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Open AccessArticle

Evaluating Spectral Indices for Assessing Fire Severity in Chaparral Ecosystems (Southern California) Using MODIS/ASTER (MASTER) Airborne Simulator Data

1
School of Geography and Environmental Science, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC 3800, Australia
2
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2011, 3(11), 2403-2419; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs3112403
Received: 20 September 2011 / Revised: 18 October 2011 / Accepted: 18 October 2011 / Published: 11 November 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Remote Sensing of Wildland Fires)
Wildland fires are a yearly recurring phenomenon in many terrestrial ecosystems. Accurate fire severity estimates are of paramount importance for modeling fire-induced trace gas emissions and rehabilitating post-fire landscapes. We used high spatial and high spectral resolution MODIS/ASTER (MASTER) airborne simulator data acquired over four 2007 southern California burns to evaluate the effectiveness of 19 different spectral indices, including the widely used Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR), for assessing fire severity in southern California chaparral. Ordinal logistic regression was used to assess the goodness-of-fit between the spectral index values and ordinal field data of severity. The NBR and three indices in which the NBR is enhanced with surface temperature or emissivity data revealed the best performance. Our findings support the operational use of the NBR in chaparral ecosystems by Burned Area Emergency Rehabilitation (BAER) projects, and demonstrate the potential of combining optical and thermal data for assessing fire severity. Additional testing in more burns, other ecoregions and different vegetation types is required to fully understand how (thermally enhanced) spectral indices relate to fire severity. View Full-Text
Keywords: fire severity; burn severity; Normalized Burn Ratio; emissivity; surface temperature; southern California; chaparral; MASTER fire severity; burn severity; Normalized Burn Ratio; emissivity; surface temperature; southern California; chaparral; MASTER
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MDPI and ACS Style

Harris, S.; Veraverbeke, S.; Hook, S. Evaluating Spectral Indices for Assessing Fire Severity in Chaparral Ecosystems (Southern California) Using MODIS/ASTER (MASTER) Airborne Simulator Data. Remote Sens. 2011, 3, 2403-2419. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs3112403

AMA Style

Harris S, Veraverbeke S, Hook S. Evaluating Spectral Indices for Assessing Fire Severity in Chaparral Ecosystems (Southern California) Using MODIS/ASTER (MASTER) Airborne Simulator Data. Remote Sensing. 2011; 3(11):2403-2419. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs3112403

Chicago/Turabian Style

Harris, Sarah; Veraverbeke, Sander; Hook, Simon. 2011. "Evaluating Spectral Indices for Assessing Fire Severity in Chaparral Ecosystems (Southern California) Using MODIS/ASTER (MASTER) Airborne Simulator Data" Remote Sens. 3, no. 11: 2403-2419. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs3112403

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