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A rule‐based method for mapping Canada's wetlands using optical, radar and DEM data

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Up‐to‐date information on the distribution and changes associated with wetlands is essential for their effective conservation and management. Satellite remote sensing is arguably the only practical way for mapping and monitoring wetlands in a timely manner over a large area, and therefore has been chosen by the Canadian Wetland Inventory (CWI) initiative to map Canada's wetlands and by the Environment and Sustainable Development Indicators (ESDI) initiative to monitor the extent of wetlands indicators. As a contribution to these initiatives, this paper presents a rule‐based wetland mapping method using Landsat‐7/ETM+, two‐season Radarsat‐1/SAR images and DEM data. Three study sites in eastern Canada were selected to test this new method. The test results indicate that the classification accuracy of the new method ranges from 71% to 92%, for open bog, open fen, treed bog, marsh and swamp at the three sites. In comparison, two traditional methods based on Landsat‐7/ETM+ alone or both Landsat‐7/ETM+ and Radarsat‐1/SAR have accuracies of 24–89% and 78–85% respectively.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Noetix Research Inc., 265 Carling Avenue, Ottawa ON, K1S 2E1, Canada 2: Canada Centre for Remote Sensing, Natural Resources Canada, 588 Booth, Ottawa ON, K1A 0Y7, Canada

Publication date: 2005-11-20

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