Study of wetlands in the Ecuadorian Andes through the comparison of Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2 images

C. Jara, J. Delegido, J. Ayala, P. Lozano, A. Armas, V. Flores


The objective of the present study was to compare the Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2 images to calculate the wetland´s extension, distribution and degree of conservation, in Reserva de Producción de Fauna Chinborazo (RPFCH) protected area located in the Andean region of Ecuador. This process was developed with in situ work in 16 wetlands, distributed in different conservation levels. The Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2 images were processed through a radiometric calibration (restoration of lost lines or píxels and correction of the stripe of the image) and an atmospheric correction (conversion of the digital levels to radiance values), to later calculate the Vegetation spectral indexes: NDVI, SAVI (L = 0.5) where L is a constant of the soil brightness component, EVI2 (improved vegetation index 2), NDWI (standard difference water index), WDRI (wide dynamic range vegetation index) and the Red Edge model that only this one has in Sentinel-2 in this study. Making a classification of the Bofedal ecosystem in satellite images by applying Random Forest, the most important variables with Landsat-8 were EVI2 (37.72%) and SAVI with L = 0.5 (30.97%), while with Sentinel-2 the most important variables correspond to the Red Edge (38.54%) and WDRI (27.06%). With the indices calculated, two categories of analysis were determined: a) wetland integrated by the levels: intervened [1], moderately conserved [2] and conserved [3] and b) other than wetland [4] integrated by areas that do not correspond to this ecosystem. Landsat-8 shows that the percentage of correct classifications of píxels belonging to the wetland category corresponds to: [1] 72.76%, [2] 58.38%, [3] 68.42%, while for the category other [4] were correct 95.15%. With Sentinel-2, the percentage of correct classifications corresponds to [1] 95.00%, [2] 82.60%, [3] 96.25%, while for the category other [4] the correct answers were 98.13%. In this way with Landsat-8 the wetland corresponds to 21.708,54 ha (41.21%), while with Sentinel-2 the wetland represents a total of 20,518 ha (38.95%), of the 52,560 ha that belong to the RPFCH, concluding that Sentinel-2, due to its better spatial resolution, and the incorporation of its new bands in Red Edge, obtains better results in image classification.


bofedal, Landsat8; Sentinel2; Random Forest; Red Edge

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