Monitoring coal fires using multi-temporal night-time thermal images in a coalfield in north-west China
China has the largest coal resources in the world but these are seriously endangered by coal fires. Though the problem of coal fires is long standing and not only limited to China, little has been done for regular monitoring of these fires. This Letter proposes the use of multi-temporal night-time thermal images acquired from Landsat Thematic Mapper band 6 for establishing a coal fire monitoring system for a coalfield in north-west China. Other images and map data are fused with the thermal images to provide a comprehensive picture of the fires through the years. Finally the fires are classified into different categories based on multi-temporal changes.