Change Detection of Amazonian Alluvial Gold Mining Using Deep Learning and Sentinel-2 Imagery

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Author(s)

  • Seda Camalan
  • Victor Paul Pauca
  • Sarra Alqahtani
  • Miles Silman
  • Robert Jame Plemmons
  • Evan Nylen Dethier
  • Luis E. Fernandez
  • David A. Lutz

Related Research Unit(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Article number1746
Journal / PublicationRemote Sensing
Volume14
Issue number7
Online published5 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Link(s)

Abstract

Monitoring changes within the land surface and open water bodies is critical for natural resource management, conservation, and environmental policy. While the use of satellite imagery for these purposes is common, fine-scale change detection can be a technical challenge. Difficulties arise from variable atmospheric conditions and the problem of assigning pixels to individual objects. We examined the degree to which two machine learning approaches can better characterize change detection in the context of a current conservation challenge, artisanal small-scale gold mining (ASGM). We obtained Sentinel-2 imagery and consulted with domain experts to construct an open-source labeled land-cover change dataset. The focus of this dataset is the Madre de Dios (MDD) region in Peru, a hotspot of ASGM activity. We also generated datasets of active ASGM areas in other countries (Venezuela, Indonesia, and Myanmar) for out-of-sample testing. With these labeled data, we utilized a supervised (E-ReCNN) and semi-supervised (SVM-STV) approach to study binary and multi-class change within mining ponds in the MDD region. Additionally, we tested how the inclusion of multiple channels, histogram matching, and La*b* color metrics improved the performance of the models and reduced the influence of atmospheric effects. Empirical results show that the supervised E-ReCNN method on 6-Channel histogram-matched images generated the most accurate detection of change not only in the focal region (Kappa: 0.92 (± 0.04), Jaccard: 0.88 (± 0.07), F1: 0.88 (± 0.05)) but also in the out-of-sample prediction regions (Kappa: 0.90 (± 0.03), Jaccard: 0.84 (± 0.04), and F1: 0.77 (± 0.04)). While semi-supervised methods did not perform as accurately on 6- or 10-channel imagery, histogram matching and the inclusion of La*b* metrics generated accurate results with low memory and resource costs. These results show that E-ReCNN is capable of accurately detecting specific and object-oriented environmental changes related to ASGM. E-ReCNN is scalable to areas outside the focal area and is a method of change detection that can be extended to other forms of land-use modification.

Research Area(s)

  • change detection, small water bodies, ASGM, Sentinal-2 imagery, ReCNN, CNN, LSTM, smoothed total variation, SVM, semi-supervised

Citation Format(s)

Change Detection of Amazonian Alluvial Gold Mining Using Deep Learning and Sentinel-2 Imagery. / Camalan, Seda; Cui, Kangning; Pauca, Victor Paul; Alqahtani, Sarra; Silman, Miles; Chan, Raymond; Plemmons, Robert Jame; Dethier, Evan Nylen; Fernandez, Luis E.; Lutz, David A.

In: Remote Sensing, Vol. 14, No. 7, 1746, 04.2022.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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