouds. Firstly, a cylindrical coordinate system (CCS) is established for each block of mobile LiDAR point clouds and three attributes of mobile LiDAR points, i.e., the angular position attribute (AA), longitudinal distance attribute (LA) and range attribute (RA), are computed. Then, the mobile LiDAR point clouds are structured into a grid according to the AA and LA. Finally, the point clouds are filtered by a single cross-section filter (SCSF) using range constraint and slope constraint, followed by a multiple cross-section filter (MCSF) using range constraint and angular position constraint. Five datasets are used to validate the proposed method. The experimental results show that the proposed new filtering method achieves an average type I error, type II error, and total error of 1.426%, 1.885%, and 1.622%, respectively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Use of Miniature Thermal Cameras for Detection of Physiological Stress in Conifers
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(9), 957; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9090957
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 5 September 2017 / Accepted: 11 September 2017 / Published: 15 September 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (6249 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tree growth and survival predominantly depends on edaphic and climatic conditions, thus climate change will inevitably influence forest health and growth. It will affect forests directly, for example, through extended periods of drought, and indirectly, such as by affecting the distribution and abundance
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Tree growth and survival predominantly depends on edaphic and climatic conditions, thus climate change will inevitably influence forest health and growth. It will affect forests directly, for example, through extended periods of drought, and indirectly, such as by affecting the distribution and abundance of forest pathogens and pests. Developing ways of early detection and monitoring of tree stress is crucial for effective protection of forest stands. Thermography is one of the techniques that can be used for monitoring changes in the physiological state of plants; however, in forestry, it has not been widely tested or utilized. The main challenge rises from the need for high spatial resolution data. Newly emerging technologies, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) could aid in provision of the required data. However, their main constraint is the limited payload, requiring the use of miniature sensors. This paper investigates whether a miniature microbolometer thermal camera, designed for a UAV platform, can provide reliable canopy temperature measurements of conifers. Furthermore, it explores whether there is a distinction in whole canopy temperature between the control and the stressed trees, assessing the potential of low-cost thermography for investigating stress in conifers. Two experiments on young larch trees, with induced drought stress, were performed. The plants were imaged in a greenhouse setting, and readings from a set of thermocouples attached to the canopy were used as a method of validation. Following calibration and a basic normalization for background radiation, both the spatial and temporal variation of canopy temperature was well characterized. Very mild stress did not exhibit itself, as the temperature readings for both stressed and control plants were similar. However, with a higher stress level, there was a clear distinction (temperature difference of 1.5 °C) between the plants, showing potential for using low-cost sensors to investigate tree stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Remote Sensing)
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Open AccessArticle An Iterative Black Top Hat Transform Algorithm for the Volume Estimation of Lunar Impact Craters
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(9), 952; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9090952
Received: 28 July 2017 / Revised: 8 September 2017 / Accepted: 11 September 2017 / Published: 15 September 2017
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Abstract
Volume estimation is a fundamental problem in the morphometric study of impact craters. The Top Hat Transform function (TH), a gray-level image processing technique has already been applied to gray-level Digital Elevation Model (DEM) to extract peaks and pits in a nonuniform background.
