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160,-6 160,-45 108,-45 108,-6 160,-6

TERN/de1c2fef-b129-485e-9042-8b22ee616e66 21777

Vegetation height and structure - derived from ALOS-1 PALSAR, Landsat and ICESat/GLAS, Australia coverage


Vertical plant profiles for the Australian continent were derived through integration of ICESat GLAS waveforms with ALOS PALSAR and Landsat data products. Co-registered Landsat Foliage Projected Cover (FPC) and ALOS PALSAR L-band HH and HV mosaics were segmented to generate objects with similar radar backscatter and cover characteristics. Within these, height, cover, age class and L-band backscatter characteristics were summarised based on the ICESat and Landsat time-series and ALOS PALSAR datasets.


ALOS PALSAR L-band Fine Beam Dual (HH and HV) polarisation data mosaics at 25 m spatial resolution, provided through the JAXA K&C Initiative, were combined with an Australian mosaic of persistent green vegetation cover derived from Landsat sensor time-series data [1]. These data were segmented to map clumps of contiguous vegetation structure and reduced to a maximum of 1000 unique classes using k-means based cluster analysis. These classes were then intersected with ICESat/GLAS L2 (Release 33) Global Land Surface Altimetry Data (GLA14) data acquired between 2003 and 2009 and obtained from the National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC). All GLAS laser shots were corrected for differences in footprint size, laser output power, vegetation/ground reflectance, and terrain slope. These laser shots were aggregated for each cluster and processed to mean vertical profiles of P_gap (θ,z). Vertical plant profiles were then derived and height of peak foliage density (Hpeak) and height percentiles (95th, 75th, 50th, and 25th) extracted. To produce a national map, each clump in the original segmentation was then assigned the mean vertical profile corresponding to the nearest cluster centroid.

Temporal coverage

From 2009-01-01 To 2009-12-31


  • Date modified


Citation information

How to cite this collection:

Peter Scarth (2013): Vegetation height and structure - derived from ALOS-1 PALSAR, Landsat and ICESat/GLAS, Australia coverage. Version 1. Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN). (Dataset).

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence