Stem volume estimation for boreal forest using ALOS PALSAR
Conference contribution, 2007
An evaluation of ALOS PALSAR data for standwise forest stem volume estimation has been performed at a Swedish test site. The site is dominated by coniferous tree species. SAR data from three operational PALSAR modes, including single, dual and quad polarization, have been analyzed. In total, images from 18 different dates were included. Altogether, 56 forest stands with stem volume in the range of 45-650 m3 ha-1 (average 325 m3 ha-1) were analyzed by relating backscatter intensity to field data. The estimation accuracy of stem volume at stand level was calculated in terms of root mean square error (RMSE). For the best case investigated an RMSE of 30% was obtained for one of the single polarization images acquired in the winter season. In this case no saturation was observed for high stem volumes. The corresponding RMSEs for the dual and quad polarization images were between 62%, and 81%. The better results for single polarization might be explained by particularly favourable weather conditions at image acquisition. An extended evaluation will be performed to verify the cause.