The estimation of pine timber volume using Landsat Thematic Mapper satellite data
Lowe, Roger Charles
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The First and Second Blue Ribbon Panels on Forest Inventory and Analysis voice the need for improving the sampling and analysis methods used to generate reports on the welfare our Nation's timberlands. The panelists note that the use of aerial photography for certain measurements and stratification for field sampling is too laborintensive, and that satellite remote sensing can improve the inventory process. They suggest that satellite remote sensing should be implemented wherever it will lead to improved efficiency. In an attempt to demonstrate the utility of Landsat Thematic Mapper (LTM) satellite data in a large-scale inventory, a study was conducted in western Georgia to evaluate the relationship between "leaf-off" and "leaf-on" LTM data and coniferous stand parameters. Linear regression models applied to an independent dataset yielded significant results in which basal area was estimated within +/- 19%, and volume was estimated within +/- 28% of the ground measurements.