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Above-ground biomass estimation in boreal productive forests using Sentinel-1 data
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Estimation of biomass has high importance for economic, ecologic and climatic reasons due to the multiple ecosystem services offered by forested landscapes. Measurements that are taken in the field incur personal and economic costs. Nevertheless, biomass surveying based on remote sensing techniques offer efficiency thanks to covering large areas. The European Space Agency (ESA) Sentinel-1 satellite offers promising capabilities for above-ground biomass (AGB) estimation through synthetic aperture radar (SAR) based microwave remote sensing. In this study, experimental AGB estimations based on Sentinel-1 C-band data were produced over the Remingstorp estate (Västergötland County, Sweden) to analyze its performance over boreal productive forests. The obtained measurements were compared against reference values obtained by combining photogrammetric, aerial laser scanning (ALS) and field measurements. Thus, a reference high-resolution canopy height model (CHM) was produced from the difference between photogrammetric digital surface model (DSM) values and ALS digital terrain model (DTM) values. The comparison of CHM observations against diameter at breast height (DBH) field measurements revealed the existence of a vegetation height - vegetation volume relationship for the study species (Pinus Sylvestris and Picea Abbies), which allowed bole volume estimation based on vegetation height values. SAR-based AGB estimates were produced by defining statistical relationships between backscatter intensity and interferometric coherence measurements against reference CHM values. Additionally, evaluation of biomass estimation through interferometric (InSAR) height was possible by comparing against reference photogrammetric DSM. Backscatter signal saturation of C-band at low biomass volumes prevented quantification of biomass but permitted differentiation between forested and non-forested surfaces. Estimation of AGB through interferometric coherence was possible through modeling volumetric decorrelation, which on the contrary prevented biomass retrieval from InSAR height. Due to the given frequency properties at C-band, HV cross-polarized channel was used in all cases for better detection of the canopy layer. Image acquisition under stable conditions was a priority to avoid noise derived from variable dielectric properties, acquisition geometry effects and temporal decorrelation. Hence, image acquisitions under stable hydrometeorological conditions (i. e. stable frozen or dry) and for the lowest repeat-pass interval (i. e. 6-days) were prioritized.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 66
Keywords [en]
synthetic aperture radar (SAR), backscatter intensity, InSAR, interferometric coherence, LIDAR, above-ground biomass, forestry
National Category
Physical Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-172942OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-172942DiVA, id: diva2:1351483
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Examiners
Available from: 2019-10-03 Created: 2019-09-16 Last updated: 2019-10-03Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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