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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(3), 3088-3113;

A Study of Coal Fire Propagation with Remotely Sensed Thermal Infrared Data

College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Tianjin Normal University, Tianjin 300387, China
Tianjin Engineering Center for Geospatial Information Technology, Tianjin 300387, China
College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
School of Geography, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
ICube Lab, Université de Strasbourg, Boulevard Sebastien Brant, BP10413, Illkirch 67412, France
Academy of Opto-Electronics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100094, China
Nanchang Institute of Technology, Jiangxi 330044, China
Key Laboratory of Quantitative Remote Sensing Information Technology, Academy of Opto-Electronics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100094, China
College of Geomatics and Geoinformation, Guilin University of Technology, Guilin 541004, China
College of Earth Sciences and Resources, China University of Geosciences, Beijing 100083, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Zhao-Liang Li, Jose A. Sobrino, Xiaoning Song and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 9 November 2014 / Revised: 13 February 2015 / Accepted: 15 February 2015 / Published: 17 March 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Thermal Infrared Remote Sensing)
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Coal fires are a common and serious problem in most coal-bearing countries. Thus, it is very important to monitor changes in coal fires. Remote sensing provides a useful technique for investigating coal fields at a large scale and for detecting coal fires. In this study, the spreading direction of a coal fire in the Wuda Coal Field (WCF), northwest China, was analyzed using multi-temporal Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) and Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM+) thermal infrared (TIR) data. Using an automated method and based on the land surface temperatures (LST) that were retrieved from these thermal data, coal fires related to thermal anomalies were identified; the locations of these fires were validated using a coal fire map (CFM) that was developed via field surveys; and the cross-validation of the results was also carried out using the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) thermal infrared images. Based on the results from longtime series of satellite TIR data set, the spreading directions of the coal fires were determined and the coal fire development on the scale of the entire coal field was predicted. The study delineated the spreading direction using the results of the coal fire dynamics analysis, and a coal fire spreading direction map was generated. The results showed that the coal fires primarily spread north or northeast in the central part of the WCF and south or southwest in the southern part of the WCF. In the northern part of the WCF, some coal fires were spreading north, perhaps coinciding with the orientation of the coal belt. Certain coal fires scattered in the northern and southern parts of the WCF were extending in bilateral directions. A quantitative analysis of the coal fires was also performed; the results indicate that the area of the coal fires increased an average of approximately 0.101 km2 per year. View Full-Text
Keywords: coal fire detection; spreading direction; multi-temporal remote sensing; TM and ETM+ coal fire detection; spreading direction; multi-temporal remote sensing; TM and ETM+

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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. (CC BY 4.0).

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Huo, H.; Ni, Z.; Gao, C.; Zhao, E.; Zhang, Y.; Lian, Y.; Zhang, H.; Zhang, S.; Jiang, X.; Song, X.; Zhou, P.; Cui, T. A Study of Coal Fire Propagation with Remotely Sensed Thermal Infrared Data. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 3088-3113.

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