Special Issue "Remote Sensing of Biomass Burning"

A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Xiaoyang Zhang
Website
Guest Editor
Geospatial Sciences Center, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007, USA
Interests: biomass burning emissions; burned area; fire seasonality; climate change; real-time monitoring; remote sensing.
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Shobha Kondragunta
Website
Guest Editor
NOAA/NESDIS Center for Satellite Applications and Research, 5825 University Research Court, College Park, MD, USA
Interests: remote sensing of aerosols; biomass burning emissions; trace gases and application of remotely sensed data to air quality monitoring and modeling
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biomass burning in wildfires and prescribed fires is the combustion of organic matter, releasing energy stored by photosynthesis and generating trace gases including water vapor and smoke particles. It has a profound influence on ecosystem structure and function, climate system, regional socioeconomic conditions, and future land use planning. Smoke aerosol emissions released from biomass burning affect both local and global air quality, which have strong impacts on human health due to smoke inhalation, environmental pollution, and economy. Although considerable efforts have been devoted to detecting fire occurrences and quantifying biomass burning emissions over the last several decades, large uncertainties still remain in the current estimates of biomass burning, which leads to a significant influence on environmental modeling and forecasting.

This Special Issue aims to collect articles concerning new developments and methodologies, best practices and applications of remote sensing in fire detections, biomass burning estimates, and air quality monitoring. We invite you to submit your most recent advancements on all relevant aspects of biomass burning remote sensing using observations from Landsat, Sentinel-2, MODIS, VIIRS, and geostationary satellites, including, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Active fire detections and burned area estimates
  • Biomass burning emissions at local and global scales
  • Evaluation and validation of the estimation of biomass burning
  • Application of biomass burning emissions for air quality monitoring and forecasting
  • Comparison of biomass burning monitoring from different satellite sensors.
Dr. Xiaoyang Zhang
Dr. Shobha Kondragunta
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Remote Sensing is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Satellite data
  • Active fire
  • Burned area
  • Biomass burning emissions

Published Papers (6 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Open AccessArticle
Assessment of the Characteristics of Recent Major Wildfires in the USA, Australia and Brazil in 2018–2019 Using Multi-Source Satellite Products
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(11), 1803; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12111803 - 03 Jun 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
This study analysed the characteristics of the recent (2018–2019) wildfires that occurred in the USA, Brazil, and Australia using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) active fires (AF), fire radiative power (FRP, MW) and burned area (BA) products. Meteorological and environmental parameters were also [...] Read more.
This study analysed the characteristics of the recent (2018–2019) wildfires that occurred in the USA, Brazil, and Australia using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) active fires (AF), fire radiative power (FRP, MW) and burned area (BA) products. Meteorological and environmental parameters were also analysed. The study found various patterns in the spatial distribution of fires, FRP and BA at the three sites, associated with various vegetation compositions, prevailing meteorological and environmental conditions and anthropogenic activities. We found significant fire clusters along the western and eastern coasts of the USA and Australia, respectively, while vastly distributed clusters were found in Brazil. Across all sites, significant fire intensity was recorded over forest cover (FC) and shrublands (SL), attributed to highly combustible tree crown fuel load characterised by leafy canopies and thin branches. In agreement, BA over FC was the highest in the USA and Australia, while Brazil was dominated by the burning of SL, characteristic of fire-tolerant Cerrado. The relatively lower BA over FC in Brazil can be attributed to fuel availability and proximity to highly flammable cover types such as cropland, SL and grasslands rather than fuel flammability. Overall, this study contributes to a better understanding of wildfires in various regions and the underlying environmental and meteorological causal factors, towards better wildfire disaster management strategies and habitat-specific firefighting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Biomass Burning)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Biomass Burning in Africa: An Investigation of Fire Radiative Power Missed by MODIS Using the 375 m VIIRS Active Fire Product
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(10), 1561; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12101561 - 14 May 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Biomass burning plays a key role in the interaction between the atmosphere and the biosphere. The nearly two-decade-old Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) active fire product provides critical information (e.g., fire radiative power or FRP) for characterizing fires and estimating smoke emissions. Due [...] Read more.
