DIGITAL ELEVATION MODELS FOR VEGETATION MONITORING: A CASE STUDY OF A FOREST DISTRICT IN POLAND
Keywords: DEM difference, Forest, InSAR, SRTM, Copernicus, Inpenetrability, Monitoring, Poland
Abstract. Monitoring vegetation cover is one of the prime aims of remote sensing. Spatio-temporal trajectories of the vegetation state are key findings used by various branches of sciences for research and planning of human activities purposes. Among available vegetation monitoring methods, including forests, are multispectral and microwave indices. However, there are other ways to monitor vegetation/forest cover using surveys performed from satellite orbit. These approaches, including LiDAR and InSAR-derived digital elevation data products (further DEMs), are relatively less discussed in the literature on forest monitoring. Here, we present the results of a study of forest monitoring using the difference between two DEMs captured approximately 15 years apart. DEMs involved are the Shuttle RadarTopography Mission (SRTM) and Copernicus. The study area is located in a forestry district in the southwestern part of Poland. Spatial constraints and forest stand age, and dominant species were available from a forest stand map of the district. The study concludes that DEMs difference can be used for preliminary forest change assessment.