Rice-planted area extraction by time series analysis of ENVISAT ASAR WS data using a phenology-based classification approach: A case study for Red River Delta, Vietnam
- 1Department of Geodesy and Geoinformation, Vienna University of Technology, Austria
- 2Department of Photogrametry and Remote Sensing, Hanoi University of Mining and Geology, Vietnam
Keywords: Rice phenology, Time series, ENVISAR ASAR WS, SAR, Red River delta, Classification
Abstract. Recent studies have shown the potential of Synthetic Aperture Radars (SAR) for mapping of rice fields and some other vegetation types. For rice field classification, conventional classification techniques have been mostly used including manual threshold-based and supervised classification approaches. The challenge of the threshold-based approach is to find acceptable thresholds to be used for each individual SAR scene. Furthermore, the influence of local incidence angle on backscatter hinders using a single threshold for the entire scene. Similarly, the supervised classification approach requires different training samples for different output classes. In case of rice crop, supervised classification using temporal data requires different training datasets to perform classification procedure which might lead to inconsistent mapping results. In this study we present an automatic method to identify rice crop areas by extracting phonological parameters after performing an empirical regression-based normalization of the backscatter to a reference incidence angle. The method is evaluated in the Red River Delta (RRD), Vietnam using the time series of ENVISAT Advanced SAR (ASAR) Wide Swath (WS) mode data. The results of rice mapping algorithm compared to the reference data indicate the Completeness (User accuracy), Correctness (Producer accuracy) and Quality (Overall accuracies) of 88.8%, 92.5 % and 83.9 % respectively. The total area of the classified rice fields corresponds to the total rice cultivation areas given by the official statistics in Vietnam (R² 0.96). The results indicates that applying a phenology-based classification approach using backscatter time series in optimal incidence angle normalization can achieve high classification accuracies. In addition, the method is not only useful for large scale early mapping of rice fields in the Red River Delta using the current and future C-band Sentinal-1A&B backscatter data but also might be applied for other rice cultivation areas.