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International Journal of Wildland Fire
  Published on behalf of the International Association of Wildland Fire
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 Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

The Effect of Forest Fire on Mass Movement in Lebanese mountainous areas

Rouba Ziade, Chadi Abdallah, Nicolas Baghdadi


Mass movement (MM) is a major natural hazard that threatens the natural and human environments of Lebanon. The occurrence of mass movement has increased by almost 60% between 1956- 2008. Similarly, forest fire (FF) has emerged as another hazard and has destroyed over 25% of Lebanon's forests in less than 40 years. This paper investigates the potential effect of forest fire on the occurrence of mass movement in the Damour and Nahr Ibrahim watersheds of Lebanon. Mass movement and forest fire inventory maps were produced through remote sensing (RS) using aerial and satellite images. Forest fire was introduced as the inducing factor whose effect was extracted from Landsat images through the normalized burn ratio (NBR) index. A field study was conducted to substantiate the mass movement inventory and Normalized Burn Ratio maps . Following the standardization of the effect factors into layers using geographic information systems (GIS), the weight factor of each layer for inducing mass movement was evaluated using the modified InfoVal method, and an mass movement susceptibility map (MMSM) was generated. Preceded only by changes in land cover, the NBR obtained the highest weight, making forest fire burn severity the second-highest impacting factor on mass movement occurrence in the study areas.

WF13077  Accepted 12 March 2014
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