Satellite-borne L-band Interferometric Coherence for Forestry Applications in the Boreal Zone
In this thesis the possibilities to use L-band interferometric coherence for forestry applications are evaluated. Repeat-pass coherence from the Japanese JERS-1 satellite is used to study the boreal forest in six test areas located on the Central Siberian Plateau in Russia. A multi-temporal analysis show that the largest contrast between sparse and dense forest can be expected when both acquisitions are done under frozen winter conditions. Freeze and thaw cause strong decorrelation and the corresponding coherence is not suitable for forestry applications, but coherence from winter images with two years between the acquisitions can still allow separation between sparse and dense forest. It is demonstrated that under favourable conditions it is possible to use satellite-borne L-band repeat-pass coherence to estimate growing stock volume, create simple growing stock volume maps as well as to detect and monitor clear-cutting. A comparison with C-band coherence from the tandem mission with the European ERS-1 and ERS-2 satellites is also presented.