Biomass burning plays a key role in the interaction between the atmosphere and the biosphere. The nearly two-decade-old Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) active fire product provides critical information (e.g., fire radiative power or FRP) for characterizing fires and estimating smoke emissions. Due to limitations of sensing geometry, MODIS fire detection capability degrades at off-nadir angles and the sensor misses the observation of fires occurring inside its equatorial swath gaps. This study investigates missing MODIS FRP observations using the 375 m Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) active fire data across Africa where fire occurs in the majority of vegetation-covered areas and significantly contributes to global biomass-burning emissions. We first examine the FRP relationship between the two sensors on a continental scale and in grids of seven different resolutions. We find that MODIS misses a considerable number of low-intensity fires across Africa, which results in the underestimation of daily MODIS FRP by at least 42.8% compared to VIIRS FRP. The underestimation of MODIS FRP varies largely with grid size and satellite view angle. Based on comparisons of grid-level FRP from the two sensors, adjustment models are established at seven resolutions from 0.05°–0.5° for mitigating the underestimation of MODIS grid FRP. Furthermore, the investigation of the effect of equatorial swath gaps on MODIS FRP observations reveals that swath gaps could lead to the underestimation of MODIS monthly summed FRP by 12.5%. The quantitative information of missing MODIS FRP helps to improve our understanding of potential uncertainties in the MODIS FRP based applications, especially emissions estimation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Biomass Burning)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Impact of Fire Emissions on U.S. Air Quality from 1997 to 2016–A Modeling Study in the Satellite Era
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(6), 913; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12060913 - 12 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
A regional modeling system that integrates the state-of-the-art emissions processing (SMOKE), climate (CWRF), and air quality (CMAQ) models has been combined with satellite measurements of fire activities to assess the impact of fire emissions on the contiguous United States (CONUS) air quality during [...] Read more.
A regional modeling system that integrates the state-of-the-art emissions processing (SMOKE), climate (CWRF), and air quality (CMAQ) models has been combined with satellite measurements of fire activities to assess the impact of fire emissions on the contiguous United States (CONUS) air quality during 1997–2016. The system realistically reproduced the spatiotemporal distributions of the observed meteorology and surface air quality, with a slight overestimate of surface ozone (O3) by ~4% and underestimate of surface PM2.5 by ~10%. The system simulation showed that the fire impacts on primary pollutants such as CO were generally confined to the fire source areas but its effects on secondary pollutants like O3 spread more broadly. The fire contribution to air quality varied greatly during 1997-2016 and occasionally accounted for more than 100 ppbv of monthly mean surface CO and over 20 µg m−3 of monthly mean PM2.5 in the Northwest U.S. and Northern California, two regions susceptible to frequent fires. Fire emissions also had implications on air quality compliance. From 1997 to 2016, fire emissions increased surface 8-hour O3 standard exceedances by 10% and 24-hour PM2.5 exceedances by 33% over CONUS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Biomass Burning)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Wildfire Smoke Particle Properties and Evolution, from Space-Based Multi-Angle Imaging
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(5), 769; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12050769 - 29 Feb 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
Emitted smoke composition is determined by properties of the biomass burning source and ambient ecosystem. However, conditions that mediate the partitioning of black carbon (BC) and brown carbon (BrC) formation, as well as the spatial and temporal factors that drive particle evolution, are [...] Read more.
Emitted smoke composition is determined by properties of the biomass burning source and ambient ecosystem. However, conditions that mediate the partitioning of black carbon (BC) and brown carbon (BrC) formation, as well as the spatial and temporal factors that drive particle evolution, are not understood adequately for many climate and air-quality related modeling applications. In situ observations provide considerable detail about aerosol microphysical and chemical properties, although sampling is extremely limited. Satellites offer the frequent global coverage that would allow for statistical characterization of emitted and evolved smoke, but generally lack microphysical detail. However, once properly validated, data from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Earth Observing System’s Multi-Angle Imaging Spectroradiometer (MISR) instrument can create at least a partial picture of smoke particle properties and plume evolution. We use in situ data from the Department of Energy’s Biomass Burning Observation Project (BBOP) field campaign to assess the strengths and limitations of smoke particle retrieval results from the MISR Research Aerosol (RA) retrieval algorithm. We then use MISR to characterize wildfire smoke particle properties and to identify the relevant aging factors in several cases, to the extent possible. The RA successfully maps qualitative changes in effective particle size, light absorption, and its spectral dependence, when compared to in situ observations. By observing the entire plume uniformly, the satellite data can be interpreted in terms of smoke plume evolution, including size-selective deposition, new-particle formation, and locations within the plume where BC or BrC dominates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Biomass Burning)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Characterization and Trends of Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) Fire Emissions in the Brazilian Cerrado during 2002–2017
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(19), 2254; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11192254 - 27 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Fire occurrence is a major disturbance in the Brazilian Cerrado, which is driven by both natural and anthropogenic activities. Despite increasing efforts for monitoring the Cerrado, a biome-scale study for quantifying and understanding the variability of fire emissions is still needed. We aimed [...] Read more.
