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Report, 1999

Using Landsat TM and NFI data to estimate wood volume, tree biomass and stand age in Dalarna

Nilsson, Mats; Reese, Heather


As part of the "Monitoring of forest ecosystems" project, within the MISTRA program Remote Sensing for the Environment (RESE), and also with funding from the County Administration Board of Dalarna, a demonstration project was undertaken to estimate forest stand parameters in Dalarna with the use of satellite data. Using two full scenes of Landsat Thematic Mapper data and sample plot data from the Swedish National Forest Inventory, estimations of above ground tree biomass, age, total wood volume, and separate tree species' volumes were made using the "k Nearest Neighbor'' method. Accuracy assessment results at the single pixel level for total wood volume are consistent with results from previous kNN estimations, with an overall relative RMSE of 75% for the western scene, and 58% overall relative RMSE for the eastern scene. Validation data show a bias of the estimate toward the mean value of the estimation data. The pixel level estimates of above ground tree biomass and age had similar validation results to those for total wood volume. Biomass estimates had a 77% relative RMSE for the western scene, and 69% for the eastern scene. Age estimates had a relative RMSE of 60% in the western scene and 57% in the eastern scene. The results may suggest the need to incorporate a geographic limitation on the plots used in the estimation, and to further investigate the co-registration between the satellite and plot data. While pixel level errors are high, an aggregation of the estimates to larger (compartment-sized) areas could decrease the error significantly. Previous similar studies have shown that an RMSE of 10% for total wood volume can be obtained for as small areas as 1 00 to 450 hectares. The estimates from this study will be evaluated for use by the County Administration Board of Dalarna to find areas of ecological interest and to assist in planning.


remote sensing; forest land; wood

Published in

Arbetsrapport / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för skoglig resurshushållning
Publisher: Institutionen för skoglig resurshushållning, Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet

UKÄ Subject classification

Forest Science

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