Three-dimensional information provided by TanDEM-X interferometric phase and airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) Digital ElevationModels (DEMs) were used to detect differences in vegetation heterogeneity through a disturbance gradient in Indonesia. The range of vegetation types developed as a consequence of fires during the 1997–1998 El Niño. Two-point statistic (wavelet variance and co-variance) was used to assess the dominant spatial frequencies associated with either topographic features or canopy structure. DEMs wavelet spectra were found to be sensitive to canopy structure at short scales (up to 8 m) but increasingly influenced by topographic structures at longer scales. Analysis also indicates that, at short scale, canopy texture is driven by the distribution of heights. Thematic class separation using the Jeffries–Matusita distance (JM) was greater when using the full wavelet signature (LiDAR: 1.29 ¤ JM ¤ 1.39; TanDEM-X: 1.18 ¤ JM ¤ 1.39) compared to using each decomposition scale individually (LiDAR: 0.1 ¤ JM ¤ 1.26; TanDEM-X: 0.1 ¤ JM ¤ 1.1). In some cases, separability with TanDEM-X was similar to the higher resolution LiDAR. The study highlights the potential of 3D information from TanDEM-X and LiDAR DEMs to explore vegetation disturbance history when analyzed using two-point statistics.
- tropical forest
- interferometric synthetic aperture radar
- forest structure
- El Niño Southern Oscillation