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Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 508012
Title TanDEM-X elevation model data for canopy height and aboveground biomass retrieval in a tropical peat swamp forest
Author(s) Schlund, Michael; Poncet, Felicitas von; Kuntz, Steffen; Boehm, Hans Dieter Viktor; Hoekman, Dirk H.; Schmullius, Christiane
Source International Journal of Remote Sensing 37 (2016)21. - ISSN 0143-1161 - p. 5021 - 5044.
Department(s) Earth System Science
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2016

It was demonstrated in the past that radar data is useful to estimate aboveground biomass due to their interferometric capability. Therefore, the potential of a globally available TanDEM-X digital elevation model (DEM) was investigated for aboveground biomass estimation via canopy height models (CHMs) in a tropical peat swamp forest. However, CHMs based on X-band interferometers usually require external terrain models. High accurate terrain models are not available on global scale. Therefore, an approach exclusively based on TanDEM-X and the decrease of accuracy compared to an approach utilizing a high accurate terrain model is assessed. In addition, the potential of X-band interferometric heights in tropical forests needs to be evaluated. Therefore, two CHMs were derived from an intermediate TanDEM-X DEM (iDEM; as a precursor for WorldDEMTM) alone and in combination with lidar measurements used as terrain model. The analysis showed high accuracies (root mean square error [RMSE] = 5 m) for CHMs based on iDEM and reliable estimation of aboveground biomass. The iDEM CHM, exclusively based on TanDEM-X, achieved a poor R2 of 0.2, nonetheless resulted in a cross-validated RMSE of 54 t ha−1 (16%). The low R2 suggested that the X-band height alone was not sufficient to estimate an accurate CHM, and thus the need for external terrain models was confirmed. A CHM retrieved from the difference of iDEM and an accurate lidar terrain model achieved a considerably higher correlation with aboveground biomass (R2 = 0.68) and low cross-validated RMSE of 24.5 t ha−1 (7.5%). This was higher or comparable to other aboveground biomass estimations in tropical peat swamp forests. The potential of X-band interferometric heights for CHM and biomass estimation was thus confirmed in tropical forest in addition to existing knowledge in boreal forests.

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