EARSeL eProceedings Vol. 3, No. 3, 354-362, 2004

Land cover classification with the Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS)
Jan Clevers, Harm Bartholomeus, Sander Mücher and Allard de Wit

The Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) is a payload component of Envisat-1. MERIS is operated over land with a standard 15 band setting acquiring images in the VIS and NIR part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Data are acquired at 300 m (full resolution) and 1,200 m (reduced resolution) spatial resolution over land, thus vegetation can be monitored at regional to global scales. The major merit of MERIS for land applications lies in the provision of (calibrated) data with a spatial resolution intermediate to that of NOAA-AVHRR or SPOT-VEGETATION and Landsat-TM or SPOT-HRV.

This paper describes the results of a preliminary study towards the use of MERIS for land cover mapping in the Netherlands. Full resolution level 1b data of June 16th, 2003, were used in this study. The Dutch land use data base LGN was used as a reference by aggregating the data base from 25 m to 300 m. First, quality and information content of the used MERIS images were explored. Subsequently, the feasibility of the data for land cover classifications was studied. Results showed that MERIS provided only moderate classification results when classifying the major land cover types in the Netherlands using just one image (overall classification accuracy of 49.7 % for seven classes and a Kappa coefficient of 0.369). Partial cloud cover had a negative effect on the accuracies obtained.

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Submitted: 15 June 2004
Revised: 10 August 2004
Accepted: 03 September 2004

Clevers J, H Bartholomeus, S Mücher & Allard de Wit (2004) Land cover classification with the Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS). EARSeL eProceedings 3(3), 354-362


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