Wetland mapping and monitoring using polarimetric and interferometric synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data and tools

Mohammadimanesh, Fariba (2019) Wetland mapping and monitoring using polarimetric and interferometric synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data and tools. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Wetlands are home to a great variety of flora and fauna species and provide several unique environmental functions, such as controlling floods, improving water-quality, supporting wildlife habitat, and shoreline stabilization. Detailed information on spatial distribution of wetland classes is crucial for sustainable management and resource assessment. Furthermore, hydrological monitoring of wetlands is also important for maintaining and preserving the habitat of various plant and animal species. This thesis investigates the existing knowledge and technological challenges associated with wetland mapping and monitoring and evaluates the limitations of the methodologies that have been developed to date. The study also proposes new methods to improve the characterization of these productive ecosystems using advanced remote sensing (RS) tools and data. Specifically, a comprehensive literature review on wetland monitoring using Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and Interferometric SAR (InSAR) techniques is provided. The application of the InSAR technique for wetland mapping provides the following advantages: (i) the high sensitivity of interferometric coherence to land cover changes is taken into account and (ii) the exploitation of interferometric coherence for wetland classification further enhances the discrimination between similar wetland classes. A statistical analysis of the interferometric coherence and SAR backscattering variation of Canadian wetlands, which are ignored in the literature, is carried out using multi-temporal, multi-frequency, and multi-polarization SAR data. The study also examines the capability of compact polarimetry (CP) SAR data, which will be collected by the upcoming RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) and will constitute the main source of SAR observation in Canada, for wetland mapping. The research in this dissertation proposes a methodology for wetland classification using the synergistic use of intensity, polarimetry, and interferometry features using a novel classification framework. Finally, this work introduces a novel model based on the deep convolutional neural network (CNN) for wetland classification that can be trained in an end-to-end scheme and is specifically designed for the classification of wetland complexes using polarimetric SAR (PolSAR) imagery. The results of the proposed methods are promising and will significantly contribute to the ongoing efforts of conservation strategies for wetlands and monitoring changes. The approaches presented in this thesis serve as frameworks, progressing towards an operational methodology for mapping wetland complexes in Canada, as well as other wetlands worldwide with similar ecological characteristics.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/13910
Item ID: 13910
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references.
Keywords: Wetland, remote sensing, Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), Interferometric SAR (InSAR), coherence, compact polarimetry, RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM), polarimetric SAR (PolSAR), deep convolutional neural network (CNN)
Department(s): Engineering and Applied Science, Faculty of
Date: October 2019
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Wetland mapping--Remote sensing; Synthetic aperture radar

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