Remote Sens.2014, 6(3), 2213-2238; doi:10.3390/rs6032213 - published online 10 March 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Land surface is normally considered as a mixture of soil and vegetation. Many applications, such as drought monitoring and crop-yield estimation, benefit from accurate retrieval of both soil and vegetation temperatures through satellite observation. A preliminary study has been conducted in this study on the estimation of land surface soil and vegetation component temperature using the geostationary satellite data acquired by Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI) onboard the Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) and TERRA-MODIS data. A synergetic algorithm is proposed to derive soil and vegetation temperatures by using the temporal and spatial information in SEVIRI and MODIS products. The approach is applied to both simulation data and satellite data. For simulation data, the component temperatures are well estimated with root mean squared error (RMSE) close to 0 K. For satellite data application, reasonable spatial distributions of the soil and vegetation temperatures are derived for eight cloud-free days in the Iberian Peninsula from June to August 2009. An evaluation is performed for the estimated vegetation temperature against the near surface air temperature. The correlation analysis between two datasets is found that the R-squareds are from 0.074 to 0.423 and RMSEs are within 4 K. Considering the impact of fraction of vegetation cover (FVC) on the validation, the pixels with FVC less than 30% are excluded in the total data comparison, and an obvious improvement is achieved with R-squared from 0.231 to 0.417 and RMSE from 2.9 K to 2.58 K. The validation indicates that the proposed algorithm is able to provide reasonable estimations of soil and vegetation temperatures. It is a potential way to map soil and vegetation temperature for large areas.
Remote Sens.2014, 6(3), 2195-2212; doi:10.3390/rs6032195 - published online 10 March 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to describe the delineation of paleo-shorelines using high resolution microwave images and digital image processing tools, and with that to contribute to the understanding of the complex landscape evolution of the Lake Manyara Basin. The surroundings of Lake Manyara are the focus of several paleo-archeological investigations, since the location is close to Olduvai Gorge, where paleo-anthropological findings can be traced back to homo habilis. In the catchment of Lake Manyara two hominin-bearing sites (0.78 to 0.63 Ma), lots of vertebrate fossils and hand axes from different periods were found. Understanding the development and extent of the lake is crucial for understanding the regional paleo-environment of the Quaternary. Morphological structures of shorelines and terraces east of Lake Manyara were identified from TerraSAR-X StripMap images. By applying a Canny edge detector, linear features were extracted and revised for different image acquisitions using a contextual approach. Those features match literature and field references. A digital elevation model of the region was used to map the most distinct paleo-shorelines according to their elevation.
Remote Sens.2014, 6(3), 2176-2194; doi:10.3390/rs6032176 - published online 10 March 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The potentials of the forthcoming new European Space Agency’s (ESA) satellite sensor, Sentinel-2, for archaeological studies was examined in this paper. For this reason, an extensive spectral library of crop marks, acquired through numerous spectroradiometric campaigns, which are related with buried archaeological remains, has been resampled to the spectral characteristics of Sentinel-2. In addition, other existing satellite sensors have been also evaluated (Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM); Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER); IKONOS; Landsat 4 TM; Landsat 7 Enhance Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+); QuickBird; Satellite Pour l’Observation de la Terre (SPOT); and WorldView-2). The simulated data have been compared with the optimum spectral regions for the detection of crop marks (700 nm and 800 nm). In addition, several existing vegetation indices have been also assessed for all sensors. As it was found, the spectral characteristics of Sentinel-2 are able to better distinguish crop marks compared to other existing satellite sensors. Indeed, as it was found, using a simulated Sentinel-2 image, not only known buried archaeological sites were able to be detected, but also other still unknown sites were able to be revealed.
