Research Papers

Revised method for forest canopy height estimation from Geoscience Laser Altimeter System waveforms

[+] Author Affiliations
Michael A. Lefsky

Colorado State University

Michael Keller

University of New Hampshire

Yong Pang

Colorado State University

Plinio B. De Camargo

Universidade de Sa˜o Paulo

Maria O. Hunter

University of New Hampshire

J. Appl. Remote Sens. 1(1), 013537 (September 19, 2007). doi:10.1117/1.2795724
History: Received June 6, 2007; Revised September 6, 2007; Accepted September 18, 2007; September 19, 2007; Online September 19, 2007
Text Size: A A A

Abstract

The vertical extent of waveforms collected by the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (onboard ICESat - the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite) increases as a function of terrain slope and footprint size (the area on the ground that is illuminated by the laser). Over sloped terrain, returns from both canopy and ground surfaces can occur at the same elevation. As a result, the height of the waveform (waveform extent) is insufficient to make estimates of tree height on sloped terrain, and algorithms are needed that are capable of retrieving information about terrain slope from the waveform itself. Early work on this problem used a combination of waveform height indices and slope indices from a digital elevation model (DEM). A second generation algorithm was developed using datasets from diverse forests in which forest canopy height has been estimated in the field or by via airborne lidar. Forest types considered in this paper include evergreen needleleaf, deciduous broadleaf and mixed stands in temperate North America, and tropical evergreen broadleaf forests in Brazil. The algorithm described eliminates the need for a DEM, and estimates forest canopy height with an RMSE of 5 m (83% of variance in forest canopy height explained).

© 2007 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Michael A. Lefsky ; Michael Keller ; Yong Pang ; Plinio B. De Camargo and Maria O. Hunter
"Revised method for forest canopy height estimation from Geoscience Laser Altimeter System waveforms", J. Appl. Remote Sens. 1(1), 013537 (September 19, 2007). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.2795724


Figures

Tables

Access This Article
Sign in or Create a personal account to Buy this article ($20 for members, $25 for non-members).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Related Book Chapters

Topic Collections

PubMed Articles
Advertisement
  • Don't have an account?
  • Subscribe to the SPIE Digital Library
  • Create a FREE account to sign up for Digital Library content alerts and gain access to institutional subscriptions remotely.
Access This Article
Sign in or Create a personal account to Buy this article ($20 for members, $25 for non-members).
Access This Proceeding
Sign in or Create a personal account to Buy this article ($15 for members, $18 for non-members).
Access This Chapter

Access to SPIE eBooks is limited to subscribing institutions and is not available as part of a personal subscription. Print or electronic versions of individual SPIE books may be purchased via SPIE.org.