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Near Real-Time Disturbance Detection in Terrestrial Ecosystems Using Satellite Image Time Series: Drought Detection in Somalia

  • Jan Verbesselt

    ()

  • Achim Zeileis

    ()

  • Martin Herold

    ()

Near real-time monitoring of ecosystem disturbances is critical for addressing impacts on carbon dynamics, biodiversity, and socio-ecological processes. Satellite remote sensing enables cost-effective and accurate monitoring at frequent time steps over large areas. Yet, generic methods to detect disturbances within newly captured satellite images are lacking. We propose a generic time series based disturbance detection approach by modelling stable historical behaviour to enable detection of abnormal changes within newly acquired data. Time series of vegetation greenness provide a measure for terrestrial vegetation productivity over the last decades covering the whole world and contain essential information related land cover dynamics and disturbances. Here, we assess and demonstrate the method by (1) simulating time series of vegetation greenness data from satellite data with different amount of noise, seasonality and disturbances representing a wide range of terrestrial ecosystems, (2) applying it to real satellite greenness image time series between February 2000 and July 2011 covering Somalia to detect drought related vegetation disturbances. First, simulation results illustrate that disturbances are successfully detected in near real-time while being robust for seasonality and noise. Second, major drought related disturbance corresponding with most drought stressed regions in Somalia are detected from mid 2010 onwards and confirm proof-of-concept of the method. The method can be integrated within current operational early warning systems and has the potential to detect a wide variety of disturbances (e.g. deforestation, flood damage, etc.). It can analyse in-situ or satellite data time series of biophysical indicators from local to global scale since it is fast, does not depend on thresholds or definitions and does not require time series gap filling.

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File URL: http://eeecon.uibk.ac.at/wopec2/repec/inn/wpaper/2011-18.pdf
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Paper provided by Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck in its series Working Papers with number 2011-18.

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Length: 26
Date of creation: Sep 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:inn:wpaper:2011-18
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  1. Chu, Chia-Shang James & Stinchcombe, Maxwell & White, Halbert, 1996. "Monitoring Structural Change," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1045-65, September.
  2. Zeileis, Achim & Leisch, Friedrich & Hornik, Kurt & Kleiber, Christian, 2001. "Strucchange: An R package for testing for structural change in linear regression models," Technical Reports 2001,26, Technische Universität Dortmund, Sonderforschungsbereich 475: Komplexitätsreduktion in multivariaten Datenstrukturen.
  3. Achim Zeileis, 2005. "A Unified Approach to Structural Change Tests Based on ML Scores, F Statistics, and OLS Residuals," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(4), pages 445-466.
  4. Leisch, Friedrich & Hornik, Kurt & Kuan, Chung-Ming, 2000. "Monitoring Structural Changes With The Generalized Fluctuation Test," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(06), pages 835-854, December.
  5. Kurt Hornik & Friedrich Leisch & Christian Kleiber & Achim Zeileis, 2005. "Monitoring structural change in dynamic econometric models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(1), pages 99-121.
  6. Anton Vrieling & Kirsten Beurs & Molly Brown, 2011. "Variability of African farming systems from phenological analysis of NDVI time series," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 109(3), pages 455-477, December.
  7. Zeileis, Achim & Shah, Ajay & Patnaik, Ila, 2010. "Testing, monitoring, and dating structural changes in exchange rate regimes," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 54(6), pages 1696-1706, June.
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