ESTIMATING VEGETATION HEIGHT USING L AND X BAND SYNTHETIC APERTURE RADAR IMAGES FOR EFFECTIVE RIVER MANAGEMENT

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Year:
2017
Type of Publication:
Article
Keywords:
synthetic aperture radar, extraction of difference between L and X band SAR image, vegetation monitoring in river
Authors:
Syota Sasaki, Yoshiyuki Imamura Ariyo Kanno
Abstract:
Flourishing vegetation blocks river flow and causes riverbank erosion in Japanese rivers. It is expected that vegetation monitoring by satellite remote sensing contributes to more frequent monitoring and effective river management. In this study, we proposed a method to estimate vegetation height in Japanese rivers using two synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite images with different wavelengths. While L band microwave penetrates vegetation, X band microwave is scattered by vegetation. The difference of reflection scattering properties between L and X band microwaves affected backscattering of map projected SAR images. We proposed estimating height of vegetation in rivers using the difference of the properties. As a case study, at the Saba river in Yamaguchi prefecture, Japan, we estimated height of a bamboo grove in the river using L and X band SAR images and compared with measured height by drone aerial shooting. While we observed shadow areas behind a bamboo grove on the line-of-sight of the satellite in the X band SAR image, any distinctive shadow area was not observed in the L band SAR image. We proposed an equation to estimate a bamboo grove height from the width of the shadow area observed in only X band SAR image. We showed the distribution of relative errors between measured value and estimated value calculated by the proposed equation and discussed the accuracy of our proposed method.
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