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dc.contributor.authorElsherif, Ahmed Mohamed Abouelella-
dc.descriptionPhD Thesisen_US
dc.description.abstractLeaf Equivalent Water Thickness (EWT) is a water status metric widely used in vegetation health monitoring. Optical Remote Sensing (RS) data, spaceborne and airborne, can be used to estimate canopy EWT at landscape level, but cannot provide information about EWT vertical heterogeneity, or estimate EWT predawn. Dual-wavelength Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) can overcome these limitations, as TLS intensity data, following radiometric corrections, can be used to estimate EWT in three dimensions (3D). In this study, a Normalized Difference Index (NDI) of 808 nm wavelength, utilized in the Leica P20 TLS instrument, and 1550 nm wavelength, employed in the Leica P40 and P50 TLS systems, was used to produce 3D EWT estimates at canopy level. Intensity correction models were developed, and NDI was found to be able to minimize the incidence angle and leaf internal structure effects. Multiple data collection campaigns were carried out. An indoors dry-down experiment revealed a strong correlation between NDI and EWT at leaf level. At canopy level, 3D EWT estimates were generated with a relative error of 3 %. The method was transferred to a mixed-species broadleaf forest plot and 3D EWT estimates were generated with relative errors < 7 % across four different species. Next, EWT was estimated in six short-rotation willow plots during leaf senescence with relative errors < 8 %. Furthermore, a broadleaf mixed-species urban tree plot was scanned during and two months after a heatwave, and EWT temporal changes were successfully detected. Relative error in EWT estimates was 6 % across four tree species. The last step in this research was to study the effects of EWT vertical heterogeneity on forest plot reflectance. Two virtual forest plots were reconstructed in the Discrete Anisotropic Radiative Transfer (DART) model. 3D EWT estimates from TLS were utilized in the model and Sentinel-2A bands were simulated. The simulations revealed that the top four to five metres of canopy dominated the plot reflectance. The satellite sensor was not able to detect severe water stress that started in the lower canopy layers. This study showed the potential of using dual-wavelength TLS to provide important insights into the EWT distribution within the canopy, by mapping the EWT at canopy level in 3D. EWT was found to vary vertically within the canopy, with EWT and Leaf Mass per Area (LMA) being highly correlated, suggesting that sun leaves were able to hold more moisture than shade leaves. The EWT vertical profiles varied between species, and trees reacted in different ways during drought conditions, losing moisture from different canopy layers. The proposed method can provide time series of the change in EWT at very high spatial and temporal resolutions, as TLS instruments are active sensors, independent of the solar illumination. It also has the potential to provide EWT estimates at the landscape level, if coupled with automatic tree ii segmentation and leaf-wood separation techniques, and thus filling the gaps in the time series produced from satellite data. In addition, the technique can potentially allow the characterisation of whole-tree leaf water status and total water content, by combining the EWT estimates with Leaf Area Index (LAI) measurements, providing new insights into forest health and tree physiology.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipEgyptian Ministry of Higher Educationen_US
dc.publisherNewcastle Universityen_US
dc.titleThree dimensional estimation of vegetation moisture content using dual-wavelength terrestrial laser scanningen_US
Appears in Collections:School of Engineering

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