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Remote Sens. 2014, 6(1), 815-840; doi:10.3390/rs6010815
Article

Burned Area Mapping in the North American Boreal Forest Using Terra-MODIS LTDR (2001–2011): A Comparison with the MCD45A1, MCD64A1 and BA GEOLAND-2 Products

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Received: 17 November 2013 / Revised: 2 December 2013 / Accepted: 7 January 2014 / Published: 13 January 2014
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Abstract

An algorithm based on a Bayesian network classifier was adapted to produce 10-day burned area (BA) maps from the Long Term Data Record Version 3 (LTDR) at a spatial resolution of 0.05° (~5 km) for the North American boreal region from 2001 to 2011. The modified algorithm used the Brightness Temperature channel from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) band 31 T31 (11.03 μm) instead of the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) band T3 (3.75 μm). The accuracy of the BA-LTDR, the Collection 5.1 MODIS Burned Area (MCD45A1), the MODIS Collection 5.1 Direct Broadcast Monthly Burned Area (MCD64A1) and the Burned Area GEOLAND-2 (BA GEOLAND-2) products was assessed using reference data from the Alaska Fire Service (AFS) and the Canadian Forest Service National Fire Database (CFSNFD). The linear regression analysis of the burned area percentages of the MCD64A1 product using 40 km × 40 km grids versus the reference data for the years from 2001 to 2011 showed an agreement of R2 = 0.84 and a slope = 0.76, while the BA-LTDR showed an agreement of R2 = 0.75 and a slope = 0.69. These results represent an improvement over the MCD45A1 product, which showed an agreement of R2 = 0.67 and a slope = 0.42. The MCD64A1, BA-LTDR and MCD45A1 products underestimated the total burned area in the study region, whereas the BA GEOLAND-2 product overestimated it by approximately five-fold, with an agreement of R2 = 0.05. Despite MCD64A1 showing the best overall results, the BA-LTDR product proved to be an alternative for mapping burned areas in the North American boreal forest region compared with the other global BA products, even those with higher spatial/spectral resolution.
Keywords: LTDR; MODIS; MCD64A1; MCD45A1; GEOLAND; burned area; boreal forest; North America LTDR; MODIS; MCD64A1; MCD45A1; GEOLAND; burned area; boreal forest; North America
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Ruiz, J.A.M.; Lázaro, J.R.G.; Cano, I.Á.; Leal, P.H. Burned Area Mapping in the North American Boreal Forest Using Terra-MODIS LTDR (2001–2011): A Comparison with the MCD45A1, MCD64A1 and BA GEOLAND-2 Products. Remote Sens. 2014, 6, 815-840.

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