MULTICRITERIA EVALUATION OF THE POTENTIAL OF P-BAND AIRBORNE RADAR DEMS FOR 3D CHARACTERISATION OF HYDROGRAPHY IN TROPICAL FORESTS
Keywords: Amazon, hydrography, scale, P-band radar, digital elevation model, quality
Abstract. Relief mapping through dense tropical forest is a challenge, which can be met by processing P-band radar images. Digital terrain models (DTMs) obtained over three sites in the Amazon region (French Guiana and North Brazil) are evaluated according to two types of quality criteria: on the one hand, the accuracy of elevations and slopes, calculated by comparison with lidar surveys used as reference data; on the other hand, the hydrographic coherence of the DTM, revealed by its compliance to some universal rules like “all rivers flow downhill”, or the fact that landforms shaped by water have a fractal behaviour. The results depend on the scale, the effect of which is addressed. Overall, the results confirm the potential of P-band airborne radar for 3D characterisation of hydrography in tropical forested areas.