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Research article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

Data Assimilation of Growing Stock Volume Using a Sequence of Remote Sensing Data from Different Sensors

Lindgren, Nils; Olsson, Hakan; Nystrom, Kenneth; Nystrom, Mattias; Stahl, Goran


Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS) has implied a disruptive transformation of how data are gathered for forest management planning in Nordic countries. We show in this study that the accuracy of ALS predictions of growing stock volume can be maintained and even improved over time if they are forecasted and assimilated with more frequent but less accurate remote sensing data sources like satellite images, digital photogrammetry, and InSAR. We obtained these results by introducing important methodological adaptations to data assimilation compared to previous forestry studies in Sweden. On a test site in the southwest of Sweden (58 degrees 27 ' N, 13 degrees 39 ' E), we evaluated the performance of the extended Kalman filter and a proposed modified filter that accounts for error correlations. We also applied classical calibration to the remote sensing predictions. We evaluated the developed methods using a dataset with nine different acquisitions of remotely sensed data from a mix of sensors over four years, starting and ending with ALS-based predictions of growing stock volume. The results showed that the modified filter and the calibrated predictions performed better than the standard extended Kalman filter and that at the endpoint the prediction based on data assimilation implied an improved accuracy (25.0% RMSE), compared to a new ALS-based prediction (27.5% RMSE).

Published in

Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing
2022, Volume: 48, number: 2, pages: 127-143 Publisher: TAYLOR AND FRANCIS INC