Historical background and current developments for mapping burned area from satellite Earth observation

Emilio Chuvieco*, Florent Mouillot, Guido R. van der Werf, Jesús San Miguel, Mihai Tanasse, Nikos Koutsias, Mariano García, Marta Yebra, Marc Padilla, Ioannis Gitas, Angelika Heil, Todd J. Hawbaker, Louis Giglio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Fire has a diverse range of impacts on Earth's physical and social systems. Accurate and up to date information on areas affected by fire is critical to better understand drivers of fire activity, as well as its relevance for biogeochemical cycles, climate, air quality, and to aid fire management. Mapping burned areas was traditionally done from field sketches. With the launch of the first Earth observation satellites, remote sensing quickly became a more practical alternative to detect burned areas, as they provide timely regional and global coverage of fire occurrence. This review paper explores the physical basis to detect burned area from satellite observations, describes the historical trends of using satellite sensors to monitor burned areas, summarizes the most recent approaches to map burned areas and evaluates the existing burned area products (both at global and regional scales). Finally, it identifies potential future opportunities to further improve burned area detection from Earth observation satellites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-64
Number of pages20
JournalRemote Sensing of Environment
Volume225
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019

Keywords

  • Burned area
  • Climate change
  • Fire
  • Fire impacts
  • Lidar
  • Radar

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