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Comparison of Landsat image classification methods for detecting mangrove forests in Sundarbans

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Remote-sensing images taken from the Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) sensor with a spatial resolution of 30┬ám were applied for mapping and inventory of mangrove forest areas in Sundarbans, on both sides of the border between Bangladesh and India. Three different classification methods – unsupervised classification with k-means clustering, supervised classification using the maximum likelihood decision rule, and band-ratio supervised classification – were tested and compared in terms of the top of the atmosphere reflectance images. Spectral signature and principal component analyses were applied to select the appropriate band combinations prior to the band ratio–supervised classification. Our results show that the band ratio method is superior to the unsupervised or supervised classification methods considering the visual inspection, producer's and user's accuracy, as well as the overall accuracy of the all the classes in the image. The best discrimination of mangrove/nonmangrove boundary can be achieved when the combinations of B4/B2 (band 4/band 2), B5/B7, and B7/B4 are employed from the ETM+ bands.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Graduate School of Advanced Integration Science,Chiba University, Chiba,263-8522, Japan 2: Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering,Atish Dipankar University of Science & Technology, Dhanmondi, Dhaka,1209, Bangladesh 3: Department of Earth Science,Centre for Environmental Remote Sensing (CEReS), Chiba University, Chiba,263-8522, Japan 4: Department of Information Processing & Computer Science,Centre for Environmental Remote Sensing (CEReS), Chiba University, Chiba,263-8522, Japan

Publication date: February 20, 2013

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