Inter-Annual Variability of Burned Area in Brazil Based on a Synergistic use of Information Derived from MODIS and Landsat-TM

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Renata Libonati1,2, Carlos C. Dacamara3, Alberto W. Setzer1 and Fabiano Morelli1, (1)INPE National Institute for Space Research, Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil, (2)UFRJ Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Meteorology, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, (3)Universidade de Lisboa, CGUL, Lisbon, Portugal
A procedure is presented that allows using information from the MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor to improve the quality of monthly burned area estimates over Brazil. The method integrates MODIS derived information from two sources; the NASA MCD64A1 Direct Broadcast Monthly Burned Area Product and INPE’s Monthly Burned Area MODIS product (AQM-MODIS). The latter product relies on an algorithm that was specifically designed for ecosystems in Brazil, taking advantage of the ability of MIR reflectances to discriminate burned areas. Information from both MODIS products is incorporated by means of a linear regression model where an optimal estimate of the burned area is obtained as a linear combination of burned area estimates from MCD64A1 and AQM-MODIS. The linear regression model is calibrated using as optimal estimates values of burned area derived from Landsat TM during 2005 and 2006 over Jalapão, a region of Cerrado covering an area of 187 x 187 km2. Obtained values of coefficients for MCD64A1 and AQM-MODIS were 0.51 and 0.35, respectively and the root mean square error was 7.6 km2. Robustness of the model was checked by calibrating the model separately for 2005 and 2006 and cross-validating with 2006 and 2005; coefficients for 2005 (2006) were 0.46 (0.54) for MCD64A1 and 0.35 (0.35) for AQM-MODIS and the corresponding root mean square errors for 2006 (2005) were 7.8 (7.4) km2.

The linear model was then applied to Brazil as well as to the six Brazilian main biomes, namely Cerrado, Amazônia, Caatinga, Pantanal, Mata Atlântica and Pampa. As to be expected the interannual variability based on the proposed synergistic use of MCD64A1, AQM-MODIS and Landsat Tm data for the period 2005-2010 presents marked differences with the corresponding amounts derived from MCD64A1 alone. For instance during the considered period, values (in 103 km2) from the proposed approach (from MCD64A1) are 399 (142), 232 (62), 559 (259), 274 (73), 219 (31) and 415 (251). Values obtained with the proposed approach may be viewed as an improved alternative to the currently available products over Brazil.