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Volume estimation is a fundamental problem in the morphometric study of impact craters. The Top Hat Transform function (TH), a gray-level image processing technique has already been applied to gray-level Digital Elevation Model (DEM) to extract peaks and pits in a nonuniform background. In this study, an updated Black Top Hat Transform function (BTH) was applied to quantify the volume of lunar impact craters on the Moon. We proposed an iterative BTH (IBTH) where the window size and slope factor were linearly increased to extract craters of different sizes, along with a novel application of automatically adjusted threshold to remove noise. Volume was calculated as the sum of the crater depth multiplied by the cell area. When tested against the simulated dataset, IBTH achieved an overall relative accuracy of 95%, in comparison with only 65% for BTH. When applied to the Chang’E DEM and LOLA DEM, IBTH not only minimized the relative error of the total volume estimates, but also revealed the detailed spatial distribution of the crater depth. Therefore, the highly automated IBTH algorithm with few input parameters is ideally suited for estimating the volume of craters on the Moon on a global scale, which is important for understanding the early processes of impact erosion. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Remote-Sensing-Based Landslide Inventories for Hazard Assessment in Southern Kyrgyzstan
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(9), 943; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9090943
Received: 10 June 2017 / Revised: 6 September 2017 / Accepted: 8 September 2017 / Published: 15 September 2017
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Abstract
Large areas in southern Kyrgyzstan are subjected to high and ongoing landslide activity; however, an objective and systematic assessment of landslide susceptibility at a regional level has not yet been conducted. In this paper, we investigate the contribution that remote sensing can provide
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Large areas in southern Kyrgyzstan are subjected to high and ongoing landslide activity; however, an objective and systematic assessment of landslide susceptibility at a regional level has not yet been conducted. In this paper, we investigate the contribution that remote sensing can provide to facilitate a quantitative landslide hazard assessment at a regional scale under the condition of data scarcity. We performed a landslide susceptibility and hazard assessment based on a multi-temporal landslide inventory that was derived from a 30-year time series of satellite remote sensing data using an automated identification approach. To evaluate the effect of the resulting inventory on the landslide susceptibility assessment, we calculated an alternative susceptibility model using a historical inventory that was derived by an expert through combining visual interpretation of remote sensing data with already existing knowledge on landslide activity in this region. For both susceptibility models, the same predisposing factors were used: geology, stream power index, absolute height, aspect and slope. A comparison of the two models revealed that using the multi-temporal landslide inventory covering the 30-year period results in model coefficients and susceptibility values that more strongly reflect the properties of the most recent landslide activity. Overall, both susceptibility maps present the highest susceptibility values for similar regions and are characterized by acceptable to high predictive performances. We conclude that the results of the automated landslide detection provide a suitable landslide inventory for a reliable large-area landslide susceptibility assessment. We also used the temporal information of the automatically detected multi-temporal landslide inventory to assess the temporal component of landslide hazard in the form of exceedance probability. The results show the great potential of satellite remote sensing for deriving detailed and systematic spatio-temporal information on landslide occurrences, which can significantly improve landslide susceptibility and hazard assessment at a regional scale, particularly in data-scarce regions such as Kyrgyzstan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Landslides)
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Open AccessArticle Field Validation of Remote Sensing Methane Emission Measurements
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(9), 956; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9090956
Received: 11 August 2017 / Revised: 8 September 2017 / Accepted: 11 September 2017 / Published: 14 September 2017
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Abstract
Area sources are a key contributor to overall greenhouse gas emissions but present a particular challenge to emission measurement techniques due to the heterogeneous nature of the sources. A new Controlled Release Facility (CRF) has been developed that is able to recreate in
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Area sources are a key contributor to overall greenhouse gas emissions but present a particular challenge to emission measurement techniques due to the heterogeneous nature of the sources. A new Controlled Release Facility (CRF) has been developed that is able to recreate in the field both the distribution and rate of emissions seen in actual industrial applications. The results of a series of field validation experiments involving this facility and an infrared differential absorption Lidar (DIAL) facility are presented, which have demonstrated the capability of the CRF to generate controlled methane emissions from 1.8 kg/h to 11 kg/h with a typical expanded (k = 2) uncertainty of ~0.3 kg/h, and established that any underlying systematic uncertainty in the DIAL measurements across this range of methane emissions is less than 4% (or 0.2 kg/h). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Greenhouse Gases)
