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Journal of Applied Remote Sensing • Open Access

Threshold model for detecting transparent plastic-mulched landcover using moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer time series data: a case study in southern Xinjiang, China

Paper Abstract

Plastic-mulched landcover (PML) is the land surface covered by thin plastic films. PML has been expanding rapidly worldwide and has formed a significant agriculture landscape in the last two decades. Large-scale PML may impact the regional and global climate, ecosystem, and environment because it changes the energy balance and water cycles of the land surfaces, reduces the biodiversity, deteriorates the soil structure, etc. To study its impact, the spatial and temporal distributions and dynamics of PML have to be obtained. This paper presents a threshold model (TM) for PML detection and mapping with moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) time series data. Based on the temporal-spectral features of PML in the early stage of a growing season after planting, a TM was designed with the number of days (d) when the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) value is larger than a threshold value (x) as the discriminator. The model has been successfully applied to map PML in southern Xinjiang, China, from the interpolated MODIS NDVI time series (from 90th to 125th day of each year). Results indicate that when TM parameter x is set to 0.2 and d to 8, the overall accuracy and kappa coefficient (κ) are <0.84 and 0.65, respectively. We believe this classification accuracy can meet the PML mapping for large geographic areas. Furthermore, visual comparison between the PML maps from TM classification of MODIS time series and that from the maximum likelihood classification of Landsat ETM+ and OLI images shows they are consistent both in the pattern and location of PML. Therefore, detection and mapping of PML by using MODIS time series with the TM method is feasible. The PML mapping in this study used a cropland mask derived from Landsat images using a maximum likelihood classifier to mask out non-cropland when applying the TM algorithm. The accuracy of such a mask is subject to further study. Because of frequent global coverages of MODIS data, the method presented in this paper could potentially be used for PML detecting and mapping at continental and global scales.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 March 2015
PDF: 14 pages
J. Appl. Remote Sens. 9(1) 097094 doi: 10.1117/1.JRS.9.097094
Published in: Journal of Applied Remote Sensing Volume 9, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Lizhen Lu, Zhejiang Univ. (China)
Danwei Hang, Zhejiang Univ. (China)
Liping Di, George Mason Univ. (United States)

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