Assesscarbon laying the foundation for scalable large area carbon pool and flux modelling in Forestry TEP

Assesscarbon project flow where Sentinel-2 images, forest plots and climate data is used to integrate the process in Forestry TEP.
Assesscarbon project flow.

Assessment of the climate contributions of the forestry sector require transparent methods to monitor forest biocarbon dynamics. Recent rapid technological and scientific development has enabled spatially explicit carbon flux modelling in 10 m spatial resolution. Online platforms like Forestry TEP enable scalable implementation of forest carbon pool and flux estimation for large areas.

The Assesscarbon project, coordinated by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and funded by European Space Agency (ESA) will develop and demonstrate at a pre-operational level an approach for large area forest biomass and carbon modelling in Forestry TEP. The demonstrated service will combine ground reference data, Sentinel-2 imagery and primary production modelling. The project will run from February 2020 to January 2021.

The general outline of the technical design of the project is shown on the right. The main input data for the project will be ESA’s Sentinel-2 satellite data, forest plot measurements and climatic datasets. The Sentinel-2 mosaics will be created by Terramonitor (Satellio Oy) using their novel image mosaicking approach. VTT will be responsible for forest structural variable modelling using the Probability software package. These information will serve as input for primary production modelling based on the PREBAS models, which will be further developed by the University of Helsinki. The processing of the primary production estimates for the demonstration area of around 1500 km x 1500 km covering Finland and the western part of boreal Russia will be carried out by Simosol Oy.

The overall goal of Assesscarbon is to develop a foundation for a novel approach to derive large area biomass and carbon pool and flux estimates and forecasting in a scalable fashion on an online platform. In addition to forest management purposes, this information is needed to ensure responsible asset management to the shareholders and to follow the European policies and treaties. The functionality of the forest variable and primary production models developed in this project will be demonstrated as a pre-operational Forestry TEP service. The service can be further developed to support forestry enterprises, government departments, international regulatory bodies and scientific users alike.