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Measuring burn severity in forests of South-West Western Australia using MODIS

Please always quote using this URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:20-opus-14745
  • Burn severity was measured within the Mediterranean sclerophyll forests of south-west Western Australia (WA) using remote sensing data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). The region of south-west WA is considered as a high fire prone landscape and is managed by the state government’s Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM). Prescribed fuel reduction burning is used as a management tool in this region. The measurement of burn severity with remote sensing data focused on monitoring the success and impactBurn severity was measured within the Mediterranean sclerophyll forests of south-west Western Australia (WA) using remote sensing data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). The region of south-west WA is considered as a high fire prone landscape and is managed by the state government’s Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM). Prescribed fuel reduction burning is used as a management tool in this region. The measurement of burn severity with remote sensing data focused on monitoring the success and impact of prescribed burning and wildfire in this environment. The high temporal resolution of MODIS with twice daily overpasses in this area was considered highly favourable, as opportunities for prescribed burning are temporally limited by climatic conditions. The Normalised Burn Ratio (NBR) was investigated to measure burn severity in the forested area of south-west WA. This index has its heritage based on data from the Landsat TM/ETM+ sensors (Key and Benson, 1999 [1],[2]) and was transferred from Landsat to MODIS data. The measurement principally addresses the biomass consumption due to fire, whereas the change detected between the pre-fire image and the post-fire image is quantified by the ÄNBR. The NBR and the Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) have been applied to MODIS and Landsat TM/ETM+ data. The spectral properties and the index values of the remote sensing data have been analysed within different burnt areas. The influence of atmospheric and BRDF effects on MODIS data has been investigated by comparing uncorrected top of atmosphere reflectance and atmospheric and BRDF corrected reflectance. The definition of burn severity classes has been established in a field trip to the study area. However, heterogeneous fire behaviour and patchy distribution of different vegetation structure made field classification difficult. Ground truth data has been collected in two different types of vegetation structure present in the burnt area. The burn severity measurement of high resolution Landsat data was assessed based on ground truth data. However, field data was not sufficient for rigorous validation of remote sensing data. The NBR index images of both sensors have been calibrated based on training areas in the high resolution Landsat image. The burn severity classifications of both sensors are comparable, which demonstrates the feasibility of a burn severity measurement using moderate spatial resolution 250m MODIS data. The normalisation through index calculation reduced atmospheric and BRDF effects, and thus MODIS top of at-mosphere data has been considered suitable for the burn severity measurement. The NBR could not be uniformly applied, as different structures of vegetation influenced the range of index values. Furthermore, the index was sensitive to variability in moisture content. However, the study concluded that the NBR on MODIS data is a useful measure of burn severity in the forested area of south-west WA.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author: Yvonne Walz
URN:urn:nbn:de:bvb:20-opus-14745
Document Type:Master Thesis
Granting Institution:Universität Würzburg, Fakultät für Geowissenschaften (bis Sept. 2007)
Faculties:Fakultät für Geowissenschaften (bis Sept. 2007) / Institut für Geographie
Referee:Prof. Dr. Stefan Dech, Dr. Stefan Maier
Language:English
Year of Completion:2004
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 55 Geowissenschaften, Geologie / 550 Geowissenschaften
GND Keyword:Westaustralien; Waldbrand; Fernerkundung; MODIS
Tag:Australien; Fernerkundung; MODIS; Waldbraende; mediterranes Oekosystem
MODIS; Mediterranean sclerophyll forest; Normalised Burn Ratio (NBR); burn severity; prescribed burning
Release Date:2005/08/25