Experiences from large-scale forest mapping of Sweden using TanDEM-X data
Persson, HJ and Olsson, H and Soja, MJ and Ulander, LMH and Fransson, JES, Experiences from large-scale forest mapping of Sweden using TanDEM-X data, Remote Sensing, 9, (12) Article 1253. ISSN 2072-4292 (2017) [Refereed Article]
This paper report experiences from the processing and mosaicking of 518 TanDEM-X image pairs covering the entirety of Sweden, with two single map products of above-ground biomass (AGB) and forest stem volume (VOL), both with 10 m resolution. The main objective was to explore the possibilities and overcome the challenges related to forest mapping extending a large number of adjacent satellite scenes. Hence, numerous examples are presented to illustrate challenges and possible solutions. To derive the forest maps, the observables backscatter, interferometric phase height and interferometric coherence, obtained from TanDEM-X, were evaluated using empirical robust linear regression models with reference data extracted from 2288 national forest inventory plots with a 10 m radius. The interferometric phase height was the single most important observable, to predict AGB and VOL. The mosaics were evaluated on different datasets with field-inventoried stands across Sweden. The root mean square error (RMSE) was about 21%–25% (27–30 tons/ha and 52–65 m3/ha) at the stand level. It was noted that the most influencing factors on the observables in this study were local temperature and geolocation errors that were challenging to robustly compensate against. Because of this variability at the scene-level, determinations of AGB and VOL for single stands are recommended to be used with care, as an equivalent accuracy is difficult to achieve for all different scenes, with varying acquisition conditions. Still, for the evaluated stands, the mosaics were of sufficient accuracy to be used for forest management at the stand level.