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Towards an Improved Inventory of N2O Emissions Using Land Cover Maps Derived from Optical Remote Sensing Images

Abstract : Agricultural soils are the primary anthropogenic source of N2O emissions, one of the most important greenhouse gases, because of the use of nitrogen (N) fertilizers. The proposed method provides access to an inventory of potential N2O emissions (the term potential refers to possible but not yet actual) at a fine scale, with an annual update, without a heavy deployment linked to a collection of field measurements. The processing chain is applied to optical satellite images regularly acquired at a high spatial resolution during the 2006–2015 period, allowing a better spatial and temporal resolution of the estimates of potential N2O emissions from crops. The yearly potential N2O emissions inventory is estimated over a study site located in southwestern France, considering seven main seasonal crops (i.e., wheat, barley, rapeseed, corn, sunflower, sorghum and soybean). The first step of the study, that is the land use classification, is associated with accurate performances, with an overall accuracy superior to 0.81. Over the study area, the yearly potential budget of N2O emissions ranges from 97 to 113 tons, with an estimated relative error of less than 5.5%. Wheat, the main cultivated crop, is associated with the maximum cumulative emissions regardless of the considered year (with at least 48% of annual emissions), while maize, the third crop regarding to the allocated area (grown on less than 8% of the study site), has the second highest cumulative emissions. Finally, the analysis of a 10-year map of the potential N2O budget shows that the mainly observed crop rotation (i.e., alternating of wheat and sunflower) reaches potential emissions close to 16 kg N2O emitted per hectare, while the monoculture maize is associated with the maximum value (close to 28.9 kg per hectare).
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Submitted on : Monday, June 7, 2021 - 1:48:36 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, September 7, 2021 - 3:44:40 PM

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Rémy Fieuzal, Claire Marais-Sicre, Tiphaine Tallec. Towards an Improved Inventory of N2O Emissions Using Land Cover Maps Derived from Optical Remote Sensing Images. Atmosphere, MDPI 2020, 11 (11), pp.1188. ⟨10.3390/atmos11111188⟩. ⟨hal-03251580⟩

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