Fusion of sentinel-1a and sentinel-2A data for land cover mapping: A case study in the lower Magdalena region, Colombia

Nicola Clerici, Cesar Augusto Valbuena Calderón, Juan Manuel Posada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Scopus citations


Land cover–land use (LCLU) classification tasks can take advantage of the fusion of radar and optical remote sensing data, leading generally to increase mapping accuracy. Here we propose a methodological approach to fuse information from the new European Space Agency Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 imagery for accurate land cover mapping of a portion of the Lower Magdalena region, Colombia. Data pre-processing was carried out using the European Space Agency’s Sentinel Application Platform and the SEN2COR toolboxes. LCLU classification was performed following an object-based and spectral classification approach, exploiting also vegetation indices. A comparison of classification performance using three commonly used classification algorithms was performed. The radar and visible-near infrared integrated dataset classified with a Support Vector Machine algorithm produce the most accurate LCLU map, showing an overall classification accuracy of 88.75%, and a Kappa coefficient of 0.86. The proposed mapping approach has the main advantages of combining the all-weather capability of the radar sensor, spectrally rich information in the visible-near infrared spectrum, with the short revisit period of both satellites. The mapping results represent an important step toward future tasks of aboveground biomass and carbon estimation in the region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)718-726
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Maps
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 12 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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