Multi-temporal Analysis of High-resolution Satellite Images for Detecting and Monitoring Canopy Decline by Pine Pitch Canker

Lee, Hwa-Seon;Lee, Kyu-Sung

  • Received : 2019.07.16
  • Accepted : 2019.08.19
  • Published : 2019.08.31


Unlike other critical forest diseases, pine pitch canker in Korea has shown rather mild symptoms of partial loss of crown foliage and leaf discoloration. This study used high-resolution satellite images to detect and monitor canopy decline by pine pitch canker. To enhance the subtle change of canopy reflectance in pitch canker damaged tree crowns, multi-temporal analysis was applied to two KOMPSAT multispectral images obtained in 2011 and 2015. To assure the spectral consistency between the two images, radiometric corrections of atmospheric and shadow effects were applied prior to multi-temporal analysis. The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) of each image and the NDVI difference (${\Delta}NDVI=NDVI_{2015}-NDVI_{2011}$) between two images were derived. All negative ΔNDVI values were initially considered any pine stands, including both pitch canker damaged trees and other trees, that showed the decrease of crown foliage from 2011 to 2015. Next, $NDVI_{2015}$ was used to exclude the canopy decline unrelated to the pitch canker damage. Field survey data were used to find the spectral characteristics of the damaged canopy and to evaluate the detection accuracy from further analysis.Although the detection accuracy as assessed by limited number of field survey on 21 sites was 71%, there were also many false alarms that were spectrally very similar to the damaged canopy. The false alarms were mostly found at the mixed stands of pine and young deciduous trees, which might invade these sites after the pine canopy had already opened by any crown damages. Using both ${\Delta}NDVI$ and $NDVI_{2015}$ could be an effective way to narrow down the potential area of the pitch canker damage in Korea.


Pine pitch canker;Forest disease;Multi-temporal analysis;KOMPSAT;High-resolution;NDVI difference


Supported by : Korea Agency for Infrastructure Technology Advancement (KAIA)