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NASA astronaut photography depiction of the spatial and temporal characteristics of biomass burning

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NASA astronaut photographs of the Earth's surface, in the Space Shuttle Earth Observation Photographic database, have been examined for their ability to provide information on remote sensing of temporal and spatial distributions of biomass burning. Over 4554 photos of biomass burning are identified in a dataset containing 347 678 photos accumulated since 1961. Distributions of the entire database, and of the biomass burning photos it contains, are displayed by mission, month, year, season, latitude and hemisphere. The relative frequency of biomass burning photos was determined by removing the effects of the number of days in space and the number of photos taken. Distributions of the photos of burning are shown in relation to characteristics of global climatic and vegetation characteristics which favor biomass burning. The strengths and weaknesses of the photographic database as a tool for remote sensing of biomass burning are also discussed briefly.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01431160050021240

Publication date: July 1, 2000

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