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TitleMapping northern land cover fractions using Landsat ETM+
AuthorOlthof, I; Fraser, R HORCID logo
SourceRemote Sensing of Environment vol. 107, no. 3, 2007 p. 496-509,
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20181724
PublisherElsevier BV
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
Subjectsgeophysics; remote sensing
ProgramCanada Centre for Remote Sensing Divsion
AbstractThe goal of fractional mapping is to obtain land cover fraction estimates within each pixel over a region. Using field, Ikonos and Landsat data at three sites in northern Canada, we evaluate a physical unmixing method against two modeling approaches to map five land cover fractions that include bare, grass, deciduous shrub, conifer, and water along an 1100 km north-south transect crossing the tree-line of northern Canada. Error analyses are presented to assess factors that affect fractional mapping results, including modeling method (linear least squares inversion (LLSI) vs. linear regression vs. regression trees), number of Landsat spectral bands (3 vs. 5), local and distant fraction estimation using locally and globally calibrated models, and spatial resolution (30 m vs. 90 m). The ultimate purpose of this study is to determine if reliable land cover fractions can be obtained for biophysical modeling over northern Canada from a three band, resampled 90 m Landsat ETM+ mosaic north of the tree-line. Of the three modeling methods tested, linear regression and regression trees with five spectral bands produced the best local fraction estimates, while LLSI produced comparable results when unmixing was sufficiently determined. However, distant fraction estimation using both locally and globally calibrated models was most accurate using the three spectral bands available in the Landsat mosaic of northern Canada at 30 m resolution, and only slightly worse at 90 m resolution. While local calibrations produced more accurate fractions than global calibrations, application of local calibration models requires stratification of areas where local endmembers and models are representative. In the absence of such information, globally calibrated linear regression and regression trees to estimate separate fractions is an acceptable alternative, producing similar root mean square error, and an average absolute bias of less than 2%.

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