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Open AccessArticle The Performance of Airborne C-Band PolInSAR Data on Forest Growth Stage Types Classification
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(9), 955; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9090955
Received: 20 June 2017 / Revised: 27 August 2017 / Accepted: 27 August 2017 / Published: 14 September 2017
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Abstract
In this paper, we propose a classification scheme for forest growth stage types and other cover types using a support vector machine (SVM) based on the Polarimetric SAR Interferometric (PolInSAR) data acquired by Chinese Multidimensional Space Joint-observation SAR (MSJosSAR) system. Firstly, polarimetric, texture,
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In this paper, we propose a classification scheme for forest growth stage types and other cover types using a support vector machine (SVM) based on the Polarimetric SAR Interferometric (PolInSAR) data acquired by Chinese Multidimensional Space Joint-observation SAR (MSJosSAR) system. Firstly, polarimetric, texture, and coherence features were calculated from the PolInSAR data. Secondly, the capabilities of the polarimetric, texture, and coherence features in land use/cover classification were quantified independently through histograms. Following this, the polarimetric features were used for the classification of land use/cover types, followed by a combination of texture and coherence features. Finally, the three classification results were validated against test samples using the confusion matrix. It was shown that, with the integration of texture and coherence features, the producer’s accuracy for afforested land, young forest land, medium forest land, and near-mature forest land improved by 6%, 31%, 11%, and 6%, respectively, compared with the former experiment using solely polarimetric features. Our study indicates that the forest and non-forest lands can be discriminated by the polarimetric features, which also play an important role in the separation between afforested land and other forest types as well as medium forest land and near-mature forest land. The texture features further discriminate afforested land and other forest types, while the coherence features obviously improved the separation of young forest land and medium forest land. This paper provides an effective way of identifying various land use/cover types, especially for distinguishing forest growth stages with SAR data. It would be of great interest in regions with frequent cloud coverage and limited optical data for the monitoring of land use/cover types. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Remote Sensing)
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Open AccessArticle Active Nonlinear Acoustic Sensing of an Object with Sum or Difference Frequency Fields
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(9), 954; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9090954
Received: 26 July 2017 / Revised: 30 August 2017 / Accepted: 6 September 2017 / Published: 14 September 2017
PDF Full-text (2980 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A number of nonlinear acoustic sensing methods exist or are being developed for diverse areas ranging from oceanic sensing of ecosystems, gas bubbles, and submerged objects to medical sensing of the human body. Our approach is to use primary frequency incident waves to
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A number of nonlinear acoustic sensing methods exist or are being developed for diverse areas ranging from oceanic sensing of ecosystems, gas bubbles, and submerged objects to medical sensing of the human body. Our approach is to use primary frequency incident waves to generate second order nonlinear sum or difference frequency fields that carry information about an object to be sensed. Here we show that in general nonlinear sensing of an object, many complicated and potentially unexpected mechanisms can lead to sum or difference frequency fields. Some may contain desired information about the object, others may not, even when the intention is simply to probe an object by linear scattering of sum and difference frequency incident waves generated by a parametric array. Practical examples illustrating this in ocean, medical, air and solid earth sensing are given. To demonstrate this, a general and complete second-order theory of nonlinear acoustics in the presence of an object is derived and shown to be consistent with experimental measurements. The total second-order field occurs at sum or difference frequencies of the primary fields and naturally breaks into (A) nonlinear waves generated by wave-wave interactions, and (B) second order waves from scattering of incident wave-wave fields, boundary advection, and wave-force-induced centroidal motion. Wave-wave interactions are analytically shown to always dominate the total second-order field at sufficiently large range and carry only primary frequency response information about the object. As range decreases, the dominant mechanism is shown to vary with object size, object composition, and frequencies making it possible for sum or difference frequency response information about the object to be measured from second-order fields in many practical scenarios. It is also shown by analytic proof that there is no scattering of sound by sound outside the region of compact support intersection of finite-duration plane waves at sum or difference frequencies, to second-order. Analytic expressions for second-order fields due to combinations of planar and far-field wave-wave interactions are also derived as are conditions for when wave-wave interactions will dominate the second order field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Undersea Remote Sensing)
