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Comparing global land-cover products – implications for geoscience applications: an investigation for the trans-boundary Mekong Basin

Künzer, Claudia and Leinenkugel, Patrick and Vollmuth, Matthias and Dech, Stefan (2014) Comparing global land-cover products – implications for geoscience applications: an investigation for the trans-boundary Mekong Basin. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 35 (8), pp. 2752-2779. Taylor & Francis. doi: 10.1080/01431161.2014.890305. ISSN 0143-1161.

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Official URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01431161.2014.890305


In this article we present the results of a comparison of six globally available land-cover products for the Mekong Basin – an area that spans 795,000 km2 and comprises parts of six riparian countries: China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. The basin covers most climatic zones: from high-altitude, snow-covered mountainous regions in the north, to subtropical and tropical rainforest areas and agricultural land further south. The geopolitically important region not only is home to over 72,000,000 inhabitants, but also is a centre of attention of several environmental modelling experts, trying to assess future hydrologic dynamics, climate variability, as well probable land-use developments in the area. We compare land-cover products of the University of Maryland, UMD 1992–1993, the GLC 2000 product, the GlobCover products of 2004–2006 and 2009, as well as the MODIS-derived land-cover products of 2001 and 2009. For harmonization of individual legends, the Land Cover Classification System, LCCS, has been employed. However, even after harmonization, cross-tabulation among the products reveals extreme differences, where the impact of differing classification algorithms weighs higher than the impact of temporal coincidence of products. Especially, differences within mixed-vegetation classes are large, strongly impacting the overall assessment of forested land, other vegetated land, and even cultivated land in the Mekong Basin. The findings presented here are of high relevance for the modelling community as well as Mekong-related environmental studies, which should consider global remote-sensing-derived products with caution and solid background knowledge.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/97691/
Document Type:Article
Title:Comparing global land-cover products – implications for geoscience applications: an investigation for the trans-boundary Mekong Basin
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Journal or Publication Title:International Journal of Remote Sensing
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 2752-2779
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
Keywords:land cover intercomparison, Mekong Basin,
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Earth Observation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Fernerkundung der Landoberfläche (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:German Remote Sensing Data Center > Land Surface
German Remote Sensing Data Center > Leitungsbereich DFD
Deposited By: Gessner, Ursula
Deposited On:04 Aug 2015 10:20
Last Modified:06 Nov 2023 15:08

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