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Alteration and Remediation of Coastal Wetland Ecosystems in the Danube Delta: A Remote-Sensing Approach

  • Simona NiculescuEmail author
  • Cédric Lardeux
  • Jenica Hanganu
Chapter
Part of the Coastal Research Library book series (COASTALRL, volume 21)

Abstract

Wetlands are important and valuable ecosystems; yet, since 1900, more than 50% of wetlands have been lost worldwide. An example of altered and partially restored coastal wetlands is the Danube Delta in Romania. Over time, human intervention has manifested itself in more than one-quarter of the entire Danube surface. This intervention was brutal and has rendered ecosystem restoration very difficult. Studies for rehabilitation/re-vegetation were begun immediately after the Danube Delta was declared a Biosphere Reservation in 1990. Remote sensing offers accurate methods for detecting changes in restored wetlands. Vegetation change detection is a powerful indicator of restoration success. The restoration projects use vegetative cover as an important indicator of restoration success. To follow the evolution of the vegetation cover of the restored areas, images obtained by radar and optical satellites, such as Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2, have been used. The sensitivity of such sensors to the landscape depends on the wavelength of the radar or optical detection system and, for radar data, on polarization. Combining these types of data, which are associated with the density and size of the vegetation, is particularly relevant for the classification of wetland vegetation. In addition, the high temporal acquisition frequencies used by Sentinel-1, which are not sensitive to cloud cover, allow the use of temporal signatures of different land covers. Thus, to better understand the signatures of the different study classes, we analyze the polarimetric and temporal signatures of Sentinel-1 data. In a second phase, we perform classifications based on the Random Forest supervised classification algorithm involving the entire Sentinel-1 time series, proceeding through a Sentinel-2 collection and finally involving combinations of Sentinel-1 and -2 data. The supervised classifier used is the Random Forest algorithm that is available in the OrfeoToolbox (version 5.6) free software. Random Forest is an ensemble learning technique that builds upon multiple decision trees and is particularly relevant when combining different types of indicators. The results of this study relate to the use of combinations of data from different satellite sensors (multi-date Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2) to improve the accuracy of recognition and mapping of major vegetation classes in the restoring areas of the Danube Delta. First, the data from each sensor are classified and analyzed. The results obtained in the first step show quite good classification performance for only one Sentinel-2 data (87.5% mean accuracy), in contrast to the very good results obtained using the Sentinel-1 time series (95.7% mean accuracy). The combination of Sentinel-1 time series and optical data from Sentinel-2 improved the performance of the classification (97.1%).

Keywords

Coastal wetlands Danube delta Alteration and remediation of ecosystems Remote sensing Synergy of radar time series Sentinel-1 and optical image Sentinel-2 

Notes

Acknowledgment

This work was supported by the CNES.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simona Niculescu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cédric Lardeux
    • 2
  • Jenica Hanganu
    • 3
  1. 1.Laboratoire LETG-Brest, Géomer, UMR 6554 CNRS, IUEM-UBOPlouzanéFrance
  2. 2.Office National des ForêtsParis Cedex 12France
  3. 3.Danube Delta National Institute for Research and DevelopmentTulceaRomania

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