Examining LiDAR - WorldView-3 data synergy to generate a detailed stand map in a mixed forest in the north-west of Turkey

Özkan U. Y. , Demirel T. , Özdemir İ., Saglam S. , Mert A.

ADVANCES IN SPACE RESEARCH, cilt.65, sa.11, ss.2608-2621, 2020 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier

  • Yayın Türü: Makale / Tam Makale
  • Cilt numarası: 65 Konu: 11
  • Basım Tarihi: 2020
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1016/j.asr.2020.02.020
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.2608-2621


Although stand delineation approach based on aerial photographs and field survey produces high accuracy maps, it is labour-intensive and time consuming. Furthermore, conventional forest stand maps may have some uncertainties that can hardly be verified due to the experiments and skills of photo-interpreters. Therefore, researchers have been seeking more objective and cost-effective methods for forest mapping. LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data have a high potential to automatically delineate forest stands. Unlike optical sensors, LiDAR height data provides information about both the horizontal and vertical structural characteristics of forest stands. However, it deprives of spectral data that may be successfully used in separating tree species. In this study, we investigate the potential of LiDAR - WorldView-3 data synergy for the automatic generation of a detailed forest stand map which can be used for a tactical forest management plan. Firstly, image segmentation was applied to LiDAR data alone and LiDAR/WorldView-3 data set in order to obtain the most suitable image objects representing forest stands. Visual inspection of the segmentation results showed that image objects based on the LiDAR/WorldView-3 data set were more compatible with the reference forest stand boundaries. After the segmentation process, the LiDAR and LiDAR/WorldView-3 data sets were independently classified using object-based classification method. We tested two levels of classification. The first was a detailed classification with 14 classes considering reference stand types. The second was the rough classification with 9 classes where some stand types were combined. The mean, standard deviation and texture features of LiDAR metrics and spectral information were used in the classification. The accuracy assessment results of LiDAR data showed that the Overall Accuracy (OA) was calculated as 0.31 and 0.43, and the Kappa Index (KIA) was calculated as 0.26 and 0.32 for the detailed and rough classifications, respectively. For the LiDAR/WorldView-3 data set, the OA values were calculated as 0.50 and 0.61, and the KIA were calculated as 0.46 and 0.55 for the detailed and rough classifications, respectively. These results showed that the forest stand map derived from the LiDAR/WorldView-3 data synergy is more compatible with the reference forest stand map. In conclusion, it can be said that the forest stand maps produced in this study may provide strategic forest planning needs, but it is not sufficient for tactical forest management plans. (C) 2020 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.