Land Use and Land Cover Research
This research reveals land use and land cover changes, and
contributes to clarifying the mechanism of such changes and the
development of change models. It is important to develop the
following products and algorithms for these purposes.
High-resolution Digital Elevation Model:
Topographical conditions strongly influence land use determination
and its change process as well as environmental impacts such as
soil erosion and runoff changes. In these research categories, a
Digital Elevation Model (DEM) which corresponds to a 1: 25,000 to
1: 100,000 scale topographical map is useful. Algorithms for stereo
matching and interferometric measurement need to be
Orthophoto image (PRISM, AVNIR-2, PALSAR images) and land use
and land cover data:
These can reveal sprawl of urban areas and villages, changes of
agricultural land and agricultural practices, deforestation, etc.
Radar images may also be able to detect tillage variations
(variation of tillage surface roughness) and changes of cropping
pattern. It is also necessary to promote research for integrating
ALOS data with ADEOS-II data.
Topography and Geology
This research contributes to measuring changes in terrain and
watercourses due to soil erosion and slope failure as well as to
classifying and analyzing terrain features with elevation data. It
is thus essential that the following data products and algorithms
High-resolution DEM can be used for terrain classification and
analysis as well as watercourse analysis.
Orthophoto image (particularly PALSAR image):
An orthophoto image can be used for extraction and classification
of terrain features and so on.
Elevation change due to soil erosion and sedimentation:
Interferometric measurement is expected to provide a method for
measuring time-series changes of land elevation. An area which a
topographic condition changes remarkably due to soil erosion and
sedimentation, such as the Yellow River basin, is selected as the
Terrestrial (Vegetation) Ecosystem, Agriculture and
This research contributes to clarifying vegetation dynamics with
emphasis on the carbon cycle, monitoring agricultural production,
estimating productivity of pastures based on the vegetation
dynamics, and investigating biomass changes caused by human
activities. For this purpose, the following data products and
algorithms need to be developed using AVNIR-2 data or other
Forest distribution monitoring:
Methods for measuring global forestry distribution are expected to
be advanced using PALSAR or AVNIR-2.
Vegetation biomass distribution measurement :
Vegetation biomass is a key parameter which describes vegetation
dynamics. A method of measuring vegetation biomass with focus on
forests with simultaneous observations by PRISM and AVNIR-2 is
expected to be developed.
Application to forest management:
A method of monitoring deforestation and afforestation and
estimating forest growth should also be developed concurrently with
the development of a biomass measurement method.
Monitoring the productivity of pastures and crop land:
Developing a method for determining the crop planting area,
estimating productivity of pastures and crop land in a specific
area, based on intensive observation by both PALSAR and AVNIR-2, is
expected. In addition, a method of monitoring the changes of
agricultural production and productivity of pastures caused by
drought should also be developed.
Monitoring vegetation change due to human activities such as
A method for measuring and monitoring the variation of biomass
density and vegetation structure due to biomass burning in specific
areas with intensive observations using PALSAR together with
AVNIR-2 needs to be developed.
This aims at monitoring the decline of land productivity and soil
degradation due to excessive cultivation and pasturage and improper
irrigation. Methods of indirectly monitoring desertification need
to be developed by observing vegetative deterioration using PALSAR
and AVNIR-2 as well as directly monitoring of salt accumulation on
the soil surface using AVNIR-2.