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The platform

High level framework

The Forest Carbon Platform aims to integrate remotely sensed datasets, field measurements and online processing power to maximize their synergy to best meet the needs of different types of users. The foreseen users of the platform range from governmental entities and international organizations to the private sector, which are considered central actors in fighting climate warming.

The forest biomass and carbon estimates will be computed by predicting forest structural variables using versatile remotely sensed data with ground reference data.

Outputs of the platform include maps of forest structure variables (such as height, diameter, biomass) in high 10-100 m spatial resolution, observed changes in annual interval and related uncertainty information.

The main data source is optical satellite imagery but particularly for the extensive area mapping, also imaging radar data are utilized. Space-borne and airborne laser scanner data are used as additional information sources. The structural forest variable values are transformed to biomass and equivalent CO2 values using process based ecosystem models

Processing pipeline and algorithms

The Forest Carbon Platform will be implemented on Forestry TEP, benefiting from the powerful servers directly connected to the CREODIAS data repositories. Semi-automated processing chains within the Forestry TEP platform will be implemented to meet the needs of different user requests varying by location of the interest area, available input data, requested output variables, desired output spatial resolution etc.

During the development of the platform, a wide range of algorithms will be tested, compared and further developed, allowing selection of a set of algorithms to be implemented in the platforms. Algorithms to be tested include among others the Probability approach, k-Nearest Neighbour method, Water Cloud Model based approaches, CCI Biomass retrieval algorithm and Autochange change detection method.

Forest structural variables are fed as input to process based ecosystem models for modelling of biomass and primary production variables. In the initial development phase, above and below ground biomass, as well as stem volume increment will be modelled. The integration of the process based models and associated data assimilation approaches into the system allow further expansion of functionalities to model more primary production variables (e.g. gross and net primary production) and forecasting features.

Training sites and demonstration plan

During the first year of the project, algorithms will be tested and methodologies will be developed in seven testing sites, six of which are situated in Europe, and one in Peru. During the second year, full-scale demonstrations will take place.

The focus of the project is in Europe. The Peruvian site allows initial investigation for future expansion of the forest carbon platform concept beyond European conditions.

Three different types of demonstrations will be implemented:

  • Local level demonstrations designed to meet private company requirements, and other stakeholders focusing their activities on small areas.
  • Provincial to national level demonstrations aimed primarily at administrative agencies helping to meet their monitoring and reporting requirements, often utilizing National Forest Inventory field sample plots as an integral part of the methodology.
  • Continental level demonstration in Europe, aiming to meet the needs of international organizations and other communities requiring continental level information.
Testing and demo site map