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Tropical forest structure and its relationship with C band polarimetric Radarsat 2 data

Tatiana Kuplich(1), Yosio Shimabukuro(2), Márcio Valeriano(2) and Emerson Servello(2)

(1) INPE, Av Roraima 1000, 97110-650, Brazil
(2) INPE, Av dos Astronautas 1758, 12227-010, Brazil


Target decomposition techniques were used on C band Radarsat 2 data to increase understanding about polarimetric behavior of different tropical vegetation types in Brazilian Amazonia. Information about forest structure or canopy can be related to ecological processes such as productivity, important input in environmental modelling. The study area – Tapajós National Forest (TNF) – presents vegetation classes varying from dense to open forest, with or without emergent or dominant species. C band interacts mainly with the upper part of forest canopy, being a potential source of information about vegetation types with different canopy characteristics. Polarimetric features such as entropy (H), anisotropy (A) and alpha (α) angle were derived from Radarsat 2 data, for the TNF, showing little additional information in relation to amplitude data alone. The variety of scatterers and scattering mechanisms of tropical forest, however, were clear on the data. Maps for these polarimetric features were derived and compared to the vegetation map of the TNF. The study will follow with the H- α classification of the polarimetric Radarsat 2 data.



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