Hayes, DJ, Cohen, WB (2007). "Spatial, spectral and temporal patterns of tropical forest cover change as observed with multiple scales of optical satellite data". REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, 106(1), 1-16.
This article describes the development of a methodology for scaling observations of changes in tropical forest cover to large areas at high temporal frequency from coarse resolution satellite imagery. The approach for estimating proportional forest cover change as a continuous variable is based on a regression model that relates multispectral, multitemporal MODIS data, transformed to optimize the spectral detection of vegetation changes, to reference change data sets derived from a Landsat data record for a study site in Central America. A number of issues involved in model development are addressed here by exploring the spatial, spectral and temporal patterns of forest cover change as manifested in a time-series of multi-scale satellite imagery. The analyses highlighted the distinct spectral change patterns from year-to-year in response to the possible land cover trajectories of forest clearing, regeneration and changes in climatic and land cover conditions. Spectral response in the MODIS Calibrated Radiances Swath data set followed more closely with the expected patterns of forest cover change than did the spectral response in the Gridded Surface Reflectance product. With forest cover change patterns relatively invariant to the spatial grain size of the analysis, the model results indicate that the best spectral metrics for detecting tropical forest clearing and regeneration are those that incorporate shortwave infrared information from the MODIS calibrated radiances data set at 500-m resolution, with errors ranging from 7.4 to 10.9% across the time periods of analysis. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.