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Open AccessArticle Differential Absorption Lidar (DIAL) Measurements of Landfill Methane Emissions
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(9), 953; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9090953
Received: 10 August 2017 / Revised: 31 August 2017 / Accepted: 11 September 2017 / Published: 14 September 2017
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Abstract
Methane is one of the most important gaseous hydrocarbon species for both industrial and environmental reasons. Understanding and quantifying methane emissions to atmosphere is therefore an important element of climate change research. Range-resolved infrared differential absorption Lidar (DIAL) measurements provide the means to
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Methane is one of the most important gaseous hydrocarbon species for both industrial and environmental reasons. Understanding and quantifying methane emissions to atmosphere is therefore an important element of climate change research. Range-resolved infrared differential absorption Lidar (DIAL) measurements provide the means to map and quantify a wide range of different methane sources. This paper describes the DIAL measurement technique and reports the application of an infrared DIAL system to field measurements of methane emissions from active and closed landfill sites. This paper shows how the capability of the DIAL to measure the spatial distribution of methane plumes enables DIAL vertical scans to spatially separate and independently quantify emissions from different sources. It also allows DIAL horizontal scans carried out above the surface to identify emission hot-spots. An overview of the landfill emission surveys carried out over the last decade by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) DIAL system is presented. These surveys were part of research projects and commercial works aimed to validate the method and to provide reliable information on the methane emissions measuring the total site and area-specific emissions from active areas, capped areas, and gas engine stacks. This work showed that methane emissions are significantly higher for active sites than closed sites due to the methane emitted directly to air from the uncapped active areas. On active sites, the operational tipping areas generally have higher emission levels than the capped areas, although there is considerably variation in the emission from different capped areas. The information obtained with DIAL measurements allow site operators to identify significant fugitive emission sources and validate emissions estimates, and they allow the regulators to revise and update the emission inventories. Operators’ remediation actions driven by DIAL measurements have also been shown to considerably decreased total site methane emission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Greenhouse Gases)
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Open AccessArticle Estimating Rice Leaf Nitrogen Concentration: Influence of Regression Algorithms Based on Passive and Active Leaf Reflectance
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(9), 951; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9090951
Received: 13 July 2017 / Revised: 6 September 2017 / Accepted: 12 September 2017 / Published: 13 September 2017
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Abstract
Nitrogen (N) is important for the growth of crops. Estimating leaf nitrogen concentration (LNC) accurately and nondestructively is important for precision agriculture, reduces environmental pollution, and helps model global carbon and N cycles. Leaf reflectance, especially in the visible and near-infrared regions, has
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Nitrogen (N) is important for the growth of crops. Estimating leaf nitrogen concentration (LNC) accurately and nondestructively is important for precision agriculture, reduces environmental pollution, and helps model global carbon and N cycles. Leaf reflectance, especially in the visible and near-infrared regions, has been identified as a useful indicator of LNC. Except reflectance passively acquired by spectrometers, the newly developed multispectral LiDAR and hyperspectral LiDAR provide possibilities for measuring leaf spectra actively. The regression relationship between leaf reflectance spectra and rice (Oryza sativa) LNC relies greatly on the algorithm adopted. It would be preferable to find one algorithm that performs well with respect to passive and active leaf spectra. Thus, this study assesses the influence of six popular linear and nonlinear methods on rice LNC retrieval, namely, partial least-square regression, least squares boosting, bagging, random forest, back-propagation neural network (BPNN), and support vector regression of different types/kernels/parameter values. The R2, root mean square error and relative error in rice LNC estimation using these different methods were compared through the passive and active spectral measurements of rice leaves of different varieties at different locations and time (Yongyou 4949, Suizhou, 2014, Yangliangyou 6, Wuhan, 2015). Results demonstrate that BPNN provided generally satisfactory performance in estimating rice LNC using the three kinds of passive and active reflectance spectra. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Earth Observations for Precision Farming in China (EO4PFiC))
