Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Estimation of surface canopy water in Pacific Northwest forests by fusing radar, lidar, and climatic data Public Deposited

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  • Surface Canopy Water (SCW) is the intercepted rain water that resides within the tree canopy and plays a significant role in the hydrological cycle. Challenges arise in measuring SCW in remote areas using traditional ground based techniques. Remote sensing in the radio spectrum has the potential to overcome the challenges where traditional modelling approaches face difficulties. In this study we investigated the capability of the most recent SAR platform, the Sentinel-1 constellation to estimate SCW. We measured the backscatter of six forest stands in the H J Andrews experimental forest in central Oregon (as well as four clear cut areas and one golf course) over three summers to describe how the backscatter signal changes with moisture. We found significant results when we executed the analysis on radar images on which individual trees crowns were delineated from lidar, as opposing to SCW estimated from individual pixels backscatter. Significant differences occur in the mean backscatter between radar images taken during rain vs. during dry periods (no rain for > 1h). A lack in sufficient data prevented the formulation of a robust predictive model, however our results suggest the posibilty of mapping canopy moisture using SAR in the Pacific Northwest.
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