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Biomass maps of Europe

Figure 1. European wide Above ground biomass, Growing stock volume and Below ground biomass maps.

Demonstration products are emerging

Time flies and yet another major milestone in the Forest Carbon Monitoring project has been achieved, with the processing of the output products for the original seven demonstrations finished. Three different types of demonstrations have been implemented over the past few months: 1) Local level demonstrations designed to meet private company requirements (in Ireland, Romania and Spain), 2) Provincial to national level demonstrations aimed primarily at administrative agencies (in Finland, Peru and Spain) and 3) Continental level demonstration in Europe, aiming to meet the needs of international organizations.

All of the demonstrations used ESA’s Sentinel-1 C-band radar and Sentinel-2 optical satellite data, supported by auxiliary datasets (e.g. digital elevation models, weather data etc.). In addition, JAXA PALSAR-2 L-band radar yearly mosaics were used in the European wide demonstration as well as in Peru. The output products include both traditional forest variables (like basal area and height) and forest biomass products. You can find more information on the various product types in the Platform page.

We are proud to be able to share some highlights of the demonstration products here. Starting from the largest demonstration, the European wide mapping resulted in growing stock volume, above ground biomass and below ground biomass maps in 20 m spatial resolution for 2020 and 2021 (Figure 1). A European wide forest clearance map 2020-2021 in 10 m spatial resolution was also produced. The biomass maps were based on radar data, while the clearance mapping was conducted with optical Sentinel-2 data.


Biomass and growth maps of Finland

Figure 2. Above ground biomass and Stem volume increment maps 2019 of Finland, with subsets of 20 x 8 km.

For the Finland demonstration, above ground and below ground biomass maps as well as stem volume increment was estimated with the PREBAS process based ecosystem model (Figure 2). In Peru, Madre de Dios, both forest structure variables and above ground biomass estimates were produced (Figure 3). In the rest of the demonstrations, a varying set of forest structure variables and biomass products were produced (Figure 4), based on the requirements of the users. Altogether, around 70 products covering the interest areas of the users have been delivered to the users.


Sentinel-2 imagery and biomass map of Madre de Dios, Peru

Figure 3. Sentinel-2 imagery and Above ground biomass for Madre de Dios area in Peru.

The work on the demonstrations will continue still during Q1 2023. The output products will be subjected to uncertainty assessments and user evaluation. The evaluation phase should be finalized by March, after which a portal will be set up for viewing and accessing publicly available products. Additionally, we are planning to conduct two more demonstrations, one in Extremadura (Spain) and one in Austria.


Sentinel-2 image, forest variables and changes

Figure 4. Basal area and Height estimates for 2020 in one of the local demonstrations. Change product (2019-2020) to the right, with total clearance visible in red colour. Sentinel-2 image to the left. Image 3 km x 3 km.

But now, the Forest Carbon Monitoring consortium wants to wish everybody a very nice and relaxing holiday season! Looking forward to seeing you here again next year.