Detection of forest clear-cuts with shuttle radar topography mission (SRTM) and tandem-X InSAR data

Solberg, Svein
Astrup, Rasmus Andreas
Weydahl, Dan Johan
Solberg, Svein; Astrup, Rasmus Andreas; Weydahl, Dan Johan. Detection of forest clear-cuts with shuttle radar topography mission (SRTM) and tandem-X InSAR data. Remote Sensing 2013 ;Volum 5.(11) s. 5449-5462
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The aim of this study was to determine whether forest clear-cuts during 2000–2011 could be detected as a decrease in surface height by combining Digital Surface Models (DSMs) from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) and Tandem-X, and to evaluate the performance of this method using SRTM X- and C-band data as references representing the heights before logging. The study area was located in a Norway spruce-dominated forest estate in southeastern Norway. We interpolated 11-year DSM changes into a 10 m × 10 m raster, and averaged these changes per forest stand. Based on threshold values for DSM decreases we classified the pixels and stands into the categories “clear-cut” and “not clear-cut”, and compared this to a complete record of logged stands during 2000–2011. The classification accuracy was moderate or fairly good. A correct detection was achieved for 59%–67% of the clear-cut stands. Omission errors were most common, occurring in 33%–42% of the stands. Commission errors were found in 13%–21% of the clear-cut stands. The results obtained for X-band SRTM were only marginally better than for C-band. In conclusion, the combination of SRTM and Tandem-X has the potential of providing near global data sets for the recent 12 years’ logging, which should be particularly valuable for deforestation mapping.
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