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Open AccessArticle

Relationships between Satellite-Based Spectral Burned Ratios and Terrestrial Laser Scanning

Graduate School of Horticulture, Chiba University, Chiba 2710092, Japan
Precision Forestry Cooperative, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, College of the Environment, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98118, USA
World Wildlife Fund, Washington, DC 20037, USA
Rocky Mountain Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Moscow, ID 83843, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(5), 444;
Received: 5 April 2019 / Revised: 13 May 2019 / Accepted: 18 May 2019 / Published: 23 May 2019
Three-dimensional point data acquired by Terrestrial Lidar Scanning (TLS) is used as ground observation in comparisons with fire severity indices computed from Landsat satellite multi-temporal images through Google Earth Engine (GEE). Forest fires are measured by the extent and severity of fire. Current methods of assessing fire severity are limited to on-site visual inspection or the use of satellite and aerial images to quantify severity over larger areas. On the ground, assessment of fire severity is influenced by the observers’ knowledge of the local ecosystem and ability to accurately assess several forest structure measurements. The objective of this study is to introduce TLS to validate spectral burned ratios obtained from Landsat images. The spectral change was obtained by an image compositing technique through GEE. The 32 plots were collected using TLS in Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada. TLS-generated 3D points were converted to voxels and the counted voxels were compared in four height strata. There was a negative linear relationship between spectral indices and counted voxels in the height strata between 1 to 5 m to produce R2 value of 0.45 and 0.47 for unburned plots and a non-linear relationship in the height strata between 0 to 0.5m for burned plots to produce R2 value of 0.56 and 0.59. Shrub or stand development was related with the spectral indices at unburned plots, and vegetation recovery in the ground surface was related at burned plots. As TLS systems become more cost efficient and portable, techniques used in this study will be useful to produce objective assessments of structure measurements for fire refugia and ecological response after a fire. TLS is especially useful for the quick ground assessments which are needed for forest fire applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: forest fire; google earth engine; terrestrial laser scanner; laser; ground validation forest fire; google earth engine; terrestrial laser scanner; laser; ground validation
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Kato, A.; Moskal, L.M.; Batchelor, J.L.; Thau, D.; Hudak, A.T. Relationships between Satellite-Based Spectral Burned Ratios and Terrestrial Laser Scanning. Forests 2019, 10, 444.

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