Special Issue "Quantifying the Environmental Impact of Forest Fires"
A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2014)
Prof. Ioannis Gitas
Laboratory of Forest Management and Remote Sensing, School of Forestry and Natural Environment, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
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Fax: +30 2310 992677
Interests: land use/land cover mapping; land cover change detection; pre-fire planning and post-fire assessment; soil erosion risk assessment/desertification; other environmental applications of remote sensing and GIS
Prof. Kevin Tansey
Centre for Landscape & Climate Research, Leicester Institute for Space & Earth Observation, School of Geography, Geology & the Environment, University of Leicester, UK
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Fax: +0116 252 3854
Interests: radar; InSAR; LiDAR; multispectral; hyperspectral; lithological mapping; image classification; structural mapping; vegetation mapping; hydrocarbon seep mapping; landscape modelling
Since the initiation of the Landsat program (1972), several projects have been conducted to test the potential efﬁcacy and reliability of satellite data in collecting information related to post-ﬁre management. Consequently, there is a considerable amount of literature on the location and mapping of the area affected by ﬁre at different scales ranging from local to global.
However, during the last decade, the range of applications has increased signiﬁcantly, including the assessment of the short-term and long-term impact caused by ﬁre to the environment, as a result of the following:
- an increase in the number of sensors with different characteristics suitable for studying aspects of ﬁre, some of which have been designed speciﬁcally for ﬁre monitoring;
- improvement of our understanding of the role of ﬁre in ecosystems functioning;
- progress in computer technology (hardware, software);
- development of new advanced digital image analysis techniques; and
- the improved access to and availability of satellite data and derived products.
As a result, currently, remotely sensed data are used regularly and even operationally to detect fire scars. Moreover, such data are now being used more and more to make observations of landscapes before and after fire and also to characterise the impact of multi-frequency fire disturbance events. Also, satellite data is being used as input into hydrological models to indicate periods of time when a fire disturbed area is flooded. Furthermore, there is integration of these satellite observations into dynamic vegetation models and atmospheric emission models (GFEDv4).
Although optical satellite data are leading the way, there is a growing interest in radar satellites providing information in particularly cloudy regions of the world.
As we attempt to model the Earth System it is important that the impact of forest fires on the Earth System is fully understood and quantified. These impacts can be on climate, the biosphere, ecosystem functioning, society and livelihood. Fire disturbance has been identified by climate modellers as an Essential Climate Variable. Forest disturbance and the associated carbon flux needs to be measured and reported under the United Nations REDD+programme. Furthermore, we have been very good at understanding the short term impacts of fire on forests, but less good at understanding the response of vegetation under different fire frequency and severity scenarios.
The European Association of Remote Sensing Laboratories (EARSeL)’s Special Interest Group (SIG) on Forest Fires was created in 1995, following the initiative of several researchers studying ﬁres in Mediterranean Europe. It has promoted eight technical meetings and several specialized publications since then, and represents one of the most active groups within the EARSeL. The SIG has tried to foster interaction among scientists and managers who are interested in using remote sensing data and techniques to improve the traditional methods of ﬁre risk estimation and the assessment of ﬁre effects.
The 9th International Workshop of the group, will take place in Coombe Abbey, Warwickshire on 15-17 October 2013. The workshop is organised by the University of Leicester in collaboration with the Laboratory of Forest Management and Remote Sensing, School of Forestry and Natural Environment, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
The workshop will draw out the state of the art research being undertaken to identify and quantify these impacts.
More specifically, the workshop and the proposed special issue aim to focus on quantifying the environmental impact of fire at a number of scales and will provide a set of papers that will be of great reference for many users of satellite-derived fire products. We invite you to submit articles on the following topics:
- Characterising the impact of fire severity and fire frequency across vegetation type
- Validation methods for burned area mapping
- Monitoring and modelling vegetation recovery after fire disturbance
- Scaling from regional to global burned area maps
- Mapping forest fires for REDD+ MRV
- Using active fire mapping and fire radiative energy to inform on fire severity and impact
Dr. Ioannis Gitas
Dr. Kevin Tansey
Manuscript Submission Information
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