Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Earth Observation Lab


Sentinels supporting carbon estimates and REDD+

Project period: 04/2013 – 12/2016

With the upcoming series of Sentinel satellites, a new generation of optical and radar based earth observations will be available to describe environmental processes and complement measurements from existing sensor systems, such as  ETM+, OLI or MODIS.

The SenseCarbon project has the goal to use Sentinel-like remote sensing data and explore the advantages of synergetic use of optical- and SAR sensors, as well as of data with different spatial and temporal-resolutions, for monitoring land use and land cover change (LUCC) over space and time. SenseCarbon develops methods for improved mapping of REDD+ (Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) relevant LUCC processes, as for example deforestation, afforestation, succession, logging or forest degradation. Methodologically, both deep and dense time-series and large area compositing approaches will be pursued. Newly developed approaches will improve temporal and spatial estimates of land change in the Brazilian Amazon beyond deforestation. Direct and indirect approaches for estimating biomass and carbon budgets will be assessed.


Map of project areas sense carbon project

The regional focus of SenseCarbon is the Brazilian Legal Amazon, whose forests were subject of dramatic changes during the last 30 years, mainly caused by deforestation and agricultural expansion. Emphasis lies on two study sites: 1) border region Para/Mato Grosso; 2) Novo Progresso along BR-163. Both provide sufficient data coverage as well as promising LUCC dynamics caused by large-scale deforestation.

Using existing data archives of Landsat (MSS/TM/ETM+/OLI), ERS-1/2, ASAR, Radarsat, Terra/Aqua(MODIS) and ENVISAT (MERIS) data, several TByte of satellite imagery can be used to analyze spatial and temporal patterns of land cover dynamics, including subtle long term trends and abrupt events of the vegetation cover in the Amazon region.

Those Landsat scenes are in use of our project.


Lab members and other researchers involved
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