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Li, Yu; Martinis, Sandro; Plank, Simon and Ludwig, Ralf (2018): An automatic change detection approach for rapid flood mapping in Sentinel-1 SAR data. In: International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, Vol. 73: pp. 123-135

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In this paper, a two-step automatic change detection chain for rapid flood mapping based on Sentinel-1 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data is presented. First, a reference image is selected from a set of potential image candidates via a Jensen-Shannon (JS) divergence-based index. Second, saliency detection is applied on log-ratio data to derive the prior probabilities of changed and unchanged classes for initializing the following expectation maximization (EM) based generalized Gaussian mixture model (GGMM). The saliency-guided GGMM is capable of capturing the primary pixel-based change information and handling highly imbalanced datasets. A fully connected conditional random field (FCRF) model, which takes long-range pairwise potential connections into account, is integrated to remove the ambiguities of the saliency-guided GGMM and to achieve the final change map. The whole process chain is automatic with an efficient computation. The proposed approach was validated on flood events at the Evros River, Greece and the Wharfe River and Ouse River in York, United Kingdom. Kappa coefficients (k) of 0.9238 and 0.8682 were obtained respectively. The sensitivity analysis underlines the robustness of the proposed approach for rapid flood mapping.

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