SentiGrass – assessment of grassland quality and quantity parameters and management activities using Sentinel 1 & 2 data
According to the European Commission report (2015) required by the Birds and Habitats directives, grasslands and wetlands have the highest proportion of habitats with an unfavourable-bad and deteriorating status in the EU. Latvia’s rural development programme (2014 – 2020) has identified c.a. 47000 hectares of biologically valuable grasslands – natural meadows and pastures that include species and habitat types of EU importance. During 2012 70-90% of EU importance grassland habitats in Natura 2000 sites were in poor condition in Latvia.
Colour infrared Sentinel-2 image highlighting forests, fields, water, bare land and urban areas within the Cēsis Municipality in Latvia. Image: ESA
During the project IES will explore the capability to fuse and use Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 satellite data for the assessment of grassland management activities (grazing, mowing and ploughing), quantitative (biomass) and qualitative (invasive species, biodiversity, degradation) parameters. Thus moving towards the development of a multifunctional grassland surveillance and monitoring tool.
- To develop a grassland monitoring scheme based on remote sensing data in close cooperation with the potential end-users to support EU and national policy and grassland management surveillance activities as well as to explain and demonstrate them the potential Sentinel data;
- To explore possibilities for mapping of grassland and assessment of management activities (grazing, mowing and ploughing), quantitative (biomass) and qualitative (invasive species, biodiversity, degradation) parameters and to develop an algorithm for grassland monitoring from Sentinel data;
- To test the algorithm on a pilot territory and validate the results with in-situ measurements and airborne data;
- To test the performance of VHR optical and X-band SAR satellite data and compare to Sentinel data results thus indicating possible improvements in the algorithm;
- To implement the algorithm as a software prototype exploring also the possibility to link it with the Sentinel Application Platform (SNAP);
- To demonstrate the results to the potential end-users in order to raise awareness, get their feedback and move towards the development of the multifunctional grassland surveillance and monitoring tool.
Project duration: August 2016 – August 2018
Project Manager: Dr.Phys. Dainis Jakovels
The Project is financed by: European Space Agency’s programme The Plan for European Co-operating States