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15arspc Submission 123

15arspc Submission 123

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Published by: reneebartolo on Sep 14, 2010
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09/27/2010

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CHARACTERISATION AND MONITORING OF MANGROVESUSING ALOS PALSAR DATA
Richard Lucas
Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences,Aberystwyth University,Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 2EJ, Wales, UK.Tel: +44 1970 622612; rml@aber.ac.uk
Abstract
Methods for classifying mangrove communities from remote sensing data haveprimarily focused on extent, structure, biomass and/or speciescomposition. However, many algorithms have been developed on and appliedto local regions but are not applicable at regional levels. For the tropical andsubtropics, data from the Japanese Space Exploration Agency’s (JAXA)Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) Phased Arrayed L-band SyntheticAperture Radar (PALSAR) have been acquired routinely since 2006. As part ofthe JAXA Kyoto and Carbon (K&C) Initiative, these data have been combinedto generate dual polarization (L-band HH and HV) mosaics for several regions,including insular and mainland Southeast Asia and Australia. By integratingthese mosaics with estimates of canopy height derived from Shuttle RadarTopography Mission (SRTM) data, low biomass mangroves and high biomassmangroves (with and without prop root systems) were differentiated andmapped across several regions.Throughout the tropics and subtropics, mangroves are also subject to change inresponse to natural or anthropogenic drivers. Identifying such change requiresreference to baseline datasets of mangrove extent. By integrating existingbaseline datasets with ALOS PALSAR observations, significant changes inmangroves were evident in French Guiana, northern Australia and south-eastAsia. The study highlights the benefits of using ALOS PALSAR for detectingchange, particularly given the prevalence of cloud-cover in many coastalregions. The utility of and requirements for the inclusion of PALSAR data withina global mangrove mapping and monitoring system are also conveyed.
1. Introduction
For many regions, the classification of mangroves has focused largely on theuse of optical remote sensing data and especially that acquired by Landsat,SPOT and ASTER sensors. A particular advantage of using these data is thatmangroves are relatively distinct from non-mangrove areas, although confusionwith adjoining closed forests often leads to errors in the mapping of mangroveextent. The use of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) for characterising andmapping mangroves has been comparatively limited, with most focusing ondata collected by sensors operating at C-band (~ 2.6 cm wavelength). As thesemicrowaves interact largely with the upper surface of canopies, information onthe structure and biomass of the woody components has not been discerned,
 
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although some success has been obtained using combinations of SAR andoptical data (Souza-Filho
et al 
., 2002).The launch of the Japanese Space Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) AdvancedLand Observing Satellite (ALOS) Phased Arrayed L-band SAR (PALSAR) in2006 provided new opportunities for characterising, mapping and monitoringmangroves at a global level. From the Fine Beam Dual (FBD; HH and HVpolarisation) data, regional mosaics have been generated as part of the JAXAKyoto and Carbon (K&C) initiative, including for Southeast Asia and Australia.A particular advantage of using these L-band data is that microwaves (~ 25 cmwavelength) penetrate the canopy and interact with the woody components,thereby allowing retrieval of structural attributes and above ground biomass(AGB) and better detection of inundation. Comparison of data acquired by theALOS PALSAR with archival optical or SAR data as well as existing mappingcan also be used to quantify changes in mangroves which arise from bothnatural events (e.g., cyclones or tsunamis) or processes (e.g., sea level rise)and human disturbance (e.g., for logging or agriculture and mariculture). Aparticular advantage of the SAR is that they provide regular observationsregardless of illumination conditions and cloud cover, which is often frequent intropical coastal regions.Through a series of case studies in the tropics and sub-tropics, this paperhighlights the potential of the ALOS PALSAR data for characterising, mappingand monitoring changes in mangroves. The research was undertaken as partof the JAXA K&C initiative and sought to provide better information on the stateof mangroves to assist in their conservation and contribute to betterquantification of carbon stocks. More specifically, the research aimed:a) To establish potential of ALOS PALSAR data, either singularly or incombination with other remote sensing data, for consistent regionalcharacterisation of mangroves.b) To investigate the use of time-series datasets for detecting changes inmangroves and to establish causative factors.The examples are taken from Australia, Belize, the Amazon-influenced coast ofSouth America and Southeast Asia where extensive tracts of mangrove havebeen subject to natural and/or human-induced influences, including thoseassociated with climate change.
2. Data processing
For Australia, Belize and the Amazon-influenced coast of South America,ALOS PALSAR strip mosaic data (Level 1.0) at a reduced spatial resolution of50 m were provided by JAXA. Using Gamma SAR processing software(Wegmüller
et al 
., 1998; Wegmüller, 1999), these data were calibrated andorthorectified to standard regional coordinate systems. For all areas,orthorectification was undertaken by cross correlating a SAR image simulatedfrom either 30 or 90 m spatial resolution SRTM data with ALOS PALSAR dataand using ALOS orbital state vectors and ancillary information. For theAustralian strips, the process was refined through cross-correlation withLandsat panchromatic mosaics largely because of the lack of significant relief in
 
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many northern regions. Mosaicing of the orthorectified strips was undertakenusing procedures available within ENVI and in-house software. The procedureswere developed to ensure a high level of geometric accuracy (geocoding errorswere typically less than one pixel, particularly in northern Australia where thepanchromatic data were used in the orthorectification process). The cross trackcorrection and mosaicing procedures resulted in the generation of relativelyseamless regional mosaics for most of the study regions and particularly forareas of homogeneous cover (e.g., forested areas in South America). ForAustralia, image strips acquired during periods of relatively low ground moisturewere used to generate a data mosaic for 2007.
3. Approach to mapping mangroves
When mapping the extent of mangroves, the nature of the land cover adjoiningthe mangroves presented different challenges, with the difficulty of separationbeing greatest where these were bordered by forest (Figure 1). Wheremangroves were bordered by expanses of mudflats or low vegetation (e.g.,samphire flats), better delineation of the mangrove area was achieved.Figure 1. ALOS PALSAR image (L-band HH, HV and the ratio of HH and HV inRGB) of the Jardine River National Park, Cape York, Queensland, Australia.Discrimination of coastal mangroves (darker green and proximal forest and othervegetation covers is difficult because of similarities in L-band backscatter).Two approaches to defining the extent of mangroves were considered, withboth undertaken within eCognition. In the first, existing datasets were

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