Stand-level stem volume of boreal forests from spaceborne SAR imagery at L-Band

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29 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a modified robust stem volume retrieval approach suitable for use with L-band SAR imagery. Multitemporal dual-polarization SAR imagery acquired by ALOS PALSAR during the summer-autumn 2007 is used in the study, along with stand-wise forest inventory data from two boreal forest sites situated in central Finland. The average sizes of forest stands at the study sites were 3 ha and 4.8 ha. The method used employs model fitting with an inverted semi-empirical boreal forest model, and takes advantage of the multitemporal aspect in order to improve the stability and accuracy of stem volume estimation. Multitemporal combination of model output in a multivariate regression framework allows volume estimates to be obtained with an RMSE about 43% of the mean of 110 m3 /ha, and a coefficient of determination R2 of 0.71 in the best case. The methodology used can be employed to produce large-area stem volume maps from dual-polarization ALOS PALSAR imagery mosaics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-44
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • boreal forest
  • forest inventory
  • synthetic aperture radar (SAR)

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