Observing the Middle Elbe Biosphere in Germany by Means of TerraSAR-X Images


The Lower Saxonian Elbe Valley Biosphere Reserve is part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Elbe River Landscape, and used mainly for agriculture. One of tasks of the Biosphere Reserve Administration is to develop sustainable forms of land use which requires comprehensive updated land cover maps. Land use maps are hard to produce because of surveying costs and time. Nevertheless, these large areas need to be monitored. TerraSAR-X images are used to establish agricultural land use maps. In this study, two areas are selected within the Elbe Biosphere Reserve situated around the oxbows Wehninger Werder and Walmsburger Werder. Multi temporal classification methods were used to identify the different crops using maximum likelihood classifier for the years 2010 and 2011. The crop classifications were used to evaluate the effect of the number of images, the necessity of polarizations, and the consequences of some missing images within the crop calendar. These classifications were analyzed to estimate producer accuracy and Kappa index for each crop besides the overall accuracy for each agricultural land use map. The study shows that using dual polarization imagery enhances producer accuracies for many crops over the single polarization imagery, and demonstrates the importance of using frequent images during the cultivation period.

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Farghaly, D. , Elba, E. and Urban, B. (2014) Observing the Middle Elbe Biosphere in Germany by Means of TerraSAR-X Images. International Journal of Geosciences, 5, 196-205. doi: 10.4236/ijg.2014.52021.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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