Regional forest land cover characterisation using medium spatial resolution satellite data

By: , and 
Edited by: Michael A. Wulder and Steven E. Franklin

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Abstract

Increasing demands on forest resources require comprehensive, consistent and up-to-date information on those resources at spatial scales appropriate for management decision-making and for scientific analysis. While such information can be derived using coarse spatial resolution satellite data (e.g. Tucker et al. 1984; Zhu and Evans 1994; Cihlar et al. 1996; Cihlar et al., Chapter 12), many regional applications require more spatial and thematic details than can be derived by using coarse resolution imagery. High spatial resolution satellite data such as IKONOS and Quick Bird images (Aplin et al. 1997), though usable for deriving detailed forest information (Culvenor, Chapter 9), are currently not feasible for wall-to-wall regional applications because of extremely high data cost, huge data volume, and lack of contiguous coverage over large areas. Forest studies over large areas have often been accomplished using data acquired by intermediate spatial resolution sensor systems, including the Multi-Spectral Scanner (MSS), Thematic Mapper (TM) and the Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) of Landsat, the High Resolution Visible (HRV) of the Systeme Pour l'Observation de la Terre (SPOT), and the Linear Image Self-Scanner (LISS) of the Indian Remote Sensing satellite. These sensor systems are more appropriate for regional applications because they can routinely produce spatially contiguous data over large areas at relatively low cost, and can be used to derive a host of forest attributes (e.g. Cohen et al. 1995; Kimes et al. 1999; Cohen et al. 2001; Huang et al. 2001; Sugumaran 2001). Of the above intermediate spatial resolution satellites, Landsat is perhaps the most widely used in various types of land remote sensing applications, in part because it has provided more extensive spatial and temporal coverage of the globe than any other intermediate resolution satellite. Spatially contiguous Landsat data have been developed for many regions of the globe (e.g. Lunetta and Sturdevant 1993; Fuller et al. 1994b; Skole et al. 1997), and a circa 1990 Landsat image data set covering the entire land area of the globe has also been developed recently (Jones and Smith 2001). An acquisition strategy aimed at acquiring at least one cloud free image per year for the entire land area of the globe has been initiated for Landsat-7 (Arvidson et al. 2001). This will probably ensure the continued dominance of Landsat in the near future.

Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Regional forest land cover characterisation using medium spatial resolution satellite data
Chapter 14
ISBN 978-1-4020-7405-9
Year Published 2003
Language English
Publisher Kluwer Academic
Publisher location Boston, MA
Contributing office(s) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Description 22 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Monograph
Larger Work Title Remote sensing of forest environments: Concepts and case studies
First page 389
Last page 410