Monitoring environmental supporting conditions of a raised bog using remote sensing techniques

Bhatnagar, Saheba; Ghosh, Bidisha; Regan, Shane; Naughton, Owen; Johnston, Paul; Gill, Laurence

Conventional methods of monitoring wetlands and detecting changes over time can be time-consuming and costly. Inaccessibility and remoteness of many wetlands is also a limiting factor. Hence, there is a growing recognition of remote sensing techniques as a viable and cost-effective alternative to field-based ecosystem monitoring. Wetlands encompass a diverse array of habitats, for example, fens, bogs, marshes, and swamps. In this study, we concentrate on a natural wetland – Clara Bog, Co. Offaly, a raised bog situated in the Irish midlands. The aim of the study is to identify and monitor the environmental conditions of the bog using remote sensing techniques. Environmental conditions in this study refer to the vegetation composition of the bog and whether it is in an intact (peat-forming) or degraded state. It can be described using vegetation, the presence of water (soil moisture) and topography. Vegetation indices (VIs) derived from satellite data have been widely used to assess variations in properties of vegetation. This study uses mid-resolution data from Sentinel-2 MSI, Landsat 8 OLI for VI analysis. An initial study to delineate the boundary of the bog using the combination of edge detection and segmentation techniques namely, entropy filtering, canny edge detection, and graph-cut segmentation is performed. Once the bog boundary is defined, spectra of the delineated area are studied. VIs like NDVI, ARVI, SAVI, NDWI, derived using Sentinel-2 MSI and Landsat 8 OLI are analysed. A digital elevation model (DEM) was also used for better classification. All of these characteristics (features) serve as a basis for classifying the bog into broad vegetation communities (termed ecotopes) that indicate the quality of raised bog habitat. This analysis is validated using field derived ecotopes. The results show that, by using spectral information and vegetation index clustering, an additional linkage can be established between spectral RS signatures and wetland ecotopes. Hence, the benefit of the study is in understanding ecosystem (bog) environmental conditions and in defining appropriate metrics by which changes in the conditions can be monitored.



Bhatnagar, Saheba / Ghosh, Bidisha / Regan, Shane / et al: Monitoring environmental supporting conditions of a raised bog using remote sensing techniques. 2018. Copernicus Publications.


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Rechteinhaber: Saheba Bhatnagar et al.

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