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Stability of sample-based scanning-LiDAR-derived vegetation metrics for forest monitoring

Stability of sample-based scanning-LiDAR-derived vegetation metrics for forest monitoring
Stability of sample-based scanning-LiDAR-derived vegetation metrics for forest monitoring
The objective of this paper is to gain insights into the reproducibility of light detection and ranging (LiDAR)-derived vegetation metrics for multiple acquisitions carried out on the same day, where we can assume that forest and terrain conditions at a given location have not changed. Four overlapping lines were flown over a forested area in Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Forty-six 0.04-ha plots were systematically established, and commonly derived variables were extracted from first and last returns, including height-related metrics, cover estimates, return intensities, and absolute scan angles. Plot-level metrics from each LiDAR pass were then compared using multivariate repeated-measures analysis-of-variance tests. Results indicate that, while the number of returns was significantly different between the four overlapping flight lines, most LiDAR-derived first return vegetation height metrics were not. First return maximum height and overstory cover, however, were significantly different and varied between flight lines by an average of approximately 2{\%} and 4{\%}, respectively. First return intensities differed significantly between overpasses where sudden changes in the metric occurred without any apparent explanation; intensity should only be used following calibration. With the exception of the standard deviation of height, all second return metrics were significantly different between flight lines. Despite these minor differences, the study demonstrates that, when the LiDAR sensor, settings, and data acquisition flight parameters remain constant, and time-related forest dynamics are not factors, LiDAR-derived metrics of the same location provide stable and repeatable measures of the forest structure, confirming the suitability of LiDAR for forest monitoring.
forest monitoring, laser altimetry, light detection ranging (lidar), sampling
0196-2892
2385-2392
Bater, Christopher W.
c826643f-810c-44d7-a8aa-eb8c915e6684
Wulder, Michael A.
13414360-db3d-4d88-a76d-ccffd69d0084
Coops, Nicholas C.
5511e778-fec2-4f54-8708-de65ba5a0992
Nelson, Ross F.
c535c190-0621-4538-af10-879cfbe933ad
Hilker, Thomas
c7fb75b8-320d-49df-84ba-96c9ee523d40
Nasset, Erik
6d62286b-12dd-4ded-8361-9c5202cf8760
Bater, Christopher W.
c826643f-810c-44d7-a8aa-eb8c915e6684
Wulder, Michael A.
13414360-db3d-4d88-a76d-ccffd69d0084
Coops, Nicholas C.
5511e778-fec2-4f54-8708-de65ba5a0992
Nelson, Ross F.
c535c190-0621-4538-af10-879cfbe933ad
Hilker, Thomas
c7fb75b8-320d-49df-84ba-96c9ee523d40
Nasset, Erik
6d62286b-12dd-4ded-8361-9c5202cf8760

Bater, Christopher W., Wulder, Michael A., Coops, Nicholas C., Nelson, Ross F., Hilker, Thomas and Nasset, Erik (2011) Stability of sample-based scanning-LiDAR-derived vegetation metrics for forest monitoring. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 49 (6), 2385-2392. (doi:10.1109/TGRS.2010.2099232).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to gain insights into the reproducibility of light detection and ranging (LiDAR)-derived vegetation metrics for multiple acquisitions carried out on the same day, where we can assume that forest and terrain conditions at a given location have not changed. Four overlapping lines were flown over a forested area in Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Forty-six 0.04-ha plots were systematically established, and commonly derived variables were extracted from first and last returns, including height-related metrics, cover estimates, return intensities, and absolute scan angles. Plot-level metrics from each LiDAR pass were then compared using multivariate repeated-measures analysis-of-variance tests. Results indicate that, while the number of returns was significantly different between the four overlapping flight lines, most LiDAR-derived first return vegetation height metrics were not. First return maximum height and overstory cover, however, were significantly different and varied between flight lines by an average of approximately 2{\%} and 4{\%}, respectively. First return intensities differed significantly between overpasses where sudden changes in the metric occurred without any apparent explanation; intensity should only be used following calibration. With the exception of the standard deviation of height, all second return metrics were significantly different between flight lines. Despite these minor differences, the study demonstrates that, when the LiDAR sensor, settings, and data acquisition flight parameters remain constant, and time-related forest dynamics are not factors, LiDAR-derived metrics of the same location provide stable and repeatable measures of the forest structure, confirming the suitability of LiDAR for forest monitoring.

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More information

Published date: 20 January 2011
Keywords: forest monitoring, laser altimetry, light detection ranging (lidar), sampling
Organisations: Earth Surface Dynamics

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 384709
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/384709
ISSN: 0196-2892
PURE UUID: f0b8f18d-ca5f-4687-8dfb-49d0a673a581

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 11 May 2016 13:42
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 20:02

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