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Evaluating Landsat Thematic Mapper spectral indices for estimating burn severity of the 2007 Peloponnese wildfires in Greece

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Abstract
Avast area (more than 100 000 ha) of forest, shrubs and agricultural land burned on the Peloponnese peninsula in Greece during the 2007 summer. Three pre- and post-fire differenced Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM)-derived spectral indices were correlated with field data of burn severity for these devastating fires. These spectral indices were the Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), the Normalised Difference Moisture Index (NDMI) and the Normalised Burn Ratio (NBR). The field data consist of 160 Geo Composite Burn Index (GeoCBI) plots. In addition, indices were evaluated in terms of optimality. The optimality statistic is a measure for the index's sensitivity to fire-induced vegetation depletion. Results show that the GeoCBI-dNBR (differenced NBR) approach yields a moderately high R-2 = 0.65 whereas the correlation between field data and the differenced NDMI (dNDMI) and the differenced NDVI (dNDVI) was clearly lower (respectively R-2 = 0.50 and R-2 = 0.46). The dNBR also outperformed the dNDMI and dNDVI in terms of optimality. The resulting median dNBR optimality equalled 0.51 whereas the median dNDMI and dNDVI optimality values were respectively 0.50 and 0.40 (differences significant for P < 0.001). However, inaccuracies observed in the spectral indices approach indicate that there is room for improvement. This could imply improved preprocessing, revised index design or alternative methods.
Keywords
SOIL-EROSION, PINE FOREST, Geo Composite Burn Index, RATIO DNBR, fire severity, Normalised Burn Ratio, optimality, Normalised Difference Vegetation Index, FIRE SEVERITY, spectral index, REMOTELY-SENSED DATA, FOREST-FIRE, INTERIOR ALASKA, MEDITERRANEAN BASIN, BOREAL FOREST, EASTERN SPAIN

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Citation

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Chicago
Veraverbeke, Sander, Willem Verstraeten, Stefaan Lhermite, and Rudi Goossens. 2010. “Evaluating Landsat Thematic Mapper Spectral Indices for Estimating Burn Severity of the 2007 Peloponnese Wildfires in Greece.” International Journal of Wildland Fire 19 (5): 558–569.
APA
Veraverbeke, S., Verstraeten, W., Lhermite, S., & Goossens, R. (2010). Evaluating Landsat Thematic Mapper spectral indices for estimating burn severity of the 2007 Peloponnese wildfires in Greece. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF WILDLAND FIRE, 19(5), 558–569.
Vancouver
1.
Veraverbeke S, Verstraeten W, Lhermite S, Goossens R. Evaluating Landsat Thematic Mapper spectral indices for estimating burn severity of the 2007 Peloponnese wildfires in Greece. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF WILDLAND FIRE. 2010;19(5):558–69.
MLA
Veraverbeke, Sander et al. “Evaluating Landsat Thematic Mapper Spectral Indices for Estimating Burn Severity of the 2007 Peloponnese Wildfires in Greece.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF WILDLAND FIRE 19.5 (2010): 558–569. Print.
@article{801846,
  abstract     = {Avast area (more than 100 000 ha) of forest, shrubs and agricultural land burned on the Peloponnese peninsula in Greece during the 2007 summer. Three pre- and post-fire differenced Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM)-derived spectral indices were correlated with field data of burn severity for these devastating fires. These spectral indices were the Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), the Normalised Difference Moisture Index (NDMI) and the Normalised Burn Ratio (NBR). The field data consist of 160 Geo Composite Burn Index (GeoCBI) plots. In addition, indices were evaluated in terms of optimality. The optimality statistic is a measure for the index's sensitivity to fire-induced vegetation depletion. Results show that the GeoCBI-dNBR (differenced NBR) approach yields a moderately high R-2 = 0.65 whereas the correlation between field data and the differenced NDMI (dNDMI) and the differenced NDVI (dNDVI) was clearly lower (respectively R-2 = 0.50 and R-2 = 0.46). The dNBR also outperformed the dNDMI and dNDVI in terms of optimality. The resulting median dNBR optimality equalled 0.51 whereas the median dNDMI and dNDVI optimality values were respectively 0.50 and 0.40 (differences significant for P < 0.001). However, inaccuracies observed in the spectral indices approach indicate that there is room for improvement. This could imply improved preprocessing, revised index design or alternative methods.},
  author       = {Veraverbeke, Sander and Verstraeten, Willem and Lhermite, Stefaan and Goossens, Rudi},
  issn         = {1049-8001},
  journal      = {INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF WILDLAND FIRE},
  keywords     = {SOIL-EROSION,PINE FOREST,Geo Composite Burn Index,RATIO DNBR,fire severity,Normalised Burn Ratio,optimality,Normalised Difference Vegetation Index,FIRE SEVERITY,spectral index,REMOTELY-SENSED DATA,FOREST-FIRE,INTERIOR ALASKA,MEDITERRANEAN BASIN,BOREAL FOREST,EASTERN SPAIN},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {558--569},
  title        = {Evaluating Landsat Thematic Mapper spectral indices for estimating burn severity of the 2007 Peloponnese wildfires in Greece},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WF09069},
  volume       = {19},
  year         = {2010},
}

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