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Proceedings Paper

Analysis of ICESat/GLAS waveform data for characterizing forests in a hilly region
Author(s): Claudia Hilbert; Christiane Schmullius; Manfred Zink
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Paper Abstract

ICESat/GLAS data for a temperate forest in a hilly region were analysed regarding the potential to retrieve maximum canopy height using a direct approach. The GLAS height was derived by calculating the range of the waveform Signal Begin and the Ground Peak. The comparison with an inventory data base and airborne lidar based heights revealed that the GLAS height overestimates the reference heights by on average 5 m and 7 m, respectively (Std=6 m and Std=5 m). The GLAS waveforms were further investigated regarding the canopy structure and the ground surface topography. It was found that the waveforms are most influenced by the ground surface topography. The topography clearly affects the waveform shape and therefore also the accuracy of the GLAS height estimation. Waveforms corresponding to footprints with a mean slope up to 10° have a high potential to derive tree height. The correlation between the GLAS and reference heights is still fair for waveforms of moderate slope 10-15°. Higher slopes clearly challenge the analysis of the waveform structure and the derivation of forest parameters.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 October 2011
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 8286, International Symposium on Lidar and Radar Mapping 2011: Technologies and Applications, 828628 (24 October 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.913959
Show Author Affiliations
Claudia Hilbert, Friedrich-Schiller-Univ. Jena (Germany)
Christiane Schmullius, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (Germany)
Manfred Zink, Friedrich-Schiller-Univ. Jena (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8286:
International Symposium on Lidar and Radar Mapping 2011: Technologies and Applications
Jonathan Li, Editor(s)

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