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Fraction images derived from Terra Modis data for mapping burnt areas in Brazilian Amazonia

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The objective of this paper is to present a method for mapping burnt areas in Brazilian Amazonia using Terra MODIS data. The proposed approach is based on image segmentation of the shade fraction images derived from MODIS, using a non-supervised classification algorithm followed by an image editing procedure for minimizing misclassifications. Acre State, the focus of this study, is located in the western region of Brazilian Amazonia and undergoing tropical deforestation. The extended dry season in 2005 affected this region creating conditions for extensive forest fires in addition to fires associated with deforestation and land management. The high temporal resolution of MODIS provides information for studying the resulting burnt areas. Landsat 5 TM images and field observations were also used as ground data for supporting and validating the MODIS results. Multitemporal analysis with MODIS showed that about 6500 km2 of land surface were burnt in Acre State. Of this, 3700 km2 corresponded to the previously deforested areas and 2800 km2 corresponded to areas of standing forests. This type of information and its timely availability are critical for regional and global environmental studies. The results showed that daily MODIS sensor data are useful sources of information for mapping burnt areas, and the proposed method can be used in an operational project in Brazilian Amazonia.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE), Sao Jose dos Campos, SP, 12227-010, Brazil 2: Woods Hole Research Center and Universidade Federal do Acre (UFAC), Parque Zoobotanico, Rio Branco, Acre, 69915-900, Brazil

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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