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Open AccessArticle Estimating Ground Level NO2 Concentrations over Central-Eastern China Using a Satellite-Based Geographically and Temporally Weighted Regression Model
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(9), 950; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9090950
Received: 3 July 2017 / Revised: 16 August 2017 / Accepted: 9 September 2017 / Published: 13 September 2017
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Abstract
People in central-eastern China are suffering from severe air pollution of nitrogen oxides. Top-down approaches have been widely applied to estimate the ground concentrations of NO2 based on satellite data. In this paper, a one-year dataset of tropospheric NO2 columns from
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People in central-eastern China are suffering from severe air pollution of nitrogen oxides. Top-down approaches have been widely applied to estimate the ground concentrations of NO2 based on satellite data. In this paper, a one-year dataset of tropospheric NO2 columns from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) together with ambient monitoring station measurements and meteorological data from May 2013 to April 2014, are used to estimate the ground level NO2. The mean values of OMI tropospheric NO2 columns show significant geographical and seasonal variation when the ambient monitoring stations record a certain range. Hence, a geographically and temporally weighted regression (GTWR) model is introduced to treat the spatio-temporal non-stationarities between tropospheric-columnar and ground level NO2. Cross-validations demonstrate that the GTWR model outperforms the ordinary least squares (OLS), the geographically weighted regression (GWR), and the temporally weighted regression (TWR), produces the highest R2 (0.60) and the lowest values of root mean square error mean (RMSE), absolute difference (MAD), and mean absolute percentage error (MAPE). Our method is better than or comparable to the chemistry transport model method. The satellite-estimated spatial distribution of ground NO2 shows a reasonable spatial pattern, with high annual mean values (>40 μg/m3), mainly over southern Hebei, northern Henan, central Shandong, and southern Shaanxi. The values of population-weight NO2 distinguish densely populated areas with high levels of human exposure from others. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Atmospheric Pollution) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessTechnical Note Spatial Disaggregation of Latent Heat Flux Using Contextual Models over India
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(9), 949; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9090949
Received: 20 July 2017 / Revised: 7 September 2017 / Accepted: 11 September 2017 / Published: 13 September 2017
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Abstract
Estimation of latent heat flux at the agricultural field scale is required for proper water management. The current generation thermal sensors except Landsat-8 provide data on the order of 1000 m. The aim of this study is to test three approaches based on
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Estimation of latent heat flux at the agricultural field scale is required for proper water management. The current generation thermal sensors except Landsat-8 provide data on the order of 1000 m. The aim of this study is to test three approaches based on contextual models using only remote sensing datasets for the disaggregation of latent heat flux over India. The first two approaches are, respectively, based on the estimation of the evaporative fraction (EF) and solar radiation ratio at coarser resolution and disaggregating them to yield the latent heat flux at a finer resolution. The third approach is based on disaggregation of the thermal data and estimating a finer resolution latent heat flux. The three approaches were tested using MODIS datasets and the validation was done using the Bowen Ratio energy balance observations at five sites across India. From the validation, it was observed that the first two approaches performed similarly and better than the third approach at all five sites. The third approach, based on the disaggregation of the thermal data, yielded larger errors. In addition to better performance, the second approach based on the disaggregation of solar radiation ratio was simpler and required lesser data processing than the other approaches. In addition, the first two approaches captured the spatial pattern of latent heat flux without introducing any artefacts in the final output. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Inter-System Differencing between GPS and BDS for Medium-Baseline RTK Positioning
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(9), 948; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9090948
Received: 15 August 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 11 September 2017 / Published: 13 September 2017
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Abstract
An inter-system differencing model between two Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) enables only one reference satellite for all observations. If the associated differential inter-system biases (DISBs) are priori known, double-differenced (DD) ambiguities between overlapping frequencies from different GNSS constellations can also be fixed
