Application of repeat-pass TerraSAR-X staring spotlight interferometric coherence to monitor pasture biophysical parameters: limitations and sensitivity analysis

Ali, I., Barrett, B. , Cawkwell, F., Green, S., Dwyer, E. and Neumann, M. (2017) Application of repeat-pass TerraSAR-X staring spotlight interferometric coherence to monitor pasture biophysical parameters: limitations and sensitivity analysis. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, 10(7), pp. 3225-3231. (doi:10.1109/JSTARS.2017.2679761)

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Abstract

This paper describes the potential and limitations of repeat-pass synthetic aperture radar interferometry (InSAR) to retrieve the biophysical parameters of intensively managed pastures. We used a time series of eight acquisitions from the TerraSAR-X Staring Spotlight (TSX-ST) mode. The ST mode is different from conventional Stripmap mode; therefore, we adjusted the Doppler phase correction for interferometric processing. We analyzed the three interferometric pairs with an 11-day temporal baseline, and among these three pairs found only one gives a high coherence. The results show that the high coherence in different paddocks is due to the cutting of the grass in the month of June, however the temporal decorrelation in other paddocks is mainly due to the grass growth and high sensitivity of the X-band SAR signals to the vegetation cover. The InSAR coherence (over coherent paddocks) shows a good correlation with SAR backscatter (R2dB=0.65, p<0.05) and grassland biophysical parameters (R2Height=0.55, p<0.05, R2Biomass=0.75,p<0.05). It is thus possible to detect different management practices (e.g., grazing, mowing/cutting) using SAR backscatter (dB) and coherence information from high spatial short baseline X-band imagery; however, the rate of decorrelation over vegetated areas is high. Initial findings from the June pair show the possibility of change detection due to the grass growth, grazing, and mowing events by using InSAR coherence information. However, it is not possible to automatically categorize different paddocks undergoing these changes based only on the SAR backscatter and coherence values, due to the ambiguity caused by tall grass flattened by the wind.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Barrett, Dr Brian
Authors: Ali, I., Barrett, B., Cawkwell, F., Green, S., Dwyer, E., and Neumann, M.
Subjects:G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing
Publisher:IEEE
ISSN:1939-1404
ISSN (Online):2151-1535
Published Online:03 April 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 IEEE
First Published:First published in IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing 10(7):3225-3231
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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