Tree root automatic recognition in Ground penetrating radar profiles based on randomized Hough transform

Wentao Li, Xihong Cui, Li Guo, Jin Chen, Xuehong Chen, Xin Cao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


As a nondestructive geophysical tool, Ground penetrating radar (GPR) has been applied in tree root study in recent years. With increasing amounts of GPR data collected for roots, it is imperative to develop an efficient automatic recognition of roots in GPR images. However, few works have been completed on this topic because of the complexity in root recognition problem. Based on GPR datasets from both controlled and in situ experiments, the randomized Hough transform (RHT) algorithm was evaluated in root object recognition for different center frequencies (400 MHz, 900 MHz, and 2000 MHz) in this paper. Reasonable accuracy was obtained (both a high recognition rate and a low false alarm rate) in these datasets, which shows it is feasible to apply the RHT algorithm for root recognition. Furthermore, we evaluated the influence of root and soil factors on the recognition. We found that the performance of RHT algorithm is mainly affected by root interval length, root orientation, and clutter noise of soil. The recognition results by RHT could be applied for large scale root system distribution study in belowground ecology. Further studies should be conducted to reduce clutter noise and improve the recognition of the complex root reflections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number430
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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