Watershed Monitoring in Galicia from UAV Multispectral Imagery Using Advanced Texture Methods

Watershed management is the study of the relevant characteristics of a watershed aimed at the use and sustainable management of forests, land, and water. Watersheds can be threatened by deforestation, uncontrolled logging, changes in farming systems, overgrazing, road and track construction, pollution, and invasion of exotic plants. This article describes a procedure to automatically monitor the river basins of Galicia, Spain, using five-band multispectral images taken by an unmanned aerial vehicle and several image processing algorithms. The objective is to determine the state of the vegetation, especially the identification of areas occupied by invasive species, as well as the detection of man-made structures that occupy the river basin using multispectral images. Since the territory to be studied occupies extensive areas and the resulting images are large, techniques and algorithms have been selected for fast execution and efficient use of computational resources. These techniques include superpixel segmentation and the use of advanced texture methods. For each one of the stages of the method (segmentation, texture codebook generation, feature extraction, and classification), different algorithms have been evaluated in terms of speed and accuracy for the identification of vegetation and natural and artificial structures in the Galician riversides. The experimental results show that the proposed approach can achieve this goal with speed and precision.

keywords: Texture analysis, vegetation clasification, watershed management, river basin