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Forest fire monitoring and burnt area mapping using satellite data: a study over the forest region of Kerala State, India

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The present study describes the night-time active forest fire detection capabilities of Defense Meteorological Satellite Program - Operational Linescan System (DMSP-OLS) satellite data over the forest region of Kerala State, India in 2004. Kerala State had a high incidence of forest fires during 2004 because of the extended dry season, with the unusual absence of intermittent rainfall from January to April. DMSP-OLS data were processed to detect active night-time forest fires over Kerala State and validated with ground data and fine-resolution Indian Remote Sensing (IRS)-P6 Advanced Wide Field Sensor (AWiFS) satellite imagery. DMSP-OLS-derived night-time fire products were compared with synchronous Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)-derived daytime fire products to check for the spatial agreement and continuity of fires. To estimate the burnt areas, different atmospheric correction algorithms were applied to the IRS-P6 AWiFS dataset; these included the cosine approximation model (COST), ATCOR2 in ERDAS Imagine and the Second Simulation of a Satellite Signal in the Solar Spectrum (6S) code. Atmospheric corrections to the satellite data indicated significant improvement in burnt area estimates. The results of the study suggest a good correlation between AWiFS data-derived burnt areas, DMSP-OLS-derived fire counts and MODIS-derived fire products. The fire occurrences derived from DMSP-OLS and MODIS data were validated with field records on fire occurrences over the study area.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Space, Government of India, National Remote Sensing Agency, Balanagar, Hyderabad, India

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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