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Use of remotely sensed data for forest type mapping and inventory in north east Tasmania, Australia


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Ahmad, W 1987 , 'Use of remotely sensed data for forest type mapping and inventory in north east Tasmania, Australia', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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This thesis has developed a methodology for the extraction
of landform and land cover information in complex terrain using
Landsat Multispectral Scanner (MSS) digital data. As a result it
has been possible to produce a forest inventory for the
Scottsdale forestry district in north east Tasmania.
Considerable research has been directed towards the
application of Landsat multispectral scanner data in the forest
environment. To date, most of this work has been done overseas,
and relatively few studies have been done in Australian forests.
This thesis has reviewed most of this work, highlighting major
deficiencies and accomplishments.
An important result in this study has been the extraction of
useful information in complex terrain. Very few researchers have
reported success in mapping land cover types in mountainous
areas. This is mainly due to variations in facet slope and
orientation which govern the radiant energy intercepted by
individual pixels in the Landsat scene. As a result, cover types
may have very similar spectral reflectances but quite different
radiances due to the shading effect of topography. This makes the
classification and labelling exercise difficult. Tasmania is a
high relief area and an illumination model employing the
logarithm of band ratios was used to account for topographic
Ancillary data comprising district and forest block
boundaries were integrated with Landsat data in the classification and labelling of various forest types in the study
area. A ground truth survey verified that the resulting land
cover was being mapped within a satisfactory level of accuracy.
The overall accuracy level was 89 percent, whilst for individual
land cover types the accuracy level ranged between 37 to 96
Two Landsat scenes (1980 and 1984) were classified and
labelled separately. These two scenes were resampled to a common
base grid with a two second resolution. Spectral change detection
methods and change detection based on two dates classification
were analyzed. Temporal changes in the major land cover types
were obtained by differencing the two classifications. The extent
of these changes were calculated not only for the district as a
whole but also for each of the forest blocks separately.
The methodology developed in this thesis is also applicable
to satellite systems with increased spatial and spectral
resolution. In particular, data from the Landsat Thematic Mapper,
SPOT and MOS-1 create new and exciting possibilities for future
work in remote sensing of forest resources. The increased spatial
resolution of these satellites not only increases the potential
for visual interpretation of the images, but as well should
provide an improvement in the accuracy and detail of information
provided by the classification techniques described in this
This study has clearly demonstrated the value of merging MSS
data with ancillary data such as digital terrain and different
administrative boundaries. Using these methods, a conceptual information system for forest resources in Tasmania is also explored leading to specific recommendations for the form of an
operational image base information system for forest resources.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Ahmad, W
Keywords: Forest mapping, Landsat satellites, Forest surveys
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1987 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Tasmania, 1988. Bibliography: leaves 248-274

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