Complementarity of two rice mapping approaches: characterizing strata mapped by hypertemporal MODIS and rice paddy identification using multitemporal SAR

Sonia Asilo*, Kees (C. A. J. M.) de Bie, Andrew Skidmore, Andrew Nelson, Massimo Barbieri, Aileen Maunahan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)
59 Downloads (Pure)


Different rice crop information can be derived from different remote sensing sources to provide information for decision making and policies related to agricultural production and food security. The objective of this study is to generate complementary and comprehensive rice crop information from hypertemporal optical and multitemporal high-resolution SAR imagery. We demonstrate the use of MODIS data for rice-based system characterization and X-band SAR data from TerraSAR-X and CosmoSkyMed for the identification and detailed mapping of rice areas and flooding/transplanting dates. MODIS was classified using ISODATA to generate cropping calendar, cropping intensity, cropping pattern and rice ecosystem information. Season and location specific thresholds from field observations were used to generate detailed maps of rice areas and flooding/transplanting dates from the SAR data. Error matrices were used for the accuracy assessment of the MODIS-derived rice characteristics map and the SAR-derived detailed rice area map, while Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) and linear correlation were used to assess the TSX-derived flooding/transplanting dates. Results showed that multitemporal high spatial resolution SAR data is effective for mapping rice areas and flooding/transplanting dates with an overall accuracy of 90% and a kappa of 0.72 and that hypertemporal moderate-resolution optical imagery is effective for the basic characterization of rice areas with an overall accuracy that ranged from 62% to 87% and a kappa of 0.52 to 0.72. This study has also provided the first assessment of the temporal variation in the backscatter of rice from CSK and TSX using large incidence angles covering all rice crop stages from pre-season until harvest. This complementarity in optical and SAR data can be further exploited in the near future with the increased availability of space-borne optical and SAR sensors. This new information can help improve the identification of rice areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12789-12814
Number of pages26
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2014. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • rice
  • backscatter
  • characterization
  • crop calendars
  • phenology
  • flooding
  • X-band
  • COSMO-SkyMed
  • TerraSAR-X


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