Assessing effects of temporal compositing and varying observation periods for large-area land-cover mapping in semi-arid ecosystems: Implications for global monitoring

Publication year: 2011
Source: Remote Sensing of Environment, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 14 June 2011

Christian, Hüttich , Martin, Herold , Martin, Wegmann , Anna, Cord , Ben, Strohbach , …

Land-cover is an important parameter in analyzing the state and dynamics of natural and anthropogenic terrestrial ecosystems. Land-cover classes related to semi-arid savannas currently exhibit among the greatest uncertainties in available global land cover datasets. This study focuses on the Kalahari in northeastern Namibia and compares the effects of different composite lengths and observation periods with class-wise mapping accuracies derived from multi-temporal MODIS time series classifications to better understand and overcome quality gaps in mapping semi-arid land-cover types. We further assess the effects of precipitation patterns on mapping accuracy using Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) observation data. Botanical field samples,…

 Research highlights: ► Effects of composite length and observation period were assessed for semi-arid land-cover mapping. ► Mapping accuracy increases with increasing observation period. ► Using small composite period lengths leads to increased mapping accuracies. ► Mapping accuracy is a function of precipitation input and change magnitude between land-cover stages. ► We suggest the integration of multi-annual time series for mapping in semi-arid savannas.