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Estimating burned area for Tropical Africa for the year 1990 with the NOAA-NASA Pathfinder AVHRR 8 km land dataset

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The international scientific community recognizes the long-term monitoring of biomass burning as important for global climate change, vegetation disturbance and land cover change research on the Earth's surface. Although high spatial resolution satellite images may offer a more detailed view of land surfaces, their limited area coverage and temporal sampling have restricted their use to local research rather than global monitoring. Low spatial resolution images provide an invaluable source for the detection of burned areas in vegetation cover (scars) at global scale along time. However, the automated burned area mapping algorithm applicable at continental or global scale must be sufficiently robust to accommodate the global variation in burned scar signals. Here, the estimation of the percentage of a pixel area affected by a fire is crucial. In a first step, an empirical method is used which is based on a function between the change in Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and the surface area affected by fire. Next, a new statistical method, based on the Monte Carlo algorithm, is applied to compute probabilities of burned pixels percentages in different neighbourhood conditions.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Departamento de Lenguajes y Computación Universidad de Almería 04120 Almería Spain

Publication date: 2004-09-01

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