Aboveground Biomass Monitoring over Siberian Boreal Forest Using Radar Remote Sensing Data

Monday, 15 December 2014: 4:45 PM
Martyna Anna Stelmaszczuk-Gorska, Christian Joachim Thiel and Christiane Schmullius, Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, Jena, Germany
Aboveground biomass (AGB) plays an essential role in ecosystem research, global cycles, and is of vital importance in climate studies. AGB accumulated in the forests is of special monitoring interest as it contains the most of biomass comparing with other land biomes. The largest of the land biomes is boreal forest, which has a substantial carbon accumulation capability; carbon stock estimated to be 272 +/-23 Pg C (32%) [1]. Russian’s forests are of particular concern, due to the largest source of uncertainty in global carbon stock calculations [1], and old inventory data that have not been updated in the last 25 years [2].

In this research new empirical models for AGB estimation are proposed. Using radar L-band data for AGB retrieval and optical data for an update of in situ data the processing scheme was developed. The approach was trained and validated in the Asian part of the boreal forest, in southern Russian Central Siberia; two Siberian Federal Districts: Krasnoyarsk Kray and Irkutsk Oblast. Together the training and testing forest territories cover an area of approximately 3,500 km2.

ALOS PALSAR L-band single (HH – horizontal transmitted and received) and dual (HH and HV – horizontal transmitted, horizontal and vertical received) polarizations in Single Look Complex format (SLC) were used to calculate backscattering coefficient in gamma nought and coherence. In total more than 150 images acquired between 2006 and 2011 were available. The data were obtained through the ALOS Kyoto and Carbon Initiative Project (K&C). The data were used to calibrate a randomForest algorithm. Additionally, a simple linear and multiple-regression approach was used. The uncertainty of the AGB estimation at pixel and stand level were calculated approximately as 35% by validation against an independent dataset. The previous studies employing ALOS PALSAR data over boreal forests reported uncertainty of 39.4% using randomForest approach [2] or 42.8% using semi-empirical approach [3].