A NEW MULTI-SPECTRAL THRESHOLD NORMALIZED DIFFERENCE WATER INDEX (MST-NDWI) WATER EXTRACTION METHOD – A CASE STUDY IN YANHE WATERSHED
Accurate remote sensing water extraction is one of the primary tasks of watershed ecological environment study. Since the Yanhe water system has typical characteristics of a small water volume and narrow river channel, which leads to the difficulty for conventional water extraction methods such as Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI). A new Multi-Spectral Threshold segmentation of the NDWI (MST-NDWI) water extraction method is proposed to achieve the accurate water extraction in Yanhe watershed. In the MST-NDWI method, the spectral characteristics of water bodies and typical backgrounds on the Landsat/TM images have been evaluated in Yanhe watershed. The multi-spectral thresholds (TM1, TM4, TM5) based on maximum-likelihood have been utilized before NDWI water extraction to realize segmentation for a division of built-up lands and small linear rivers. With the proposed method, a water map is extracted from the Landsat/TM images in 2010 in China. An accuracy assessment is conducted to compare the proposed method with the conventional water indexes such as NDWI, Modified NDWI (MNDWI), Enhanced Water Index (EWI), and Automated Water Extraction Index (AWEI). The result shows that the MST-NDWI method generates better water extraction accuracy in Yanhe watershed and can effectively diminish the confusing background objects compared to the conventional water indexes. The MST-NDWI method integrates NDWI and Multi-Spectral Threshold segmentation algorithms, with richer valuable information and remarkable results in accurate water extraction in Yanhe watershed.