Remote sensing of wetland flooding at a sub-pixel scale based on random forests and spatial attraction models

Linyi Li*, Yun Chen, Tingbao Xu, Kaifang Shi, Rui Liu, Chang Huang, Binbin Lu, Lingkui Meng

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Wetland flooding is significant for the flora and fauna of wetlands. High temporal resolution remote sensing images are widely used for the timely mapping of wetland flooding but have a limitation of their relatively low spatial resolutions. In this study, a novel method based on random forests and spatial attraction models (RFSAM) was proposed to improve the accuracy of sub-pixel mapping of wetland flooding (SMWF) using remote sensing images. A random forests-based SMWF algorithm (RM-SMWF) was developed firstly, and a comprehensive complexity index of a mixed pixel was formulated. Then the RFSAM-SMWF method was developed. Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) images of two wetlands of international importance included in the Ramsar List were used to evaluate RFSAM-SMWF against three other SMWF methods, and it consistently achieved more accurate sub-pixel mapping results in terms of visual and quantitative assessments in the two wetlands. The effects of the number of trees in random forests and the complexity threshold on the mapping accuracy of RFSAM-SMWF were also discussed. The results of this study improve the mapping accuracy of wetland flooding from medium-low spatial resolution remote sensing images and therefore benefit the environmental studies of wetlands.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1231
    JournalRemote Sensing
    Volume11
    Issue number10
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019

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