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Summary of Proposal COA2013

TitleMapping intertidal coastal habitats over the frenchmacrotidal lagoons using the synergy of high-resolution optical and radar data
Investigator DEHOUCK, Aurelie - ADERA, GEO-Transfert
Team Member
Dr Lafon, Virginie - ADERA, GEO-Transfert
Dr Baghdadi, Nicolas - IRSTEA, UMR TETIS « Territoires, Environnement, Télédétection et Information Spatiale »
Prof Mercier, Gregoire - Telecom Bretagne, ITI
Dr Bajjouk, Touria - IFREMER, DYNECO/Applications géomatiques
Dr Gade, Martin - Hamburg University, Zentrum für Marine und Atmosphärische Wissenschaften
Barillé, Laurent - Université de Nantes, Laboratoire MDS, Faculté de Sciences
SummaryThis proposal to the TerraSAR-X General Announcement of Opportunity lies on the SYNIHAL project (SYNergy of optical and radar Imagery for Habitat Mapping in Lagoons) funded by the CNES (TOSCA research call) over the period 2011-2013.The project in 2013 aims at applying the multi-source multi-temporal classification strategy developed for the Arcachon Lagoon to other similar macrotidal environments along the French Atlantic coast (Marenne-Oléron Bay, Réisland, Bourgneuf Bay, Morbihan Gulf). First-year results of the SYNIHAL project are promising considering forthcoming Sentinels platforms. This prefigures an operational service for mapping coastal habitats in the frame of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) program.
The potential of high-resolution optical and radar spaceborne images for mapping intertidal flats and coastal salt marshes have been investigated over the Arcachon lagoon (Dehouck et al., IGARSS2012; submitted to RSE). TerraSAR-X images in dual-polarization, PALSAR images in addition to SPOT-5 images were studied to analyze X-band and L-band SAR signatures along intertidal environments. Their capability for improving the thematic mapping ofthe lagoon complementary to optical images was clearly assessed. Results showed that both TerraSAR-X and PALSAR images were very suitable for detecting benthic macrofauna (i.e. oyster beds) and for discriminating dense Zostera noltii meadows from salt marsh halophytic communities, which were two limiting issues raised by the use of one unique summertime optical image. SAR response over salt marsh communities was found to be very dependent on surface backscattering mechanisms (soil/plant interactions) and soil moisture. SAR signature over intertidal flats was more difficult to interpret as the contribution of seabed roughness (ripples, bioturbations), soil moisture, free water and Zostera noltii often superimpose. This study also explored the response of SAR microwaves to Zostera noltii seabeds what has never been investigated before. Based on these findings, a multi-temporal multi-sensor approach was tested by concatenating winter and summer SPOT-5 bands together with TerraSAR-X data.This yields to a significant improvement of classification results in the Arcachon lagoon. This approach will be tested in 4 other macrotidal lagoons using the set of TerraSAR-X images requested in the frame of this proposal. A partnership gathering local thematic researchers and experts in radar image processing(co-Is) was raised in this intention. Some of these collaborators are co-investigators of this proposal.

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