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A Practical Method for High-Resolution Burned Area Monitoring Using Sentinel-2 and VIIRS
Article

Evaluating the Differenced Normalized Burn Ratio for Assessing Fire Severity Using Sentinel-2 Imagery in Northeast Siberian Larch Forests

1
Faculty of Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, de Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2
Center for Ecosystem Science and Society, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, USA
3
Institute for Biological Problems of Cryolithozone, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 41 Lenina Ave., Yakutsk 677000, Russia
4
Woodwell Climate Research Center, Falmouth, MA 02540, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Eldar Kurbanov
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(12), 2311; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13122311
Received: 30 April 2021 / Revised: 8 June 2021 / Accepted: 9 June 2021 / Published: 12 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Burnt Area)
Fire severity is a key fire regime characteristic with high ecological and carbon cycle relevance. Prior studies on boreal forest fires primarily focused on mapping severity in North American boreal forests. However, the dominant tree species and their impacts on fire regimes are different between North American and Siberian boreal forests. Here, we used Sentinel-2 satellite imagery to test the potential for using the most common spectral index for assessing fire severity, the differenced Normalized Burn Ratio (dNBR), over two fire scars and 37 field plots in Northeast Siberian larch-dominated (Larix cajanderi) forests. These field plots were sampled into two different forest types: (1) dense young stands and (2) open mature stands. For this evaluation, the dNBR was compared to field measurements of the Geometrically structured Composite Burn Index (GeoCBI) and burn depth. We found a linear relationship between dNBR and GeoCBI using data from all forest types (R2 = 0.42, p < 0.001). The dNBR performed better to predict GeoCBI in open mature larch plots (R2 = 0.56, p < 0.001). The GeoCBI provides a holistic field assessment of fire severity yet is dominated by the effect of fire on vegetation. No significant relationships were found between GeoCBI components (overall and substrate stratum) and burn depth within our fires (p > 0.05 in all cases). However, the dNBR showed some potential as a predictor for burn depth, especially in the dense larch forests (R2 = 0.63, p < 0.001). In line with previous studies in boreal North America, the dNBR correlated reasonably well with field data of aboveground fire severity and showed some skills as a predictor of burn depth. More research is needed to refine spaceborne fire severity assessments in the larch forests of Northeast Siberia, including assessments of additional fire scars and integration of dNBR with other geospatial proxies of fire severity. View Full-Text
Keywords: fire severity; differenced normalized burn ratio; composite burn index; burn depth; Sentinel-2; Siberia; larch; boreal forest; remote sensing fire severity; differenced normalized burn ratio; composite burn index; burn depth; Sentinel-2; Siberia; larch; boreal forest; remote sensing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Delcourt, C.J.F.; Combee, A.; Izbicki, B.; Mack, M.C.; Maximov, T.; Petrov, R.; Rogers, B.M.; Scholten, R.C.; Shestakova, T.A.; van Wees, D.; Veraverbeke, S. Evaluating the Differenced Normalized Burn Ratio for Assessing Fire Severity Using Sentinel-2 Imagery in Northeast Siberian Larch Forests. Remote Sens. 2021, 13, 2311. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13122311

AMA Style

Delcourt CJF, Combee A, Izbicki B, Mack MC, Maximov T, Petrov R, Rogers BM, Scholten RC, Shestakova TA, van Wees D, Veraverbeke S. Evaluating the Differenced Normalized Burn Ratio for Assessing Fire Severity Using Sentinel-2 Imagery in Northeast Siberian Larch Forests. Remote Sensing. 2021; 13(12):2311. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13122311

Chicago/Turabian Style

Delcourt, Clement J.F., Alisha Combee, Brian Izbicki, Michelle C. Mack, Trofim Maximov, Roman Petrov, Brendan M. Rogers, Rebecca C. Scholten, Tatiana A. Shestakova, Dave van Wees, and Sander Veraverbeke. 2021. "Evaluating the Differenced Normalized Burn Ratio for Assessing Fire Severity Using Sentinel-2 Imagery in Northeast Siberian Larch Forests" Remote Sensing 13, no. 12: 2311. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13122311

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