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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 23(5)

Trend analysis of medium- and coarse-resolution time series image data for burned area mapping in a Mediterranean ecosystem

Thomas Katagis A D, Ioannis Z. Gitas A, Pericles Toukiloglou A, Sander Veraverbeke B and Rudi Goossens C

A Laboratory of Forest Management and Remote Sensing, School of Forestry and Natural Environment, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, PO Box 248, Greece.
B University of California, 2224 Croul Hall, Irvine, CA 92697, USA.
C Department of Geography, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281 S8, BE-9000 Ghent, Belgium.
D Corresponding author. Email: thkatag@for.auth.gr

International Journal of Wildland Fire 23(5) 668-677 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WF12055
Submitted: 1 April 2012  Accepted: 2 January 2014   Published: 7 March 2014


 
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Abstract

In this study, the Breaks for Additive Seasonal and Trend (BFAST), a recently introduced trend analysis technique, was employed for the detection of fire-induced changes in a Mediterranean ecosystem. BFAST enables the decomposition of time series into trend, seasonal and noise components, resulting in the detection of gradual and rapid land cover changes. Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) time series derived from the MODIS and VEGETATION (VGT) standard products were analysed. The time series decomposition resulted in the mapping of the burned area and the demonstration of the post-fire vegetation recovery trend. The observed gradual changes revealed an increase of NDVI values over time, indicating post-fire vegetation recovery. Spatial validation of the generated burned area maps with a higher resolution reference map was performed and probability statistics were derived. Both maps achieved a high probability of detection – 0.90 for MODIS and 0.87 for VGT – and a low probability of false alarms, 0.01 for MODIS and 0.02 for VGT. In addition, the Pareto boundary theory was implemented to account for the low-resolution bias of the maps. BFAST facilitated detection of fire-induced changes using image time series, without having to set thresholds, select specific seasons or adjust to certain land cover types. Further evaluation of the approach should focus on a more comprehensive assessment across regions and time.

Additional keywords: change detection, linear models, Normalised Difference Vegetation Index, time-series decomposition.


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