Remote Sensing Applications and Decision Support

Assessment of remote sensing-based classification methods for change detection of salt-affected areas (Biskra area, Algeria)

[+] Author Affiliations
Gabriela M. Afrasinei, Maria T. Melis, Cristina Buttau

University of Cagliari, TeleGIS Laboratory, Department of Chemical and Geological Sciences, Cagliari, Italy

John M. Bradd

University Wollongong, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia

Claudio Arras, Giorgio Ghiglieri

University of Cagliari, TeleGIS Laboratory, Department of Chemical and Geological Sciences, Cagliari, Italy

University of Sassari, TeleGIS Laboratory, Desertification Research Center–NRD, Sassari, Italy

J. Appl. Remote Sens. 11(1), 016025 (Feb 10, 2017). doi:10.1117/1.JRS.11.016025
History: Received September 10, 2016; Accepted January 16, 2017
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Abstract.  In the Wadi Biskra arid and semiarid areas, sustainable development is restricted by land degradation processes such as secondary salinization of soils. Being an important high-quality date production region of Algeria, this area needs continuous monitoring of desertification indicators, hence highly exposed to climate-related risks. Given the limited access to field data, appropriate methods were assessed for the identification and change detection of salt-affected areas, involving image interpretation and automated classifications employing Landsat imagery, ancillary and multisource ground truth data. First, a visual photointerpretation study of the land cover and land use classes was undergone according to acknowledged methodologies. Second, two automated classification approaches were developed: a customized decision tree classification (DTC) and an unsupervised one applied to the principal components of Knepper ratios composite. Five indices were employed in the DTC construction, among which also is a salinity index. The diachronic analysis was undergone for the 1984 to 2015 images (including seasonal approach), being supported by the interpreted land cover/land use map for error estimation. Considering also biophysical and socioeconomic data, comprehensive results are discussed. One of the most important aspects that emerged was that the accelerated expansion of agricultural land in the last three decades has led and continues to contribute to a secondary salinization of soils.

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© 2017 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Gabriela M. Afrasinei ; Maria T. Melis ; Cristina Buttau ; John M. Bradd ; Claudio Arras, et al.
"Assessment of remote sensing-based classification methods for change detection of salt-affected areas (Biskra area, Algeria)", J. Appl. Remote Sens. 11(1), 016025 (Feb 10, 2017). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.JRS.11.016025


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