Rule set transferability for object-based feature extraction : An example for cirque mapping

Anders, N.S.; Seijmonsbergen, Arie C.; Bouten, Willem


Cirques are complex landforms resulting from glacial erosion and can be used to estimate Equilibrium Line Altitudes and infer climate history. Automated extraction of cirques may help research on glacial geomorphology and climate change. Our objective was to test the transferability of an object-based rule set for the extraction of glacial cirques, using lidar data and color-infrared orthophotos. In Vorarlberg (W-Austria), we selected one training area with well-developed cirque components to parameterize segmentation and classification criteria. The rule set was applied to three test areas that are positioned in three altitudinal zones. Results indicate that the rule set was successful (81 percent) in the training area and a higher situated area (71 percent). Accuracy decreased in the two lower situated test areas (66 percent and 51 percent). We conclude that rule sets are transferable to areas with a comparable geomorphological history. Yet, significant deviation from the training area requires a different extraction strategy.