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The use of multi-temporal Landsat Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data for mapping fuel models in Yosemite National Park, USA

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The objective of this study was to test the applicability of using Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) values derived from a temporal sequence of six Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) scenes to map fuel models for Yosemite National Park, USA. An unsupervised classification algorithm was used to define 30 unique spectral-temporal classes of NDVI values. A combination of graphical, statistical and visual techniques was used to characterize the 30 classes and identify those that responded similarly and could be combined into fuel models. The final classification of fuel models included six different types: short annual and perennial grasses, tall perennial grasses, medium brush and evergreen hardwoods, short-needled conifers with no heavy fuels, long-needled conifers and deciduous hardwoods, and short-needled conifers with a component of heavy fuels. The NDVI, when analysed over a season of phenologically distinct periods along with ancillary data, can elicit information necessary to distinguish fuel model types. Fuels information derived from remote sensors has proven to be useful for initial classification of fuels and has been applied to fire management situations on the ground.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: United States Geological Survey, Western Ecological Research Center, Yosemite Field Station, El Portal, CA 95318, USA; e-mail: [email protected] 2: United States Geological Survey, Rocky Mountain Mapping Center, Denver Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225, USA; e-mail: [email protected]

Publication date: April 1, 2003

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