Mapping spatial and temporal patterns of Mediterranean wildfires from MODIS

Levin, Noam and Heimowitz, Aliza (2012) Mapping spatial and temporal patterns of Mediterranean wildfires from MODIS. Remote Sensing of Environment, 126 12-26. doi:10.1016/j.rse.2012.08.003

Author Levin, Noam
Heimowitz, Aliza
Title Mapping spatial and temporal patterns of Mediterranean wildfires from MODIS
Journal name Remote Sensing of Environment   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0034-4257
Publication date 2012-11-01
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.rse.2012.08.003
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 126
Start page 12
End page 26
Total pages 15
Place of publication New York, NY, United States
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Wildfires are part of the Mediterranean ecosystem, however, in Israel all wildfires are human caused, either intentionally or un-intentionally. In this study we aimed to develop and test a new method for mapping fire scars from MODIS imagery, to examine the temporal and spatial patterns of wildfires in Israel in the 2000s and to examine the factors controlling Israel's wildfire regime. To map the fires we used two 'off-the-shelf' MODIS fire products as our basis-the 1km MODIS Collection 5 fire hotspots, the 500m MCD45A1 burnt areas-and we created a new set of fire scar maps from the 250m MOD13Q1 product. We carried out a cross comparison of the three MODIS based wildfire scar maps and evaluated them independently against the wild fire scars mapped from 30m Landsat TM imagery. To examine the factors controlling wildfires we used GIS layers of rainfall, land use, and a Landsat-based national vegetation map. Wildfires occurred in areas where annual rainfall was above 250mm, mostly in areas with herbaceous vegetation. Wildfire frequency was especially high in the Golan Heights and in the foothills of the Judean mountains, and a high correspondence was found between military training zones and the spatial distribution of fire scars. The use of MODIS satellite images enabled us to map wildfires at a national scale due to the high temporal resolution of the sensor. Our MOD13Q1 based mapping of fire scars adequately mapped large (>1km2) fires with accuracies above 80%. Such large fires account for a large proportion of all fires, and pose the greatest threats. This database can aid managers in determining wildfire risks in space and in time.
Keyword Burnt areas
Herbaceous vegetation
Military training zones
Remote sensing
Spectral indices
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 20 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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