Title: Object-based ensemble learning for pan-European riverscape units mapping based on Copernicus VHR and EU-DEM data fusion
Citation: REMOTE SENSING vol. 12 no. 7 p. 1222
Publisher: MDPI
Publication Year: 2020
JRC N°: JRC120172
ISSN: 2072-4292 (online)
URI: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/12/7/1222
DOI: 10.3390/rs12071222
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Recent developments in the fields of geographical object-based image analysis (GEOBIA) and ensemble learning (EL) have led the way to the development of automated processing frameworks suitable to tackle large-scale problems. Mapping riverscape units has been recognized in fluvial remote sensing as an important concern for understanding the macrodynamics of a river system and, if applied at large scales, it can be a powerful tool for monitoring purposes. In this study, the potentiality of GEOBIA and EL algorithms were tested for the mapping of key riverscape units along the main European river network. The Copernicus VHR Image Mosaic and the EU Digital Elevation Model (EU-DEM)—both made available through the Copernicus Land Monitoring Service—were integrated within a hierarchical object-based architecture. In a first step, the most well-known EL techniques (bagging, boosting and voting) were tested for the automatic classification of water, sediment bars, riparian vegetation and other floodplain units. Random forest was found to be the best-to-use classifier, and therefore was used in a second phase to classify the entire object-based river network. Finally, an independent validation was performed taking into consideration the polygon area within the accuracy assessment, hence improving the efficiency of the classification accuracy of the GEOBIA-derived map, both globally and by geographical zone. As a result, we automatically processed almost 2 million square kilometers at a spatial resolution of 2.5 meters, producing a riverscape-units map with a global overall accuracy of 0.915, and with per-class F1 accuracies in the range 0.79–0.97. The obtained results may allow for future studies aimed at quantitative, objective and continuous monitoring of river evolutions and fluvial geomorphological processes at the scale of Europe.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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