Monitoring vegetation cover is an essential parameter for assessing various natural and anthropogenic hazards that occur at the vicinity of archaeological sites and landscapes. In this study, we used free and open access to Copernicus Earth Observation datasets. In particular, the proportion of vegetation cover is estimated from the analysis of Sentinel-1 radar and Sentinel-2 optical images, upon their radiometric and geometric corrections. Here, the proportion of vegetation based on the Radar Vegetation Index and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index is estimated. Due to the medium resolution of these datasets (10 m resolution), the crowdsourced OpenStreetMap service was used to identify fully and non-vegetated pixels. The case study is focused on the western part of Cyprus, whereas various open-air archaeological sites exist, such as the archaeological site of “Nea Paphos” and the “Tombs of the Kings”. A cross-comparison of the results between the optical and the radar images is presented, as well as a comparison with ready products derived from the Sentinel Hub service such as the Sentinel-1 Synthetic Aperture Radar Urban and Sentinel-2 Scene classification data. Moreover, the proportion of vegetation cover was evaluated with Google Earth red-green-blue free high-resolution optical images, indicating that a good correlation between the RVI and NDVI can be generated only over vegetated areas. The overall findings indicate that Sentinel-1 and -2 indices can provide a similar pattern only over vegetated areas, which can be further elaborated to estimate temporal changes using integrated optical and radar Sentinel data. This study can support future investigations related to hazard analysis based on the combined use of optical and radar sensors, especially in areas with high cloud-coverage.
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