Effects of radiometric correction on cover type and spatial resolution for modeling plot level forest attributes using multispectral airborne LiDAR data

Wai Yeung Yan (Corresponding Author), Karin van Ewijk, Paul Treitz, Ahmed Shaker

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


In order to use the airborne LiDAR intensity in conjunction with the height-derived information for forest modeling and classification purposes, radiometric correction is deemed to be a critical pre-processing requirement. In this study, we implemented a LiDAR scan line correction (LSLC) and an overlap-driven intensity correction (OIC) to remove the stripe artifacts that appeared within the individual flight lines and overlapping regions of adjacent flight lines of a multispectral LiDAR dataset. We tested the effectiveness of these corrections in various land/forest cover types in a temperate mixed mature forest in Ontario, Canada. Subsequently, we predicted three plot level forest attributes, i.e., basal area (BA), quadratic mean diameter (QMD), and trees per hectare (TPH), using different combinations of height and intensity metrics derived from the multispectral LiDAR data to determine if LiDAR intensity data (corrected and uncorrected) improved predictions over models that utilize LiDAR height-derived information only. The results show that LSLC can reduce the intensity banding effect by 0.19–23.06% in channel 1 (1550 nm) and 4.79–66.87% in channel 2 (1064 nm) at the close-to-nadir region. The combined effect of LSLC and OIC is notable particularly at the swath edges. After implementing both methods, the intensity homogeneity is improved by 5.51–12% in channel 1, 6.37–42.93% in channel 2, and 6.48–33.77% in channel 3 (532 nm). Our results further demonstrate that BA and QMD predictions in our study area gained little from additional LiDAR intensity metrics. Intensity metrics from multiple LiDAR channels and intensity normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) metrics did improve TPH predictions up to 7.2% in RMSE and 1.8% in Bias. However, our lowest TPH prediction errors (%RMSE) were still approximately 10% larger than for BA and QMD. We observed only minimal differences in plot level BA, QMD, and TPH predictions between models using original and corrected intensity. We attribute this to: (i) the lower effectiveness of radiometric correction in forest versus grassland, bare soil and road land cover types, and (ii) the effect of spatial resolution on intensity noise.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152
Number of pages165
JournalISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sep 2020

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