TS-CRC Student project - Study of remote sensing and GIS for the assessment of their capabilities in mapping the vegetation form and structure of tropical savannas in northern Australia

Northern Territory University: Completed

Khwaja Zulfiquar Hayder

Commenced 1997

Summary | More information |


The study aimed to develop a methodology for mapping and monitoring savanna landscape by remote sensing and GIS techniques. It also tested various resolution imageries for their suitability in mapping the savanna landscape.

Sub-issues examined included:

  1. What sort of satellite data resolution is the most appropriate for bringing about the best result;
  2. What is the influence of parameters such as land cover, land use, rainfall and temperature on the classification technique;
  3. What procedures based on remote sensing and GIS technologies can be developed to map savanna vegetation.

Various resolution imageries were used, such as Landsat MSS, TM, SPOT XS, SPOT 4/SWIR and AIRSAR, with and without synergism, along with digital elevation model (DEM) data to map large areas (upto 15000 km 2 ) of the savanna landscape. At various stages of the study, different digital image processing programs such as ENVI, ERDAS Imagine and microBrian and ArcView GIS (and some ArcInfo) were extensively used.

They provided good results for mapping savanna land covers in the region. A methodology involving spectral signature extrapolation and GIS for mapping large areas of the region was developed and more than 15000 km 2 area of savannas in the northern Victoria River District of the Northern Territory was mapped. Procedures for improving mapping accuracy were also recommended in the study.

The methodology developed in the study can be used for mapping and monitoring large areas of savanna landscape in northern Australia if the proposed recommendations are met.


Dr Khwaja Zulfiqar-Hyder
Tel: 08 8946 6894

Fax: 08 8946 7107