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Mapping recent deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon using simulated L-band MAPSAR images

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Brazilian Amazon Forest biomes are presently under intensive land cover conversion from natural vegetation to agriculture. Timely detection of recent deforestation through orbital remote sensing is a critical requirement for an operational land cover monitoring system in order to provide information to the regulatory systems and decision makers. Optical images present drawbacks for operation in the moist tropics and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data are a real alternative. The feasibility of using multipolarized L-band images simulating the Multi-Application Purpose SAR (MAPSAR) satellite was examined for the detection of recent deforestation in the Tapajos region. The discrimination of recent deforestation from other land cover classes was evaluated through a quantitative analysis based on Jeffreys-Matusitas (JM) distances derived from training samples using amplitude values and supported by field survey. The investigation confirmed the possibility of the discrimination of recently deforested classes from other classes based on the L-band images as proposed in the MAPSAR.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: INPE (National Institute for Space Research), Sao Jose dos Campos, SP, CEP 12227-010, Brazil

Publication date: 01 January 2008

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