Remote Sens.2014, 6(3), 2154-2175; doi:10.3390/rs6032154 - published online 7 March 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Here, we evaluated the potential of using bathymetric Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) to characterise shallow water (<30 m) benthic habitats of high energy subtidal coastal environments. Habitat classification, quantifying benthic substrata and macroalgal communities, was achieved in this study with the application of LiDAR and underwater video groundtruth data using automated classification techniques. Bathymetry and reflectance datasets were used to produce secondary terrain derivative surfaces (e.g., rugosity, aspect) that were assumed to influence benthic patterns observed. An automated decision tree classification approach using the Quick Unbiased Efficient Statistical Tree (QUEST) was applied to produce substrata, biological and canopy structure habitat maps of the study area. Error assessment indicated that habitat maps produced were primarily accurate (>70%), with varying results for the classification of individual habitat classes; for instance, producer accuracy for mixed brown algae and sediment substrata, was 74% and 93%, respectively. LiDAR was also successful for differentiating canopy structure of macroalgae communities (i.e., canopy structure classification), such as canopy forming kelp versus erect fine branching algae. In conclusion, habitat characterisation using bathymetric LiDAR provides a unique potential to collect baseline information about biological assemblages and, hence, potential reef connectivity over large areas beyond the range of direct observation. This research contributes a new perspective for assessing the structure of subtidal coastal ecosystems, providing a novel tool for the research and management of such highly dynamic marine environments.
Remote Sens.2014, 6(3), 2134-2153; doi:10.3390/rs6032134 - published online 7 March 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Vegetation in the Arctic is often sparse, spatially heterogeneous, and difficult to model. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) has shown some promise in above-ground phytomass estimation at sub-arctic latitudes, but the utility of this type of data is not known in the context of the unique environments of the Canadian High Arctic. In this paper, Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) were created to model the relationship between variables derived from high resolution multi-incidence angle RADARSAT-2 SAR data and optically-derived (GeoEye-1) Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI) values. The modeled SAVI values (i.e., from SAR variables) were then used to create maps of above-ground phytomass across the study area. SAVI model results for individual ecological classes of polar semi-desert, mesic heath, wet sedge, and felsenmeer were reasonable, with r2 values of 0.43, 0.43, 0.30, and 0.59, respectively. When the outputs of these models were combined to analyze the relationship between the model output and SAVI as a group, the r2 value was 0.60, with an 8% normalized root mean square error (% of the total range of phytomass values), a positive indicator of a relationship. The above-ground phytomass model also resulted in a very strong relationship (r2 = 0.87) between SAR-modeled and field-measured phytomass. A positive relationship was also found between optically derived SAVI values and field measured phytomass (r2 = 0.79). These relationships demonstrate the utility of SAR data, compared to using optical data alone, for modeling above-ground phytomass in a high arctic environment possessing relatively low levels of vegetation.
Remote Sens.2014, 6(3), 2108-2133; doi:10.3390/rs6032108 - published online 7 March 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Gross primary production (GPP) plays an important role in the net ecosystem exchange of CO2 between the atmosphere and terrestrial ecosystems. It is particularly important to monitor GPP in Southeast Asia because of increasing rates of tropical forest degradation and deforestation in the region in recent decades. The newly available, improved, third generation Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI3g) from the Global Inventory Modelling and Mapping Studies (GIMMS) group provides a long temporal dataset, from July 1981 to December 2011, for terrestrial carbon cycle and climate response research. However, GIMMS NDVI3g-based GPP estimates are not yet available. We applied the GLOPEM-CEVSA model, which integrates an ecosystem process model and a production efficiency model, to estimate GPP in Southeast Asia based on three independent results of the fraction of photosynthetically active radiation absorbed by vegetation (FPAR) from GIMMS NDVI3g (GPPNDVI3g), GIMMS NDVI1g (GPPNDVI1g), and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) MOD15A2 FPAR product (GPPMOD15). The GPP results were validated using ground data from eddy flux towers located in different forest biomes, and comparisons were made among the three GPPs as well as the MOD17A2 GPP products (GPPMOD17). Based on validation with flux tower derived GPP estimates the results show that GPPNDVI3g is more accurate than GPPNDVI1g and is comparable in accuracy with GPPMOD15. In addition, GPPNDVI3g and GPPMOD15 have good spatial-temporal consistency. Our results indicate that GIMMS NDVI3g is an effective dataset for regional GPP simulation in Southeast Asia, capable of accurately tracking the variation and trends in long-term terrestrial ecosystem GPP dynamics.