Image-sharpening process integrates lower spatial resolution multispectral bands with higher spatial resolution panchromatic band to produce multispectral bands with finer spatial detail called pan-sharpened image. Although the pan-sharpened image can greatly assist the process of information extraction using visual interpretation, the benefit and setback of using pan-sharpened image on the accuracy of digital classification for mapping remain unclear. This research aimed at 1) highlighting the issue of using pan-sharpened image to perform benthic habitats mapping and 2) comparing the accuracy of benthic habitats mapping using original and pan-sharpened bands. Quickbird image was used in this study and Kemujan Island was selected as the study area. Two levels of hierarchical classification scheme of benthic habitats were constructed based on the composition of benthic habitats insitu. PC Spectral sharpening method was applied on Quickbird image. Image radiometric corrections, PCA transformation, and image classifications were performed on both original and pan-sharpened image. The results show that the accuracy of benthic habitats classification of pan-sharpened image (maximum overall accuracy 64.28% and 73.30% for per-pixel and OBIA respectively) is lower than the original image (73.46%, 73.10%). The main setback of using pan-sharpened image is the inability to correct the sunglint, hence adversely affects the process of water column correction, PCA transformation and image classification. This is mainly because sunglint do not only affect objectâs spectral response but also the texture of the object. Nevertheless, the pan-sharpened image can still be used to map benthic habitats using visual interpretation and digital image processing. Pan-sharpened image will deliver better classification accuracy and visual appearance especially when the sunglint is low.
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