Pixel and Object-Based Machine Learning Classification Schemes for Lithological Mapping Enhancement of Semi-Arid Regions Using Sentinel-2A Imagery: A Case Study of the Southern Moroccan Meseta

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Publication Type:
Journal Article
IEEE Access, 2021, 9, pp. 119262-119278
Issue Date:
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Mapping lithological units of an area using remote sensing data can be broadly grouped into pixel-based (PBIA), sub-pixel based (SPBIA) and object-based (GEOBIA) image analysis approaches. Since it is not only the datasets adequacy but also the correct classification selection that influences the lithological mapping. This research is intended to analyze and evaluate the efficiency of these three approaches for lithological mapping in semi-arid areas, by using Sentinel-2A data and many algorithms for image enhancement and spectral analysis, in particular two specialized Band Ratio (BR) and the Independent component analysis (ICA), for that reason the Paleozoic Massif of Skhour Rehamna, situated in the western Moroccan Meseta was chosen. In this study, the support vector machine (SVM) that is theoretically more efficient machine learning algorithm (MLA) in geological mapping is used in PBIA and GEOBIA approaches. The evaluation and comparison of the performance of these different methods showed that SVM-GEOBIA approach gives the highest overall classification accuracy (OA \approx ~93 %) and kappa coefficient (K) of 0, 89, while SPBIA classification showed OA of approximately 89% and kappa coefficient of 0, 84, whereas the lithological maps resulted from SVM-PBIA method exhibit salt and pepper noise, with a lower OA of 87% and kappa coefficient of 0, 80 comparing them with the other classification approaches. From the results of this comparative study, we can conclude that the SVM-GEOBIA classification approach is the most suitable technique for lithological mapping in semi-arid regions, where outcrops are often inaccessible, which complicates classic cartographic work.
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