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Wildfire Severity Mapping Using Landsat 8 OLI and Sentinel-2A Satellite Multispectral Data

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Abstract

The increasing number of wildfires demands the high-productive, fast and cost-efficient techniques to assess the damage as a part of post-fire management. This project explores the benefits of a remote-sensing approach to defining burn severity and area of damage using free available satellite multispectral imagery from Landsat 8 OLI and Sentinel 2A satellites. The tested area is the 6006.88 ha part of the Ust-Donetsk forestry in Rostov region of Southern Russia where wildfire occurred in August 2017. The assessment and mapping were produced based on imagery data from dates before and after the fire for each sensor. Considering the correlation between field-based burn severity indices and spectral indices, differences of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (dNDVI) and Normalized Burn Ratio (dNBR) were calculated and compared. The dNBR was taken for mapping and area counting as more reliable. The classification was done using proposed thresholds resulted in the overall accuracy is 66.2% with Kappa 0.54. The universal sequence of steps was proposed for rapid and effective post-fire severity and area assessment.

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