Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Forestry (MS)

College, School or Department Name

School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science


Michael J Falkowski


Markus Holopainen


In 1998-2001 Finland suffered the most severe insect outbreak ever recorded, over 500,000 hectares. The outbreak was caused by the common pine sawfly (Diprion pini L.). The outbreak has continued in the study area, Palokangas, ever since. To find a good method to monitor this type of outbreaks, the purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of multi-temporal ERS-2 and ENVISAT SAR imagery for estimating Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) defoliation. Three methods were tested: unsupervised k-means clustering, supervised linear discriminant analysis (LDA) and logistic regression. In addition, I assessed if harvested areas could be differentiated from the defoliated forest using the same methods. Two different speckle filters were used to determine the effect of filtering on the SAR imagery and subsequent results. The logistic regression performed best, producing a classification accuracy of 81.6% (kappa 0.62) with two classes (no defoliation, >20% defoliation). LDA accuracy was with two classes at best 77.7% (kappa 0.54) and k-means 72.8 (0.46). In general, the largest speckle filter, 5 x 5 image window, performed best. When additional classes were added the accuracy was usually degraded on a step-by-step basis. The results were good, but because of the restrictions in the study they should be confirmed with independent data, before full conclusions can be made that results are reliable. The restrictions include the small size field data and, thus, the problems with accuracy assessment (no separate testing data) as well as the lack of meteorological data from the imaging dates.