Synergy between Sentinel-1 radar time series and Sentinel-2 optical for the mapping of restored areas in Danube delta
Keywords: cartography, coastal wetlands, Danube delta, alteration and remediation of ecosystems, remote sensing
Abstract. Wetlands are important and valuable ecosystems, yet, since 1900, more than 50 % of wetlands have been lost worldwide. An example of altered and partially restored coastal wetlands is the Danube Delta in Romania. Over time, human intervention has manifested itself in more than a quarter of the entire Danube surface. This intervention was brutal and has rendered ecosystem restoration very difficult. Studies for the rehabilitation / re-vegetation were started immediately after the Danube Delta was declared as a Biosphere Reservation in 1990. Remote sensing offers accurate methods for detecting and mapping change in restored wetlands. Vegetation change detection is a powerful indicator of restoration success. The restoration projects use vegetative cover as an important indicator of restoration success. To follow the evolution of the vegetation cover of the restored areas, satellite images radar and optical of last generation have been used, such as Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2. Indeed the sensor sensitivity to the landscape depends on the wavelength what- ever radar or optical data and their polarization for radar data. Combining this kind of data is particularly relevant for the classification of wetland vegetation, which are associated with the density and size of the vegetation. In addition, the high temporal acquisition frequency of Sentinel-1 which are not sensitive to cloud cover al- low to use temporal signature of the different land cover. Thus we analyse the polarimetric and temporal signature of Sentinel-1 data in order to better understand the signature of the different study classes. In a second phase, we performed classifications based on the Random Forest supervised classification algorithm involving the entire Sentinel-1 time series, then starting from a Sentinel-2 collection and finally involving combinations of Sentinel-1 and -2 data.