A novel intelligence approach based active and ensemble learning for agricultural soil organic carbon prediction using multispectral and SAR data fusion.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Sci Total Environ, 2022, 804, pp. 150187
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Monitoring agricultural soil organic carbon (SOC) has played an essential role in sustainable agricultural management. Precise and robust prediction of SOC greatly contributes to carbon neutrality in the agricultural industry. To create more knowledge regarding the ability of remote sensing to monitor carbon soil, this research devises a state-of-the-art low cost machine learning model for quantifying agricultural soil carbon using active and ensemble-based decision tree learning combined with multi-sensor data fusion at a national and world scale. This work explores the use of Sentinel-1 (S1) C-band dual polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (SAR), Sentinel-2 (S2) multispectral data, and an innovative machine learning (ML) approach using an integration of active learning for land-use mapping and advanced Extreme Gradient Boosting (XGBoost) for robustness of the SOC estimates. The collected soil samples from a field survey in Western Australia were used for the model validation. The indicators including the coefficient of determination (R2) and root - mean - square - error (RMSE) were applied to evaluate the model's performance. A numerous features computed from optical and SAR data fusion were employed to build and test the proposed model performance. The effectiveness of the proposed machine learning model was assessed by comparing with the two well-known algorithms such as Random Forests (RF) and Support Vector Machine (SVM) to predict agricultural SOC. Results suggest that a combination of S1 and S2 sensors could effectively estimate SOC in farming areas by using ML techniques. Satisfactory accuracy of the proposed XGBoost with optimal features was achieved the highest performance (R2 = 0.870; RMSE = 1.818 tonC/ha) which outperformed RF and SVM. Thus, multi-sensor data fusion combined with the XGBoost lead to the best prediction results for agricultural SOC at 10 m spatial resolution. In short, this new approach could significantly contribute to various agricultural SOC retrieval studies globally.
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