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Spectral Unmixing of Forest Crown Components at Close Range, Airborne and Simulated Sentinel-2 and EnMAP Spectral Imaging Scale
Citation key Clasen2015
Author Clasen, A. and Somers, B. and Pipkins, K. and Tits, L. and Segl, K. and Brell, M. and Kleinschmit, B. and Spengler, D. and Lausch, A. and Förster, M.
Pages 26
Year 2015
ISSN 2072-4292
DOI 10.3390/rs71115361
Journal remote sensing
Volume 2015
Number 7
Month November
Abstract Forest biochemical and biophysical variables and their spatial and temporal distribution are essential inputs to process-orientated ecosystem models. To provide this information, imaging spectroscopy appears to be a promising tool. In this context, the present study investigates the potential of spectral unmixing to derive sub-pixel crown component fractions in a temperate deciduous forest ecosystem. However, the high proportion of foliage in this complex vegetation structure leads to the problem of saturation effects, when applying broadband vegetation indices. This study illustrates that multiple endmember spectral mixture analysis (MESMA) can contribute to overcoming this challenge. Reference fractional abundances, as well as spectral measurements of the canopy components, could be precisely determined from a crane measurement platform situated in a deciduous forest in North-East Germany. In contrast to most other studies, which only use leaf and soil endmembers, this experimental setup allowed for the inclusion of a bark endmember for the unmixing of components within the canopy. This study demonstrates that the inclusion of additional endmembers markedly improves the accuracy. A mean absolute error of 7.9% could be achieved for the fractional occurrence of the leaf endmember and 5.9% for the bark endmember. In order to evaluate the results of this field-based study for airborne and satellite-based remote sensing applications, a transfer to Airborne Imaging Spectrometer for Applications (AISA) and simulated Environmental Mapping and Analysis Program (EnMAP) and Sentinel-2 imagery was carried out. All sensors were capable of unmixing crown components with a mean absolute error ranging between 3% and 21%.
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