Continental scale 30m burned area mapping: demonstration and validation for the conterminous United States and Alaska

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Luigi Boschetti, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID, United States and David P Roy, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD, United States
Fire products derived from coarse (500m to 1km) spatial resolution satellite data have become an important source of information for the fire science and applications communities. There is however a demand for moderate spatial resolution burned area maps that are systematically generated at regional to global scale. This paper presents a multi-temporal methodology to fuse the MODIS 1km active fire product with Landsat data to map burned areas at 30m on a temporally rolling basis. A multistage mapping approach is used, with an initial per-pixel change detection on Landsat 30m time series to identify candidate burned areas. The candidate burned area objects are then either retained or discarded by comparison with contemporaneous MODIS active fire detections. Results are illustrated showing 30m burned area maps of the conterminous United States and Alaska for two years (2002 and 2008) generated from weekly Web Enabled Landsat (WELD) Landsat mosaics and daily Terra and Aqua MODIS active fire detections. Validation is conducted by systematic comparison with all the fire perimeter vectors provided by the USGS Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity project. The presented methodology pathfinds the use of the Landsat archive to contribute to a long term burned area data record. Prospects for future developments and global application are discussed.