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An inter-system differencing model between two Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) enables only one reference satellite for all observations. If the associated differential inter-system biases (DISBs) are priori known, double-differenced (DD) ambiguities between overlapping frequencies from different GNSS constellations can also be fixed to integers. This can provide more redundancies for the observation model, and thus will be beneficial to ambiguity resolution (AR) and real-time kinematic (RTK) positioning. However, for Global Positioning System (GPS) and the regional BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS-2), there are no overlapping frequencies. Tight combination of GPS and BDS needs to process not only the DISBs but also the single-difference ambiguity of the reference satellite, which is caused by the influence of different frequencies. In this paper, we propose a tightly combined dual-frequency GPS and BDS RTK positioning model for medium baselines with real-time estimation of DISBs. The stability of the pseudorange and phase DISBs is analyzed firstly using several baselines with the same or different receiver types. The dual-frequency ionosphere-free model with parameterization of GPS-BDS DISBs is proposed, where the single-difference ambiguity is estimated jointly with the phase DISB parameter from epoch to epoch. The performance of combined GPS and BDS RTK positioning for medium baselines is evaluated with simulated obstructed environments. Experimental results show that with the inter-system differencing model, the accuracy and reliability of RTK positioning can be effectively improved, especially for the obstructed environments with a small number of satellites available. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Circum-Arctic Changes in the Flow of Glaciers and Ice Caps from Satellite SAR Data between the 1990s and 2017
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(9), 947; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9090947
Received: 3 August 2017 / Revised: 28 August 2017 / Accepted: 8 September 2017 / Published: 12 September 2017
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Abstract
We computed circum-Arctic surface velocity maps of glaciers and ice caps over the Canadian Arctic, Svalbard and the Russian Arctic for at least two times between the 1990s and 2017 using satellite SAR data. Our analyses are mainly performed with offset-tracking of ALOS-1
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We computed circum-Arctic surface velocity maps of glaciers and ice caps over the Canadian Arctic, Svalbard and the Russian Arctic for at least two times between the 1990s and 2017 using satellite SAR data. Our analyses are mainly performed with offset-tracking of ALOS-1 PALSAR-1 (2007–2011) and Sentinel-1 (2015–2017) data. In certain cases JERS-1 SAR (1994–1998), TerraSAR-X (2008–2012), Radarsat-2 (2009–2016) and ALOS-2 PALSAR-2 (2015–2016) data were used to fill-in spatial or temporal gaps. Validation of the latest Sentinel-1 results was accomplished by means of SAR data at higher spatial resolution (Radarsat-2 Wide Ultra Fine) and ground-based measurements. In general, we observe a deceleration of flow velocities for the major tidewater glaciers in the Canadian Arctic and an increase in frontal velocity along with a retreat of frontal positions over Svalbard and the Russian Arctic. However, all regions have strong accelerations for selected glaciers. The latter developments can be well traced based on the very high temporal sampling of Sentinel-1 acquisitions since 2015, revealing new insights in glacier dynamics. For example, surges on Spitsbergen (e.g., Negribreen, Nathorsbreen, Penckbreen and Strongbreen) have a different characteristic and timing than those over Eastern Austfonna and Edgeoya (e.g., Basin 3, Basin 2 and Stonebreen). Events similar to those ongoing on Eastern Austofonna were also observed over the Vavilov Ice Cap on Severnaya Zemlya and possibly Simony Glacier on Franz-Josef Land. Collectively, there seems to be a recently increasing number of glaciers with frontal destabilization over Eastern Svalbard and the Russian Arctic compared to the 1990s. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Glaciers)
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Open AccessArticle Automatic Detection and Parameter Estimation of Trees for Forest Inventory Applications Using 3D Terrestrial LiDAR
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(9), 946; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9090946
Received: 17 July 2017 / Revised: 5 September 2017 / Accepted: 8 September 2017 / Published: 12 September 2017
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Abstract
Forest inventory plays an important role in the management and planning of forests. In this study, we present a method for automatic detection and estimation of trees, especially in forest environments using 3D terrestrial LiDAR data. The proposed method does not rely on
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Forest inventory plays an important role in the management and planning of forests. In this study, we present a method for automatic detection and estimation of trees, especially in forest environments using 3D terrestrial LiDAR data. The proposed method does not rely on any predefined tree shape or model. It uses the vertical distribution of the 3D points partitioned in a gridded Digital Elevation Model (DEM) to extract out ground points. The cells of the DEM are then clustered together to form super-clusters representing potential tree objects. The 3D points contained in each of these super-clusters are then classified into trunk and vegetation classes using a super-voxel based segmentation method. Different attributes (such as diameter at breast height, basal area, height and volume) are then estimated at individual tree levels which are then aggregated to generate metrics for forest inventory applications. The method is validated and evaluated on three different data sets obtained from three different types of terrestrial sensors (vehicle-borne, handheld and static) to demonstrate its applicability and feasibility for a wide range of applications. The results are evaluated by comparing the estimated parameters with real field observations/measurements to demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed method. Overall segmentation and classification accuracies greater than 84 % while average parameter estimation error ranging from 1 . 6 to 9 % were observed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Applicability of Earth Observation for Identifying Small-Scale Mining Footprints in a Wet Tropical Region
