Failure of the Scan Line Corrector (SLC) on the Landsat ETM+ sensor has had a major impact on many applications that rely on continuous medium resolution imagery to meet their objectives. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Cropland Data Layer (CDL) program uses Landsat imagery as the primary source of data to produce crop-specific maps for 20 states in the USA. A new method has been developed to fill the image gaps resulting from the SLC failure to support the needs of Landsat users who require coincident spectral data, such as for crop type mapping and monitoring. We tested the new gap-filled method for a CDL crop type mapping project in eastern Nebraska. Scan line gaps were simulated on two Landsat 5 images (spring and late summer 2003) and then gap-filled using landscape boundary models, or segment models, that were derived from 1992 and 2002 Landsat images (used in the gap-fill process). Various date combinations of original and gap-filled images were used to derive crop maps using a supervised classification process. Overall kappa values were slightly higher for crop maps derived from SLC-off gap-filled images compared to crop maps derived from the original imagery (0.3-1.3% higher). Although the age of the segment model used to derive the SLC-off gap-filled product did not negatively impact the overall agreement, differences in individual cover type agreement did increase (-0.8%-1.6% using the 2002 segment model to -5.0-5.1% using the 1992 segment model). Classification agreement also decreased for most of the classes as the size of the segment used in the gap-fill process increased.
Additional publication details
Use of landsat ETM+ SLC-off segment-based gap-filled imagery for crop type mapping