Change Detection of Selective Logging in the Brazilian Amazon Using X-Band SAR Data and Pre-Trained Convolutional Neural Networks

Tahisa Neitzel Kuck, Paulo Fernando Ferreira Silva Filho, Edson Eyji Sano, Polyanna da Conceição Bispo, Elcio Hideiti Shiguemori, Ricardo Dalagnol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is estimated that, in the Brazilian Amazon, forest degradation contributes three times more than deforestation for the loss of gross above-ground biomass. Degradation, in particular those caused by selective logging, result in features whose detection is a challenge to remote sensing, due to its size, space configuration, and geographical distribution. From the available remote sensing technologies, SAR data allow monitoring even during adverse atmospheric conditions. The aim of this study was to test different pre-trained models of Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) for change detection associated with forest degradation in bitemporal products obtained from a pair of SAR COSMO-SkyMed images acquired before and after logging in the Jamari National Forest. This area contains areas of legal and illegal logging, and to test the influence of the speckle effect on the result of this classification by applying the classification methodology on previously filtered and unfiltered images, comparing the results. A method of cluster detections was also presented, based on density-based spatial clustering of applications with noise (DBSCAN), which would make it possible, for example, to guide inspection actions and allow the calculation of the intensity of exploitation (IEX). Although the differences between the tested models were in the order of less than 5%, the tests on the RGB composition (where R = coefficient of variation; G = minimum values; and B = gradient) presented a slightly better performance compared to the others in terms of the number of correct classifications for selective logging, in particular using the model Painters (accuracy = 92%) even in the generalization tests, which presented an overall accuracy of 87%, and in the test on RGB from the unfiltered image pair (accuracy of 90%). These results indicate that multitemporal X-band SAR data have the potential for monitoring selective logging in tropical forests, especially in combination with CNN techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4944
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2021


  • Convolutional neural networks
  • Selective logging
  • Synthetic aperture radar


Dive into the research topics of 'Change Detection of Selective Logging in the Brazilian Amazon Using X-Band SAR Data and Pre-Trained Convolutional Neural Networks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this