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Radiometric correction effects in Landsat multi‐date/multi‐sensor change detection studies

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Radiometric corrections serve to remove the effects that alter the spectral characteristics of land features, except for actual changes in ground target, becoming mandatory in multi-sensor, multi-date studies. In this paper, we evaluate the effects of two types of radiometric correction methods (absolute and relative) for the determination of land cover changes, using Landsat TM and Landsat ETM+ images. In addition, we present an improvement made to the relative correction method addressed. Absolute correction includes a cross-calibration between TM and ETM+ images, and the application of an atmospheric correction protocol. Relative correction normalizes the images using pseudo-invariant features (PIFs) selected through band-to-band PCA analysis. We present a new algorithm for PIFs selection in order to improve normalization results. A post-correction evaluation index (Quadratic Difference Index (QD)), and post-classification and change detection results were used to evaluate the performance of the methods. Only the absolute correction method and the new relative correction method presented in this paper show good post-correction and post-classification results (QD index ˜ 0; overall accuracy >80%; kappa >0.65) for all the images used. Land cover change estimations based on uncorrected images present unrealistic change rates (two to three times those obtained with corrected images), which highlights the fact that radiometric corrections are necessary in multi-date multi-sensor land cover change analysis.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Laboratorio de Investigaciones Ecológicas de las Yungas, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, Casilla de Correo 34, 4107 Yerba Buena, Tucumán, Argentina 2: Instituto de Astronomía y Física del Espacio, Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires‐CONICET, Ciudad Universitaria, 1428 Buenos Aires, Argentina 3: Unidad de Cambio Global, Departamento de Termodinámica, Facultad de Física, Universidad de Valencia, Dr. Moliner 50, 46100 Burjassot, Spain

Publication date: 2006-02-20

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