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Title: Forest Fire Scar Detection in the Boreal Forest With Multitemporal SPOT-VEGETATION Data
Authors: Gerard, France F.
Plummer, Stephen.
Wadsworth, Richard A.
Ferreruela Sanfeliu, Andrea
Iliffe, Luke
Balzter, Heiko
Wyatt, Barry
First Published: Nov-2003
Publisher: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Citation: IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 2003, 41 (11), pp. 2575-2585.
Abstract: Disturbance events, such as fire, have a major impact on boreal forest dynamics, succession, and the global carbon cycle. Methods using satellite imagery are well established for detecting forest fires in real time and mapping the burned area (fire scars) within one year of the fire. This paper focuses on the detection of older fire disturbance–regeneration patterns in the boreal forests of Canada. Previous work found that shortwave-infrared image segmentation proved particularly good at creating uniform regions that were easy to associate with fire scars. Our findings suggest it is possible to detect fire scars up to ten years old using SPOT-VEGETATION data from a single year and that the use of a vegetation index based on near- and shortwave-infrared reflectance is critical to this success. We demonstrate how the use of short-term multitemporal imagery can enhance segmentation results and present a threshold-based procedure for a posteriori identification of fire scar segments. The resulting fire scar probability map showed a good correspondence with records of fire scars mapped by the Canadian Forest Service for 1980–1992 and “hot spots” from the FireM3 Information System for 1994–1998.
DOI Link: 10.1109/TGRS.2003.819190
ISSN: 0196-2892
Type: Article
Rights: This is the author's final draft of the paper published as IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 2003, 41 (11), pp. 2575-2585. Copyright © 2003 IEEE. The final version is available from This material is posted here with permission of the IEEE. Such permission of the IEEE does not in any way imply IEEE endorsement of any of the University of Leicester’s products or services. Internal or personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution must be obtained from the IEEE by writing to By choosing to view this document, you agree to all provisions of the copyright laws protecting it. Doi: 10.1109/TGRS.2003.819190
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Geography

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