Use of UK-DMC 2 and ALOS PALSAR for studying the age of oil palm trees in southern peninsular Malaysia

Kian Pang Tan, Kasturi Devi Kanniah, Arthur Philip Cracknell

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    54 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This article demonstrates some techniques for studying the age of oil palm trees (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) using the Disaster Monitoring Constellation 2 from the UK (UK-DMC 2) and Advanced Land Observing Satellite phased array L-band synthetic aperture radar (ALOS PALSAR) remote-sensing data at a private oil palm estate in southern peninsular Malaysia. Several techniques were explored with UK-DMC 2 data, namely (1) radiance, vegetation indices, and fraction of shadow; (2) texture measurement; (3) classifications, namely Iterative Self-Organizing Data Analysis Technique (ISODATA) classification, maximum-likelihood classification (MLC), and random forest (RF) classification; (4) in terms of ALOS PALSAR data, the correlation of polarizations (i.e. horizontal transmitting and horizontal receiving (termed HH polarization) and horizontal transmitting and vertical receiving (termed HV polarization)) and the ratio of these polarizations to the age of oil palm trees. From the results, band 1 (near-infrared) of UK-DMC 2, fraction of shadow, and mean filter from the grey-level co-occurrence matrix (GLCM) demonstrated strong correlation of determination (R = 0.76-0.80) with the age of oil palm trees, while the ALOS PALSAR HH polarization could correlate moderately strongly (R = 0.49) with the age of oil palm trees. Adding fraction of shadow and UK-DMC 2 data using the RF method further improved the overall accuracy of age classification from 45.3% (MLC method) to 52.9%. This study concluded that texture measurement (GLCM mean) and fraction of shadow are useful for studying the age of oil palm trees, although discriminating variation in age between mature oil palm trees is difficult because the leaf area index development of mature oil palm trees stabilizes at about 10 years of age. Future studies should involve height information, because this has the potential to be used as one of the most important variables for studying the age of oil palm trees.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)7424-7446
    Number of pages23
    JournalInternational Journal of Remote Sensing
    Volume34
    Issue number20
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013

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