Mapping Mangrove Density from Rapideye Data in Central America

Nguyen Thanh Son, Chi Farn Chen, Cheng Ru Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Mangrove forests provide a wide range of socioeconomic and ecological services for coastal communities. Extensive aquaculture development of mangrove waters in many developing countries has constantly ignored services of mangrove ecosystems, leading to unintended environmental consequences. Monitoring the current status and distribution of mangrove forests is deemed important for evaluating forest management strategies. This study aims to delineate the density distribution of mangrove forests in the Gulf of Fonseca, Central America with Rapideye data using the support vector machines (SVM). The data collected in 2012 for density classification of mangrove forests were processed based on four different band combination schemes: scheme-1 (bands 1-3, 5 excluding the red-edge band 4), scheme-2 (bands 1-5), scheme-3 (bands 1-3, 5 incorporating with the normalized difference vegetation index, NDVI), and scheme-4 (bands 1-3, 5 incorporating with the normalized difference red-edge index, NDRI). We also hypothesized if the obvious contribution of Rapideye red-edge band could improve the classification results. Three main steps of data processing were employed: (1) data pre-processing, (2) image classification, and (3) accuracy assessment to evaluate the contribution of red-edge band in terms of the accuracy of classification results across these four schemes. The classification maps compared with the ground reference data indicated the slightly higher accuracy level observed for schemes 2 and 4. The overall accuracies and Kappa coefficients were 97% and 0.95 for scheme-2 and 96.9% and 0.95 for scheme-4, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-220
Number of pages10
JournalOpen Geosciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017


  • Central America
  • Rapdideye
  • SVM
  • mangrove forests
  • red-edge band


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