Burned area detection based on Landsat time series in savannas of southern Burkina Faso

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Liu , J , Heiskanen , J , Maeda , E E & Pellikka , P K E 2018 , ' Burned area detection based on Landsat time series in savannas of southern Burkina Faso ' , International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation , vol. 64 , pp. 210-220 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jag.2017.09.011

Title: Burned area detection based on Landsat time series in savannas of southern Burkina Faso
Author: Liu, Jinxiu; Heiskanen, Janne; Maeda, Eduardo Eiji; Pellikka, Petri K. E.
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Geosciences and Geography
University of Helsinki, Department of Geosciences and Geography
University of Helsinki, TreeD lab - Terrestrial Ecosystem Dynamics
University of Helsinki, Department of Geosciences and Geography
Date: 2018-02
Language: eng
Number of pages: 11
Belongs to series: International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation
ISSN: 0303-2434
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/307215
Abstract: West African savannas are subject to regular fires, which have impacts on vegetation structure, biodiversity and carbon balance. An efficient and accurate mapping of burned area associated with seasonal fires can greatly benefit decision making in land management. Since coarse resolution burned area products cannot meet the accuracy needed for fire management and climate modelling at local scales, the medium resolution Landsat data is a promising alternative for local scale studies. In this study, we developed an algorithm for continuous monitoring of annual burned areas using Landsat time series. The algorithm is based on burned pixel detection using harmonic model fitting with Landsat time series and breakpoint identification in the time series data. This approach was tested in a savanna area in southern Burkina Faso using 281 images acquired between October 2000 and April 2016. An overall accuracy of 79.2% was obtained with balanced omission and commission errors. This represents a significant improvement in comparison with MODIS burned area product (67.6%), which had more omission errors than commission errors, indicating underestimation of the total burned area. By observing the spatial distribution of burned areas, we found that the Landsat based method misclassified cropland and cloud shadows as burned areas due to the similar spectral response, and MODIS burned area product omitted small and fragmented burned areas. The proposed algorithm is flexible and robust against decreased data availability caused by clouds and Landsat 7 missing lines, therefore having a high potential for being applied in other landscapes in future studies.
Subject: 1172 Environmental sciences
114 Physical sciences
4112 Forestry
Burned area
Landsat time series
Harmonic model
Breakpoint identification
MODIS
WEST-AFRICA
SPECTRAL INDEXES
MODIS IMAGERY
CLOUD SHADOW
FIRE HISTORY
COVER CHANGE
FOREST
ALGORITHM
PRODUCTS
VEGETATION
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