A comparative investigation of ALOS PALSAR data for tropical coastal wetland monitoring

John Kovacs(4), XiXi Lu(1), Patrick LaFrance(2) and Chunhua Zhang(3)

(1) National University of Singapore, 1 Arts Link, Kent Ridge, 117570 Singapore, Singapore
(2) Environnement Illimite, 1453 rue Saint-Timothee, H2L 3N7 Montreal, Canada
(3) East Tennesse State University, Box 70267, TN 37614 Johnson City, United States
(4) Nipissing University, 100 College Drive, P1B 8L7 North Bay, Ontario, Canada


Biophysical data were collected from two large coastal forests containing a similar array of mangrove species but in different conditions. One forest, located along a delta in Guinea, West Africa, consists primarily of riverine mangrove with both tall and dwarf stands in a relatively pristine condition. In contrast, the other forest, located along the Mexican Pacific, is an elaborate basin mangrove that has experienced considerable degradation. A comparison of single and dual-polarized ALOS PALSAR data from these forests revealed unique responses amongst the various types and condition of mangroves. Most notable was the ability of cross-polarized data to identify poor condition and dead mangrove stands. In combination with optical sensors, including AVNIR-2, these data can provide ideal method for mapping and monitoring these threatened ecosystems.



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