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Multi-temporal RADARSAT-1 and ERS backscattering signatures of coastal wetlands in southeastern Louisiana

January 1, 2009

Using multi-temporal European Remote-sensing Satellites (ERS-1/-2) and Canadian Radar Satellite (RADARSAT-1) synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data over the Louisiana coastal zone, we characterize seasonal variations of radar backscat-tering according to vegetation type. Our main findings are as follows. First, ERS-1/-2 and RADARSAT-1 require careful radiometric calibration to perform multi-temporal backscattering analysis for wetland mapping. We use SAR backscattering signals from cities for the relative calibration. Second, using seasonally averaged backscattering coefficients from ERS-1/-2 and RADARSAT-1, we can differentiate most forests (bottomland and swamp forests) and marshes (freshwater, intermediate, brackish, and saline marshes) in coastal wetlands. The student t-test results support the usefulness of season-averaged backscatter data for classification. Third, combining SAR backscattering coefficients and an optical-sensor-based normalized difference vegetation index can provide further insight into vegetation type and enhance the separation between forests and marshes. Our study demonstrates that SAR can provide necessary information to characterize coastal wetlands and monitor their changes.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2009
Title Multi-temporal RADARSAT-1 and ERS backscattering signatures of coastal wetlands in southeastern Louisiana
DOI 10.14358/PERS.75.5.607
Authors Oh-Ig Kwoun, Z. Lu
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing
Index ID 70035136
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center