POLINSAR BASED SCATTERING INFORMATION RETRIEVAL FOR FOREST ABOVEGROUND BIOMASS ESTIMATION
Forests play a crucial role in storing carbon and are of paramount importance in maintaining global carbon cycle. Assessment of forest biomass at regional and global level is vital for understanding and monitoring health of both tree species and entire cover. Changes in forest biomass are caused by human activities, natural factors and variations in climate. Forest biomass measurement is necessary for gauging the changes in forest ecosystems. Remote sensing is indispensable for mapping forest biophysical parameters. Microwaves are capable of collecting data even in case of cloud cover as the microwaves are of long wavelength. Microwaves help in retrieving scattering information of target. The goal of this research was to map aboveground biomass (AGB) over Barkot forest range in Dehradun, India. The current work focuses on the retrieval of PolInSAR based scattering information for the estimation of aboveground biomass. Radarsat-2 fully Polarimetric C-band data was used for the estimation of AGB in Barkot forest area. A semi-empirical model, which is Extended Water Cloud Model (EWCM) was utilized for AGB estimation. EWCM considers ground-stem interactions. Due to overestimation of volume scattering, polarization orientation angle shift correction was implemented on the PolInSAR pair. Field biomass data was utilized for accuracy assessment. The results show that coefficient of determination (R2) value of 0.47, Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) of 56.18 (t ha−1) and accuracy of 72% was obtained between modelled biomass against field measured biomass. Hence, it can be inferred from the obtained results that PolInSAR technique, in combination with semi-empirical modelling approach, can be implemented for estimating forest biomass.