Fusion of pan-tropical biomass maps using weighted averaging and regional calibration data


Biomass is a key environmental variable that influences many biosphere–atmosphere interactions. Recently, a number of biomass maps at national, regional and global scales have been produced using different approaches with a variety of input data, such as from field observations, remotely sensed imagery and other spatial datasets. However, the accuracy of these maps varies regionally and is largely unknown. This research proposes a fusion method to increase the accuracy of regional biomass estimates by using higher-quality calibration data. In this fusion method, the biases in the source maps were first adjusted to correct for over- and underestimation by comparison with the calibration data. Next, the biomass maps were combined linearly using weights derived from the variance–covariance matrix associated with the accuracies of the source maps. Because each map may have different biases and accuracies for different land use types, the biases and fusion weights were computed for each of the main land cover types separately. The conceptual arguments are substantiated by a case study conducted in East Africa. Evaluation analysis shows that fusing multiple source biomass maps may produce a more accurate map than when only one biomass map or unweighted averaging is used.

International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation