Habitat mapping of the Brazilian Pantanal using synthetic aperture radar imagery and object based image analysis

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dc.contributor.author Evans, Teresa Lynne
dc.date.accessioned 2013-06-28T18:04:59Z
dc.date.available 2013-06-28T18:04:59Z
dc.date.copyright 2013 en_US
dc.date.issued 2013-06-28
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1828/4671
dc.description.abstract The Brazilian Pantanal, a continuous tropical wetland located in the center of South America, has been recognized as one of the largest and most important wetland ecosystems globally. The Pantanal exhibits a high biodiversity of flora and fauna species, and many threatened habitats. The spatial distribution of these habitats influence the distribution, abundance and interactions of animal species, and the change or destruction of habitat may cause alteration of key biological processes. The Pantanal may be divided into several distinct subregions based on geology and hydrology: flooding in these subregions is distinctly seasonal, but the timing, amplitude and duration of inundation vary considerably as a result of both the delayed release of floodwaters and regional rainfall patterns. Given the ecological importance of the Pantanal wetland ecosystem, the primary goal of this research was to utilize a dual season set of L-band (ALOS/PALSAR) and C-band (RADARSAT-2 and ENVISAT/ASAR) imagery, a comprehensive set of ground reference data, and a hierarchical object-oriented approach. This primary goal was achieved through two main research tasks. The first task was to define the diverse habitats of the Lower Nhecolândia subregion of the Pantanal at both a fine spatial resolution (12.5 m), and a relatively medium spatial resolution (50 m), thus evaluating the accuracy of the differing spatial resolutions for land cover classification of the highly spatially heterogeneous subregion. The second task was to define on a regional scale, using the 50 m spatial resolution imagery, the wetland habitats of each of the hydrological subregions of the Pantanal, thereby producing a final product covering the entire Pantanal ecosystem. The final classification maps of the Lower Nhecolândia subregion resulted in overall accuracies of 83% and 72% for the 12.5 m and 50 m spatial resolutions, respectively, and defined seven land cover classes. In general, the highest degree of confusion for both fine and medium resolution classifications related to issues of 1) scale of habitats, for instance, capões, cordilheiras, and lakes, in relation to spatial resolution of the imagery, and 2) issues relating to variable flooding patterns in the subregion, and 3) arbitrary class membership rules. The 50 m spatial resolution classification of the entire Pantanal wetland resulted in an overall accuracy of 80%, and defined ten land cover classes. Given the analysis of the comparison of fine and relatively medium spatial resolution classifications of the Lower Nhecolândia subregion, I conclude that significant improvements in accuracy can be achieved with the finer spatial resolution dataset, particularly in subregions with high spatial heterogeneity in land cover. The produced habitat spatial distribution maps will provide vital information for determining refuge zones for terrestrial species, connectivity of aquatic habitats during the dry season, and crucial baseline data to aid in monitoring changes in the region, as well as to help define conservation strategies for habitat in this critically important wetland. en_US
dc.language English eng
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject remote sensing en_US
dc.subject wetlands en_US
dc.subject habitat en_US
dc.subject Pantanal en_US
dc.subject synthetic aperture radar en_US
dc.title Habitat mapping of the Brazilian Pantanal using synthetic aperture radar imagery and object based image analysis en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.contributor.supervisor Costa, Maycira
dc.degree.department Dept. of Geography en_US
dc.degree.level Master of Science M.Sc. en_US
dc.rights.temp Available to the World Wide Web en_US
dc.identifier.bibliographicCitation Evans, T. L., & Costa, M. (2013). Landcover classification of the Lower Nhecolândia subregion of the Brazilian Pantanal Wetlands using ALOS/PALSAR, RADARSAT-2 and ENVISAT/ASAR imagery. Remote Sensing of Environment, 128, 118–137. en_US
dc.identifier.bibliographicCitation Evans, T. L., Costa, M., Tomas, W. M., Camilo, A.R. Large-Scale Habitat Mapping of the Brazilian Pantanal Wetland: A Synthetic Aperture Radar Approach. Remote Sensing of Environment (submitted). en_US
dc.description.scholarlevel Graduate en_US
dc.description.proquestcode 0366 en_US

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