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Remote Sens. 2011, 3(10), 2110-2127;

Using Remote Sensing Products for Environmental Analysis in South America

Remote Sensing Division (DSR), National Institute for Space Research, Av. dos Astronautas, 1758 Jd. Granja, São José dos Campos, SP 12227-010, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 July 2011 / Revised: 2 September 2011 / Accepted: 12 September 2011 / Published: 26 September 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 100 Years ISPRS - Advancing Remote Sensing Science)
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Land cover plays a major role in many biogeochemical models that represent processes and connections with terrestrial systems; hence, it is a key component for public decisions in ecosystems management. The advance of remote sensing technology, combined with the emergence of new operational products, offers alternatives to improve the accuracy of environmental monitoring and analysis. This work uses the GLOBCOVER, the Vegetation Continuous Field (VCF), MODIS Fire Radiative Power (FRP) and the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) remotely sensed databases to analyze the biomass burning distribution, the land use and land cover characteristics and the percent of tree cover in South America during the years 2000 to 2005. Initially, GLOBCOVER was assessed based on VCF product, and subsequently used for quantitative analysis of the spatial distribution of the South America fires with the fire radiative power (FRP). The results show that GLOBCOVER has a tendency to overestimate forest classes and to underestimate urban and mangroves areas. The fire quantification based on GLOBCOVER product shows that the highest incidence of fires can be observed in the arc of deforestation, located in the Amazon forest border, with vegetation cover composed mainly of broadleaved evergreen or semi-deciduous forest. A time series analysis of FRP database indicates that biomass burning occurs mainly in areas of broadleaved evergreen or semi-deciduous forest and in Brazilian Cerrado associated with grassland management, agricultural land clearing and with the deforestation of Amazon tropical rainforest. Also, variations in FRP intensity and spread can be attributed to rainfall anomalies, such as in 2004, when South America had a positive anomaly rainfall. View Full-Text
Keywords: land use; land cover; GLOBCOVER; vegetation continuous field; fire radiative power; biomass burning land use; land cover; GLOBCOVER; vegetation continuous field; fire radiative power; biomass burning

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Cardozo, F.S.; Shimabukuro, Y.E.; Pereira, G.; Silva, F.B. Using Remote Sensing Products for Environmental Analysis in South America. Remote Sens. 2011, 3, 2110-2127.

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