Evaluation of phenospectral dynamics with Sentinel-2A using a bottom-up approach in a northern ombrotrophic peatland
Remote Sensing of Environment
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... p approach in a northern ombrotrophic peatland Arroyo-Mora, J. P.; Kalacska, M.; Soffer, R.; Ifimov, G.; Leblanc, G.; Schaaf, E. S.; Lucanus, O. https://publications-cnrc.canada.ca/fra/droits L'accès à ce site Web et l'utilisation de son contenu sont assujettis aux conditions présentées dans le site ABSTRACT Peatlands cover very large extents in northern regions and play a significant role in the global carbon cycle by functioning as a carbon sink. Large-scale satellite based monitoring systems, such as the Sentinel-2 Multispectral Instrument (MSI), are necessary to improve our understanding of how these ecosystems respond to climate change by providing verifiable land products. For instance, satellite-based land product validation approaches can benefit from airborne hyperspectral imagery and in-situ data, which provide higher spatial and spectral resolution baselines, ideal for measuring vegetation changes (e.g. phenology, LAI) at local scales. Here, we assessed the short-term phenospectral dynamics (spectral changes indicated by specific spectral features as a function of phenology) of five ombrotrophic peatland vegetation physiognomies over four dates at the Mer Bleue bog in Canada. We took advantage of a unique remote sensing data acquisition campaign aiming to validate Sentinel-2A land products, and analyzed three spatially and spectrally distinctive datasets (i.e. field spectra, VISNIR airborne hyperspectral imagery (HSI) and Sentinel-2A imagery) over the first half of the 2016 growing season. By implementing a bottom-up approach, first we assessed the airborne HSI's capability to detect phenological changes as compared to in-situ acquired field spectroscopy measurements in a 10 ha area at Mer Bleue and evaluated the spectral features characteristic of these phenological changes. Second, over the entire Mer Bleue area (28,000 ha), we compared a series of four Sentinel-2A images to four airborne HSI mosaics (spatially and spectrally resampled to Sentinel-2A) to assess the utility of Sentinel-2A for detecting small spectral variations due to phenological changes (i.e. greening). In addition, for this second comparison, three spectral vegetation indices were derived from the Sentinel-2A images and the airborne HSI mosaics. The spectral comparisons between the airborne HSI and the field spectroscopy data revealed clear phenological changes from the airborne HSI. For instance, a closer agreement between reflectance measured by the field spectrometer and the airborne HSI spectral response was found in the visible region (450-680 nm). A greater difference however, was consistently seen in the near-infrared region (681-866 nm) across the four dates. Narrow spectral features in three regions of the visible range (global minima, red absorption, green peak), indicating changes in vegetation colour, were consistent for both datasets and with expected phenological patterns at Mer Bleue. At the landscape level, Sentinel-2A mirrored the spectral changes depicted by the resampled HSI data. However, band level, pair-wise comparisons showed significant differences (p < 0.001) in reflectance for each band, with Sentinel-2A exhibiting higher reflectance values than the HSI for the first three dates. Only for the last date (June 23rd) did the airborne HSI have higher reflectance values or no significant difference with the Sentinel-2A data. Overall, our three datasets captured the short-term phenological changes at Mer Bleue and have provided promising results in terms of using the Sentinel-2A MSI sensor to monitor these changes at the landscape level.