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Identification and assessment of pine forest areas affected by snowfalls through satellite data
Author(s): R. Nedkov; Emiliya Velizarova; Nikolai Georgiev
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Paper Abstract

The pine biome is of great importance for the Mediterranean flora, because it forms natural forest stands from low altitudes up to the timberline in the Mediterranean Basin, which are capable of exhibiting large ecological adaptation toward climatic amplitudes. For Bulgaria, the significance of the pine forests is related to their role in reduction of soil erosion, through slowing the water runoff and thus helping to provide a year-round supply of water in the ecosystems. Such plantations become vulnerable to damages from natural and anthropogenic origins, such as wind-throws, snow breakages, wet snowfalls, fires. We have tested different sensors and platforms for relevant data collection in order to allow for an improved identification and understanding of the changes occurring in forest cover, forest structure, and disturbance regimes in mountain forests affected by snowfalls. For the purpose of the study, radar and optical satellite images from the sensors Sentinel 1, Sentinel 2 (ESA), Landsat 8 and MODIS (NASA) were used. Composite raster images from the Sentinel 2, Landsat 8 and MODIS sensors were obtained. Two types of polarization were used in order to recognize areas covered by wet snow. Thematic maps for qualitative and quantitative assessment of the consequences of snowfalls and snow breakages have been generated. Based on the satellite, GPS and terrain data, the areas of severe damages in forests have been successfully identified and assessed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 June 2019
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 11174, Seventh International Conference on Remote Sensing and Geoinformation of the Environment (RSCy2019), 111741F (27 June 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2533711
Show Author Affiliations
R. Nedkov, Space Research and Technology Institute (Bulgaria)
Emiliya Velizarova, Executive Environment Agency (Bulgaria)
Nikolai Georgiev, Space Research and Technology Institute (Bulgaria)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11174:
Seventh International Conference on Remote Sensing and Geoinformation of the Environment (RSCy2019)
Kyriacos Themistocleous; Giorgos Papadavid; Silas Michaelides; Vincent Ambrosia; Diofantos G. Hadjimitsis, Editor(s)

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