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(9), 945; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9090945
Received: 22 August 2017 / Revised: 2 September 2017 / Accepted: 8 September 2017 / Published: 12 September 2017
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Abstract
The unpredictable climate in wet tropical regions along with the spatial resolution limitations of some satellite imageries make detecting and mapping artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) challenging. The objective of this study was to test the utility of Pleiades and SPOT imagery with
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The unpredictable climate in wet tropical regions along with the spatial resolution limitations of some satellite imageries make detecting and mapping artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) challenging. The objective of this study was to test the utility of Pleiades and SPOT imagery with an object-based support vector machine (OB-SVM) classifier for the multi-temporal remote sensing of ASM and other land cover including a large-scale mine in the Didipio catchment in the Philippines. Historical spatial data on location and type of ASM mines were collected from the field and were utilized as training data for the OB-SVM classifier. The classification had an overall accuracy between 87% and 89% for the three different images—Pleiades-1A for the 2013 and 2014 images and SPOT-6 for the 2016 image. The main land use features, particularly the Didipio large-scale mine, were well identified by the OB-SVM classifier, however there were greater commission errors for the mapping of small-scale mines. The lack of consistency in their shape and their small area relative to pixel sizes meant they were often not distinguished from other land clearance types (i.e., open land). To accurately estimate the total area of each land cover class, we calculated bias-adjusted surface areas based on misclassification values. The analysis showed an increase in small-scale mining areas from 91,000 m2—or 0.2% of the total catchment area—in March 2013 to 121,000 m2—or 0.3%—in May 2014, and then a decrease to 39,000 m2—or 0.1%—in January 2016. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GIS and Remote Sensing advances in Land Change Science)
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Open AccessArticle An Alternative Approach to Using LiDAR Remote Sensing Data to Predict Stem Diameter Distributions across a Temperate Forest Landscape
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(9), 944; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9090944
Received: 29 May 2017 / Accepted: 19 June 2017 / Published: 12 September 2017
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Abstract
We apply a spatially-implicit, allometry-based modelling approach to predict stem diameter distributions (SDDs) from low density airborne LiDAR data in a heterogeneous, temperate forest in Ontario, Canada. Using a recently published algorithm that relates the density, size, and species of individual trees to
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We apply a spatially-implicit, allometry-based modelling approach to predict stem diameter distributions (SDDs) from low density airborne LiDAR data in a heterogeneous, temperate forest in Ontario, Canada. Using a recently published algorithm that relates the density, size, and species of individual trees to the height distribution of first returns, we estimated parameters that succinctly describe SDDs that are most consistent with each 0.25-ha LiDAR tile across a 30,000 ha forest landscape. Tests with independent validation plots showed that the diameter distribution of stems was predicted with reasonable accuracy in most cases (half of validation plots had R2 ≥ 0.75, and another 23% had 0.5 ≤ R2 < 0.75). The predicted frequency of larger stems was much better than that of small stems (8 ≤ x < 11 cm diameter), particularly small conifers. We used the predicted SDDs to calculate aboveground carbon density (ACD; RMSE = 21.4 Mg C/ha), quadratic mean diameter (RMSE = 3.64 cm), basal area (RMSE = 6.99 m2/ha) and stem number (RMSE = 272 stems/ha). The accuracy of our predictions compared favorably with previous studies that have generally been undertaken in simpler conifer-dominated forest types. We demonstrate the utility of our results to spatial forest management planning by mapping SDDs, the proportion of broadleaves, and ACD at a 0.25 ha resolution. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Modified Normalized Difference Impervious Surface Index (MNDISI) for Automatic Urban Mapping from Landsat Imagery
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(9), 942; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9090942
Received: 16 August 2017 / Revised: 8 September 2017 / Accepted: 8 September 2017 / Published: 12 September 2017
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Abstract
Impervious surface area (ISA) is a key factor for monitoring urban environment and land development. Automatic mapping of impervious surfaces has attracted growing attention in recent years. Spectral built-up indices are considered promising to map ISA distributions due to their easy, parameter-free implementations.
