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Wetland extent was mapped for the central Amazon region, using mosaicked L-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery acquired by the Japanese Earth Resources Satellite-L For the wetland portion of the 18 x 8degrees study area, dual-season radar mosaics were used to map inundation extent and vegetation under both low-water and high-water conditions at 100-m resolution, producing the first high-resolution wetlands map for the region. Thematic accuracy of the mapping was assessed using high-resolution digital videography acquired during two aerial surveys of the Brazilian Amazon. A polygon-based segmentation and clustering was used to delineate wetland extent with an accuracy of 95%. A pixel-based classifier was used to map wetland vegetation and flooding state based on backscattering coefficients of two-season class combinations. Producer\'s accuracy for flooded and nonflooded forest classes ranged from 78% to 91%, with lower accuracy (63-65%) for flooded herbaceous vegetation. Seventeen percent of the study quadrat was occupied by wetlands, which were 96% inundated at high water and 26% inundated at low water. Flooded forest constituted nearly 70% of the entire wetland area at high water, but there are large regional variations in the proportions of wetland habitats. The SAR-based mapping provides a basis for improved estimates of the contribution of wetlands to biogeochemical and hydrological processes in the Amazon basin, a key question in the Large-Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia. (C) 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved

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