Multitemporal optical and radar metrics for wetland mapping at national level in Albania

Heliyon. 2020 Aug 19;6(8):e04496. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2020.e04496. eCollection 2020 Aug.


Wetlands are highly dynamic, with many natural and anthropogenic drivers causing seasonal, periodic or permanent changes in their structure and composition. Thus, it is necessary to use time series of images for accurate classifications and monitoring. We used all available Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 images to produce a national wetlands map for Albania. We derived different indices and temporal metrics and investigated their impacts and synergies in terms of mapping accuracy. Best results were achieved when combining Sentinel-1 with Sentinel-2 and its derived indices. We reduced systematic errors and increased the thematic resolution using morphometric characteristics and knowledge-based rules, achieving an overall accuracy of 82%. Results were also validated against field inventories. This methodology can be reproducible to other countries and can be made operational for an integrated planning that considers the food, water, and energy nexus.

Keywords: Data fusion; Earth sciences; Environmental science; Geography; Random forest; Sentinel; Wetlands.