Classifying coastal resources by integrating optical and radar imagery and color infrared photography

Mangroves and Salt Marshes
By: , and 



A progressive classification of a marsh and forest system using Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM), color infrared (CIR) photograph, and ERS-1 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data improved classification accuracy when compared to classification using solely TM reflective band data. The classification resulted in a detailed identification of differences within a nearly monotypic black needlerush marsh. Accuracy percentages of these classes were surprisingly high given the complexities of classification. The detailed classification resulted in a more accurate portrayal of the marsh transgressive sequence than was obtainable with TM data alone. Individual sensor contribution to the improved classification was compared to that using only the six reflective TM bands. Individually, the green reflective CIR and SAR data identified broad categories of water, marsh, and forest. In combination with TM, SAR and the green CIR band each improved overall accuracy by about 3% and 15% respectively. The SAR data improved the TM classification accuracy mostly in the marsh classes. The green CIR data also improved the marsh classification accuracy and accuracies in some water classes. The final combination of all sensor data improved almost all class accuracies from 2% to 70% with an overall improvement of about 20% over TM data alone. Not only was the identification of vegetation types improved, but the spatial detail of the classification approached 10 m in some areas.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Classifying coastal resources by integrating optical and radar imagery and color infrared photography
Series title Mangroves and Salt Marshes
DOI 10.1023/A:1009911224982
Volume 2
Issue 2
Year Published 1998
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) Wetland and Aquatic Research Center
Description 11 p.
First page 109
Last page 119
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