An overview of the JERS-1 SAR global boreal forest mapping (GBFM) project

Åke Rosenqvist, Masanobu Shimada, Bruce Chapman, Kyle McDonald, Gianfranco De Grandi, Hans Jonsson, Cynthia Williams, Yrjö Rauste, Matts Nilsson, D. Sango, M. Matsumoto

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Boreal ecosystems play an essential role in global climate regulation. Forests constitute pools of terrestrial carbon and are generally considered as global sinks of atmospheric CO2, contributing to attenuating the greenhouse effect. Large amounts of carbon are also stored in boreal lakes, bogs and wetlands, partially released as CH4 and other trace gases to the atmosphere during the spring and summer months. Human activities in the forest zone are however reducing the size of the carbon pool and climate change is triggering shorter winters and earlier thaw onset, changing the natural equilibrium. Given its global importance, there is a need to map and monitor the boreal zone, and as the changes occur on all from local, regional to global scales, fine resolution information over vast areas is required. The Global Boreal Forest Mapping (GBFM) project is an international collaborative undertaking initiated by NASDA in 1996, as a follow-on to the tropical-focused Global Rain Forest Mapping (GRFM) project [1]. Utilising the L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) on the Japanese Earth Resources Satellite (JERS-1), one of the main objectives of the GBFM project is the generation of extensive, pan-boreal, SAR image mosaics, to provide snap-shots of the forest-, wetland and open water status in the mid-1990's. Mosaics over Canada, Alaska, Siberia and Europe have been generated, available on the Internet and on DVD free of charge for research and educational purposes. The GBFM project also entails research activities in North America, Siberia and northern Europe, aimed at advancing scientific applications of L-band SAR data in the boreal zone.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIGARSS 2004, IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium
PublisherIEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)0-7803-8742-2
Publication statusPublished - 2004
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventIEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, IGARSS 2004 - Anchorage, United States
Duration: 20 Sep 200424 Sep 2004


ConferenceIEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, IGARSS 2004
Abbreviated titleIGARSS 2004
CountryUnited States


  • SAR
  • forest
  • mosaic
  • radar

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