Next Article in Journal
An Automatic Target Detection Algorithm for Swath Sonar Backscatter Imagery, Using Image Texture and Independent Component Analysis
Previous Article in Journal
Evaluation of Radiometric and Atmospheric Correction Algorithms for Aboveground Forest Biomass Estimation Using Landsat 5 TM Data
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(5), 371; doi:10.3390/rs8050371

Continuous 1985–2012 Landsat Monitoring to Assess Fire Effects on Meadows in Yosemite National Park, California

1
US Geological Survey, Western Geographic Science Center, 345 Middlefield Road, MS-531, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA
2
John Muir Institute of the Environment, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Ruiliang Pu and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 8 February 2016 / Revised: 1 April 2016 / Accepted: 20 April 2016 / Published: 29 April 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [43126 KB, uploaded 5 May 2016]   |  

Abstract

To assess how montane meadow vegetation recovered after a wildfire that occurred in Yosemite National Park, CA in 1996, Google Earth Engine image processing was applied to leverage the entire Landsat Thematic Mapper archive from 1985 to 2012. Vegetation greenness (normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI)) was summarized every 16 days across the 28-year Landsat time series for 26 meadows. Disturbance event detection was hindered by the subtle influence of low-severity fire on meadow vegetation. A hard break (August 1996) was identified corresponding to the Ackerson Fire, and monthly composites were used to compare NDVI values and NDVI trends within burned and unburned meadows before, immediately after, and continuously for more than a decade following the fire date. Results indicate that NDVI values were significantly lower at 95% confidence level for burned meadows following the fire date, yet not significantly lower at 95% confidence level in the unburned meadows. Burned meadows continued to exhibit lower monthly NDVI in the dormant season through 2012. Over the entire monitoring period, the negative-trending, dormant season NDVI slopes in the burned meadows were also significantly lower than unburned meadows at 90% confidence level. Lower than average NDVI values and slopes in the dormant season compared to unburned meadows, coupled with photographic evidence, strongly suggest that evergreen vegetation was removed from the periphery of some meadows after the fire. These analyses provide insight into how satellite imagery can be used to monitor low-severity fire effects on meadow vegetation. View Full-Text
Keywords: wildfire; meadow; vegetation change; NDVI; Google Earth Engine; Landsat; Sierra Nevada; Yosemite wildfire; meadow; vegetation change; NDVI; Google Earth Engine; Landsat; Sierra Nevada; Yosemite
Figures

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).

Supplementary material

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Soulard, C.E.; Albano, C.M.; Villarreal, M.L.; Walker, J.J. Continuous 1985–2012 Landsat Monitoring to Assess Fire Effects on Meadows in Yosemite National Park, California. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 371.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Remote Sens. EISSN 2072-4292 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top