International Journal of Wildland Fire International Journal of Wildland Fire Society
Journal of the International Association of Wildland Fire
RESEARCH ARTICLE

The transferability of a dNBR-derived model to predict burn severity across 10 wildland fires in western Canada

Nicholas O. Soverel A , Nicholas C. Coops A E , Daniel D. B. Perrakis B , Lori D. Daniels C and Sarah E. Gergel D
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Forest Resource Management, 2424 Main Mall, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada. Email: nsoverel@gmail.com

B Western and Northern Service Centre, Parks Canada, 1550, 635 8 Avenue SW, Calgary, AB, T2P 3M3, Canada. Email: dan.perrakis@pc.gc.ca

C Tree-Ring Laboratory at UBC, Department of Geography, The University of British Columbia, 2171984 West Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z2, Canada. Email: daniels@geog.ubc.ca

D Department of Forest Sciences and Centre for Applied Conservation Research, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada. Email: sarah.gergel@ubc.ca

E Corresponding author. Email: nicholas.coops@ubc.ca

International Journal of Wildland Fire 20(4) 518-531 https://doi.org/10.1071/WF10081
Submitted: 17 July 2010  Accepted: 17 September 2010   Published: 20 June 2011

Abstract

Wildfire is a complex and critical ecological process that is an integral component of western Canadian terrestrial ecosystems. Therefore, Canadian land management agencies such as Parks Canada require detailed burn severity data for the monitoring and managing of both wildland and prescribed fires. In order to gather this type of information for our study, the acquisition of Landsat imagery was acquired and the differenced Normalised Burn Ratio was computed, a technique that has been shown to be sensitive to field measured burn severity. It is less known if this technique can be transferred and extrapolated over space and time so as to make routine and operational application of the approach feasible. To answer this question, we combined burn severity data from 10 fires across western Canada to test the transferability of an overall model as well as one stratified by land cover and ecozone. Finally, we tested the statistical benefit of incorporating pre- and post-fire data directly into the statistical model using transformations of the remote sensing imagery. Our results indicated that an overall differenced Normalised Burn Ratio derived model successfully estimated burn severity for the majority of fires in the study, which supports its transferability across multiple western Canadian landscapes.

Additional keywords: Landsat, Parks Canada, remote sensing, tasselled cap transformation (TCT).


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