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Experimental comparison of four remote sensing techniques to map tropical savanna fire-scars using Landsat-TM imagery

Bowman, David M. J. S., Zhang, Yue, Walsh, Angie and Williams, R. J. (2003). Experimental comparison of four remote sensing techniques to map tropical savanna fire-scars using Landsat-TM imagery. International Journal of Wildland Fire,12(4):341-348.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 29 times in Scopus Article | Citations

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Title Experimental comparison of four remote sensing techniques to map tropical savanna fire-scars using Landsat-TM imagery
Author Bowman, David M. J. S.
Zhang, Yue
Walsh, Angie
Williams, R. J.
Journal Name International Journal of Wildland Fire
Publication Date 2003
Volume Number 12
Issue Number 4
ISSN 1448-5516   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-0942269751
Start Page 341
End Page 348
Total Pages 8
Place of Publication Collingwood, Victoria, Australia
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Field of Research 0705 - Forestry Sciences
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract A landscape-scale fire experiment, conducted over two consecutive dry seasons in a large tract of tropical savanna in northern Australia, was used to evaluate four methods to map fire scars apparent on Landsat-TM imagery: (i) systematic visual; (ii) semi-automated; (iii) automated; and (iv) change detection. All of the methods showed rapid fading of the fire scars. Overall, the automated and visual methods were able to discriminate burnt areas for longer than the other methods. However, the automated method also falsely identified fire-scars on between 5 and 20% of the unburnt catchments prior to the experimental late dry season fire treatments. One cause of the fading appears related to the increased flushing of tree canopies on burnt areas, although the spatially patchy recovery within and between catchments points to the importance of other factors such as the recovery of the ground layer. It appears that Landsat-TM imagery cannot be used to reliably determine the spatial extent and timing of fires in environments with rapid post-fire recovery, such as tropical savannas, thereby limiting the utility of this data source for fine-scale ecological studies.
Keywords eucalyptus
fire experiment
landscape ecology
leaf phenology
monsoon tropics
northern australia
monsoonal northern australia
kakadu-national-park
regimes
vegetation
management
conservation
patchiness
frequency
patterns
mosaics
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WF03030   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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