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Evaluation of novel thermally enhanced spectral indices for mapping fire perimeters and comparisons with fire atlas data


Holden, Z.A,; Morgan, P.; Smith, A.M.S.; Rollins, M,G.; Gessler, P.E. 2005. Evaluation of novel thermally enhanced spectral indices for mapping fire perimeters and comparisons with fire atlas data. International Journal of Remote Sensing, Vol. 26, No. 21, 4801­4808.

We evaluated the potential of two novel thermally enhanced Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM)-derived spectral indices for discriminating burned areas and for producing fire perimeter data (as a potential surrogate to digital fire atlas data) within two wildland fires (1985 and 1993) in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forests of the Gila Wilderness, New Mexico, USA. Image-derived perimeters (manually produced and classified from an index image) were compared to fire perimeters recorded within a digitized fire atlas. For each fire, the highest spectral separability was achieved using the newly proposed Normalized Burn Ratio-Thermal (NBRT) index (M=1.18, 1.76, for the two fires respectively). Correspondence between fire atlas and manually digitized fire perimeters was high. Landsat imagery may be a useful supplement to existing historical fire perimeters mapping methods, but the timing of the post-fire image will strongly influence the separability of burned and unburned areas.

Keywords: thermally enhanced spectral indices, mapping fire perimeters, fire atlas data, Landsat Thematic Mapper, wildland fires, Normalized Burn Ratio-Thermal, NBRT, Landsat


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Title: RMRS Other Publications: Evaluation of novel thermally enhanced spectral indices for mapping fire perimeters and comparisons with fire atlas data
Electronic Publish Date: October 3, 2006
Last Update:
October 3, 2006

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