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Impervious surface area (ISA) is a key factor for monitoring urban environment and land development. Automatic mapping of impervious surfaces has attracted growing attention in recent years. Spectral built-up indices are considered promising to map ISA distributions due to their easy, parameter-free implementations. This study explores the potentials of impervious surface indices for ISA mapping from Landsat imagery using a case study area in Boston, USA. A modified normalized difference impervious surface index (MNDISI) is proposed, and a Gaussian-based automatic threshold selection method is used to identify the optimal MNDISI threshold for delineating impervious surfaces from background features. To evaluate its effectiveness, comparison analysis is conducted between MNDISI and the original NDISI using Landsat images from three sensors (TM/ETM+/OLI-TIRS) acquired in four seasons. Our results suggest that built-up indices are sensitive to image seasonality, and summer is the best time phase for ISA mapping. With reduced uncertainties from automatic threshold selection, the MNDISI extracts impervious surfaces from all Landsat images in summer with an overall accuracy higher than 87% and an overall Kappa coefficient higher than 0.74. The proposed method is superior to previous index-based ISA mapping from the enhanced thermal integration and automatic threshold selection. The ISA maps from the TM, ETM+ and OLI-TIRS images are not significantly different. With enlarged data pool when all Landsat sensors are considered and automation of threshold selection proposed in this study, the MNDISI could be an effective built-up index for rapid and automatic ISA mapping at regional and global scales. Full article
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Open AccessLetter Assessment of Anthropogenic Methane Emissions over Large Regions Based on GOSAT Observations and High Resolution Transport Modeling
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(9), 941; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9090941
Received: 10 August 2017 / Revised: 5 September 2017 / Accepted: 8 September 2017 / Published: 11 September 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1032 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Abstract: Methane is an important greenhouse gas due to its high warming potential. While quantifying anthropogenic methane emissions is important for evaluation measures applied for climate change mitigation, large emission uncertainties still exist for many source categories. To evaluate anthropogenic methane emission
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Abstract: Methane is an important greenhouse gas due to its high warming potential. While quantifying anthropogenic methane emissions is important for evaluation measures applied for climate change mitigation, large emission uncertainties still exist for many source categories. To evaluate anthropogenic methane emission inventory in various regions over the globe, we extract emission signatures from column-average methane observations (XCH4) by GOSAT (Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite) satellite using high-resolution atmospheric transport model simulations. XCH4 abundance due to anthropogenic emissions is estimated as the difference between polluted observations from surrounding cleaner observations. Here, reduction of observation error, which is large compared to local abundance, is achieved by binning the observations over large region according to model-simulated enhancements. We found that the local enhancements observed by GOSAT scale linearly with inventory based simulations of XCH4 for the globe, East Asia and North America. Weighted linear regression of observation derived and inventory-based XCH4 anomalies was carried out to find a scale factor by which the inventory agrees with the observations. Over East Asia, the observed enhancements are 30% lower than suggested by emission inventory, implying a potential overestimation in the inventory. On the contrary, in North America, the observations are approximately 28% higher than model predictions, indicating an underestimation in emission inventory. Our results concur with several recent studies using other analysis methodologies, and thus confirm that satellite observations provide an additional tool for bottom-up emission inventory verification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Greenhouse Gases)
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