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Summary of Proposal LAN1690

TitleSynergetic use of very high resolution optical and TerraSAR-X data for bare soils characterization in a fragmented area
Investigator Allain-Bailhache, Sophie - University of Rennes 1, I.E.T.R.
Team Member
Pr. Pottier, Eric - University of Rennes 1, I.E.T.R
Dr Corgne, Samuel - University of Rennes 2, LETG/COSTEL
Pr. Hubert-Moy, Laurence - University of Rennes 2, LETG/COSTEL
SummaryIn intensive agricultural regions, monitoring land use and cover represents an important stake. Some land cover changes in agro-systems cause modifications in the land use management that contribute to increase environmental problems, including an important degradation of water quality, soil erosion.... In this context, the identification of land-cover dynamics at high spatial scales constitutes a prior approach for the water resources restoration . Among the solutions to reduce pollutant fluxes (nitrogen, pesticides, phosphor…) towards the rivers, the reduction of bare soil surfaces during the winter period (December until April in France) appears determinant. In winter, bare soils results of multiple land use and land cover management at a field scale such as plough, sowing, period of pre-planting and post harvest which make their characterization complex.
With high and very high resolution optical data, it is possible to differentiate bare soils from vegetated fields. Nevertheless, with optical data a fine bare soil characterization in winter is not easy because of the high occurrence of cloudy conditions during this period. SAR sensors, which record images that allow characterizations of terrestrial surfaces despite cloudy climate, offer interesting potential for monitoring this type of land use.
However, few works have been realized on bare soil determination and characterisation in intensive agricultural regions with high resolution SAR data despite the high environmental task interest. Among SAR sensors, recent satellite as TerraSAR-X which acquire information at very high spatial resolution in a dual-polarimetric mode offer significantly more information relative to conventional radars that only records backscattering in single polarization. The advantage of using complex polarimetric data for general land cover classification have been clearly established for precise land cover monitoring (wetlands, forestry…) but still represent an active research area for bare soils mapping. The main objective of this proposal is to measure potentialities of the synergetic use of very high resolution optical and TerraSAR-X data to (1) extract bare soils fields in a fragmented landscape and (2) and to analyse the potential in the multi-source approach for the characterization of bare soils with both radar and optical data.
Eight TerraSAR-X acquisitions are required during the winter-spring-summer period in 2013. At this time, the bare fields proportion is important in Brittany and the land-use temporal evolution can be characterized.
The deliverables are bare soils/vegetated fields maps obtained directly from TerraSAR-X datasets. From this map, optical image and the farmers practice knowledge , the map land-use will be derived. A final report will be delivered at the end of the project with a deep analysis of the results and a comparison with land-use historical data on this well-know region.
This project is funded by the French national program of the CNRS “Zoneatelier”( and by publicing funding of the university of Rennes 1 and Rennes 2.

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