Fire occurrence is a major disturbance in the Brazilian Cerrado, which is driven by both natural and anthropogenic activities. Despite increasing efforts for monitoring the Cerrado, a biome-scale study for quantifying and understanding the variability of fire emissions is still needed. We aimed at characterizing and finding trends in Particulate Matter with diameter less than 2.5 µm (PM2.5) fire emissions in the Brazilian Cerrado using the PREP-CHEM-SRC emissions preprocessing tool and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) active fires datasets for the 2002–2017 period. Our results showed that, on average, the Cerrado emitted 1.08 Tg year−1 of PM2.5 associated with fires, accounting for 25% and 15% of the PM2.5 fire emissions in Brazil and South America, respectively. Most of the PM2.5 fire emissions were concentrated in the end of the dry season (August, 0.224 Tg month−1 and September, 0.386 Tg month−1) and in the transitional month (October, 0.210 Tg month−1). Annually, 66% of the total emissions occurred over the savanna land cover; however, active fires that were detected in the evergreen broadleaf land cover tended to emit more than active fires occurring in the savanna land cover. Spatially, each 0.1° grid cell emitted, on average, 0.5 Mg km−2 year−1 of PM2.5 associated with fires, but the values can reach to 16.6 Mg km−2 year−1 in a single cell. Higher estimates of PM2.5 emissions associated with fires were mostly concentrated in the northern region, which is the current agricultural expansion frontier in this biome. When considering the entire Cerrado, we found an annual decreasing trend representing -1.78% of the annual average PM2.5 emitted from fires during the period analyzed, however, the grid cell analysis found annual trends representing ± 35% of the annual average PM2.5 fire emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Biomass Burning)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Fire Activity and Fuel Consumption Dynamics in Sub-Saharan Africa
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(10), 1591; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10101591 - 05 Oct 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
African landscape fires are widespread, recurrent and temporally dynamic. They burn large areas of the continent, modifying land surface properties and significantly affect the atmosphere. Satellite Earth Observation (EO) data play a pivotal role in capturing the spatial and temporal variability of African [...] Read more.
African landscape fires are widespread, recurrent and temporally dynamic. They burn large areas of the continent, modifying land surface properties and significantly affect the atmosphere. Satellite Earth Observation (EO) data play a pivotal role in capturing the spatial and temporal variability of African biomass burning, and provide the key data required to develop fire emissions inventories. Active fire observations of fire radiative power (FRP, MW) have been shown to be linearly related to rates of biomass combustion (kg s−1). The Meteosat FRP-PIXEL product, delivered in near real-time by the EUMETSAT Land Surface Analysis Satellite Applications Facility (LSA SAF), maps FRP at 3 km resolution and 15-min intervals and these data extend back to 2004. Here we use this information to assess spatio-temporal variations in fire activity across sub-Saharan Africa, and identify an overall trend of decreasing annual fire activity and fuel consumption, agreeing with the widely-used Global Fire Emissions Database (GFEDv4) based on burned area measures. We provide the first comprehensive assessment of relationships between per-fire FRE-derived fuel consumption (Tg dry matter, DM) and temporally integrated Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) net photosynthesis (PSN) (Tg, which can be converted into pre-fire fuel load estimates). We find very strong linear relationships over southern hemisphere Africa (mean r = 0.96) that are partly biome dependent, though the FRE-derived fuel consumptions are far lower than those derived from the accumulated PSN, with mean fuel consumptions per unit area calculated as 0.14 kg DM m−2. In the northern hemisphere, FRE-derived fuel consumption is also far lower and characterized by a weaker linear relationship (mean r = 0.76). Differences in the parameterization of the biome look up table (BLUT) used by the MOD17 product over Northern Africa may be responsible but further research is required to reconcile these differences. The strong relationship between fire FRE and pre-fire fuel load in southern hemisphere Africa is encouraging and highlights the value of geostationary FRP retrievals in providing a metric that relates very well to fuel consumption and fire emission variations. The fact that the estimated fuel consumed is only a small fraction of the fuel available suggests underestimation of FRE by Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI) and/or that the FRE-to-fuel consumption conversion factor of 0.37 MJ kg−1 needs to be adjusted for application to SEVIRI. Future geostationary imaging sensors, such as on the forthcoming Meteosat Third Generation (MTG), will reduce the impact of this underestimation through its ability to detect even smaller and shorter-lived fires than can the current second generation Meteosat. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Biomass Burning)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop