Sentinel-1 Spatiotemporal Simulation Using Convolutional LSTM for Flood Mapping

Noel Ivan Ulloa, Sang Ho Yun, Shou Hao Chiang, Ryoichi Furuta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

The synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery has been widely applied for flooding mapping based on change detection approaches. However, errors in the mapping result are expected since not all land-cover changes are flood-induced, and those changes are sensitive to SAR data, such as crop growth or harvest over agricultural lands, clearance of forested areas, and/or modifications on the urban landscape. This study, therefore, incorporated historical SAR images to boost the detection of flood-induced changes during extreme weather events, using the Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) method. Additionally, to incorporate the spatial signatures for the change detection, we applied a deep learning-based spatiotemporal simulation framework, Convolutional Long Short-Term Memory (ConvLSTM), for simulating a synthetic image using Sentinel One intensity time series. This synthetic image will be prepared in advance of flood events, and then it can be used to detect flood areas using change detection when the post-image is available. Practically, significant divergence between the synthetic image and post-image is expected over inundated zones, which can be mapped by applying thresholds to the Delta image (synthetic image minus post-image). We trained and tested our model on three events from Australia, Brazil, and Mozambique. The generated Flood Proxy Maps were compared against reference data derived from Sentinel Two and Planet Labs optical data. To corroborate the effectiveness of the proposed methods, we also generated Delta products for two baseline models (closest post-image minus pre-image and historical mean minus post-image) and two LSTM architectures: normal LSTM and ConvLSTM. Results show that thresholding of ConvLSTM Delta yielded the highest Cohen’s Kappa coefficients in all study cases: 0.92 for Australia, 0.78 for Mozambique, and 0.68 for Brazil. Lower Kappa values obtained in the Mozambique case can be subject to the topographic effect on SAR imagery. These results still confirm the benefits in terms of classification accuracy that convolutional operations provide in time series analysis of satellite data employing spatially correlated information in a deep learning framework.

Original languageEnglish
Article number246
JournalRemote Sensing
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Convolutional LSTM
  • Deep learning
  • Flood proxy map
  • Sentinel 1
  • Spatiotemporal simulation

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