Detection of Thinning and Clear-Cuts using TanDEM-X Data
Paper in proceedings, 2015
Interferometric TanDEM-X data from 2011 and 2014 were used to create biomass maps over the Swedish test site Remningstorp. These maps were used to compute the biomass change for four classes; pre-commercial thinning, thinning, clear-cutting, and untouched forest. Field inventory and ALS data from the corresponding years were used as reference data. The biomass change was compared on 12 subjectively chosen plots with 40 m radius for each class.
It was found, that pre-commercial thinning was difficult to detect, as the biomass loss was less than the biomass growth during the four vegetation seasons investigated. Thinning could be detected from the biomass change being about zero or slightly negative, while clear-cut plots were obvious to notice, with the biomass withdrawal being several hundreds of tons ha(-1). The untouched plots had a biomass growth of about 4 to 6 tons ha(-1) year(-1).
It was concluded, that annual TanDEM-X images can be used to detect also smaller silviculture activities such as thinning, but further research with shorter time periods would be desired.