Double-differenced dNBR: combining MODIS and Landsat imagery to map fine-grained fire MOSAICS in lowland Eucalyptus savanna in Kakadu National Park, Northern Australia
Williamson, GJ and Ellis, TM and Bowman, DMJS, Double-differenced dNBR: combining MODIS and Landsat imagery to map fine-grained fire MOSAICS in lowland Eucalyptus savanna in Kakadu National Park, Northern Australia, Fire, 5, (5) Article 160. ISSN 2571-6255 (2022) [Refereed Article]
A neglected dimension of the fire regime concept is fire patchiness. Habitat mosaics that emerge from the grain of burned and unburned patches (pyrodiversity) are critical for the persistence of a diverse range of plant and animal species. This issue is of particular importance in frequently burned tropical Eucalyptus savannas, where coarse fire mosaics have been hypothesized to have caused the recent drastic population declines of small mammals. Satellites routinely used for fire mapping in these systems are unable to accurately map fine-grained fire mosaics, frustrating our ability to determine whether declines in biodiversity are associated with local pyrodiversity. To advance this problem, we have developed a novel method (we call ‘double-differenced dNBR’) that combines the infrequent (c. 16 days) detailed spatial resolution Landsat with daily coarse scale coverage of MODIS and VIIRS to map pyrodiversity in the savannas of Kakadu National Park. We used seasonal Landsat mosaics and differenced normalized burn ratio (dNBR) to define burned areas, with a modification to dNBR that subtracts long-term average dNBR to increase contrast. Our results show this approach is effective in mapping fine-scale fire mosaics in the homogenous lowland savannas, although inappropriate for nearby heterogenous landscapes. Comparison of this methods to other fire metrics (e.g., area burned, seasonality) based on Landsat and MODIS imagery suggest this method is likely accurate and better at quantifying fine-scale patchiness of fire, albeit it demands detailed field validation.
fire management, fire regime, pyrodiversity, pyrogeography, remote sensing, wildlife, wildfire, landsat