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Summary of Proposal RES0518

TitleForest regeneration monitoring using TerraSAR-X time-series
Investigator Kalogirou, Vasileios - European Space Agency, RSAC c/o, EOP-SA / EOP-SE
Team Member
Professor Solimini, Domenico - Tor Vergata University of Rome, Computer Science, Systems and Production
Professor Ferrazzoli, Paolo - Tor Vergata University of Rome, Department of Computer Science, Systems and Production
SummaryThe study aims to explore forest post-fire dynamics and their connection with high resolution SAR-derived and InSAR-derived metrics. The proposed AOI is the recently burnt area on the North of Athens (North Attiki fire - August 2009). The advantages of the proposed area are: i) the characteristic Mediterranean landscape and vegetation, ii) the time interval passed after the fire-event is appropriate to study vegetation recovery, iii) the fire event on those areas had major socio-economic impact, so the recovery of vegetation is important not only with respect to the scientific point of view but also for the revival of local communities, iv) ability to visit the area for ground survey.
The study will attempt to establish a methodology that will enable a qualitative assessment of the post-fire regeneration stages using TerraSAR-X time-series and derived metrics; and connect it with quantitative indicators of carbon-stock accumulation intensity. We are particularly confident that InSAR coherence can be used to characterise and quantify the weak signal of tree saplings. In addition, potential fusion of optical and SAR data using neural networks could be also tested in this framework, in the case of data availability.

Questions to be examined:
- In which degree and under which conditions can we detect regeneration of vegetation over burnt areas using high resolution SAR?
- Can we establish a SAR post-fire indicator for regeneration?
- Exploration of the synergy of TerraSAR-X data with optical data using artificial neural networks (on the regeneration application).

The study (including site visits & field survey) will be covered by the main investigator's personal resources.

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