Fire in Global Resources and Environmental Monitoring

Project Description
Background and rationale:
At some time or another most of the world's terrestrial ecosystems are
directly affected by fire. Though some fires occur naturally
(wildfires), by far the greater part are the result of human
activities. Much of the world's tropical savannahs are periodically
burned; in Africa alone around 75% of the savannah burns annually, an
area of more than 300 millions hectares. Forest fires, savannahs
fires, burning of fuel wood, charcoal production and burning of
agricultural wastes together consume an estimated 8680 million tons of
dry plant material per year.
The consequences of biomass burning are extremely diverse. It affects
atmospheric chemistry, climate, vegetation distribution and, of course
human avtivities. The ecological, environmental and economic effects
of biomass burning occur across all scales, from the local to global,
yet systematic documentation of global biomass burning patterns and
history are not available. This lack of information is keenly felt,
both by the international scientific community, and by policy
makers. The research project FIre in global Resource and Environmental
monitoring (FIRE) has been initiated in 1994, by the Monitoring of
Tropical Vegetation unit (MTV) of the Commission of the European Union
Joint Research Centre, in order to adress such issues during a 4 years
period, with a key objective being the documenting of biomass burning
patterns for the entire tropical belt and the analysis of such
patterns in relation to land use/land cover dynamics.
An integrated approach to biomass burning studies:
At the 1991 Dahlem Workshop on Global Changes in the Perspective of
the Past, a proposal was made to integrate established fire behaviour
and emission models into a new approach, where ecosystem
characterisation, in terms of fuel situation and satellite
identification of fire occurrence are the starting point. The FIRE
project is concentrating in particular on those acpects of the Dahlem
model driven by satellite data.
Satellite observations as main source of information:
Earth observation from space provides systematic and consistent
measurements of a series of parameters related to fire and fire
impacts. Fire detection from space currently relies on visible and
thermal information from sensors on the Meteosat, Landsat, SPOT and
NOAA satellites.
These systems together cover a range of spatial, spectral and temporal
resolutions which on the one hand permit detailed study of individual
fires, and on the other allow regular monitoring of the incidence of
fire for entire continents.
The Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) on the NOAA
satellites is the main source of data for the studies done by the FIRE
project. Historical archives of these data, on a daily basis at 4 km
resolution (the Global Area Coverage data, GAC), extend back to 1981:
the FIRE project has done the processing and analysis of these
AVHRR-GAC data for the african continent. The resulting data sets are
used for continental scale vegetation studies, more specifically for
detection of land cover changes, and for documenting spatio- temporal
variations in burning patterns for the continent of Africa over the
last decade.
More complete documentation of burning patterns for the whole tropical
belt has been initiated by the FIRE project using the global 1-km
resolution AVHRR image archive established at the U.S. satellite data
archive, Sioux Falls, under the auspices of the IGBP. Analysis of
these data has required considerable development of processing
environments: An automatic method for global detection of vegetation
fires, which adjusts as necessary to accomodate seasonal and spatial
factors, has been developed and applied succesfully for the processing
and analysis of one week of daily global data (14 Gb of data). The
FIRE project is currently extending the processing to six months of
daily 1-km global data.
In the same time, detection and assessment of burnt areas are becoming
key issues in the overall research effort of the FIRE project. Data
provided by the Along Track Scanning Radiometer (ATSR-1) onboard the
ERS satellite, are being used to quantify the extent of burnt
surfaces. Last, a mobile AVHRR data receiving station is used by the
FIRE project, in the framework of ground experimental campaigns, to
validate fire detection methods for different tropical ecosystems, and
to provide input to fire management programmes at country level.
Assembling and use of consistent data sets on
BB dynamics adapted to the modelling of
soil-vegetation-atmosphere exchanges and
their evolution in time
The FIRE project is involved in co-operative research related to the
role of biomass burning in tropospheric and precipitations chemistry,
forest monitoring, land cover changes. As such a great effort is done
to assemble and format the fire related informations, as derived from
remote sensing, in consistent data sets adapted to the modelling of
soil-vegetation- atmosphere exchanges and their evolution in time:
such data sets are currently sustaining the FIRE project contributions
to international experiments among which the IGBP-IGAC activity
EXPRESSO (EXPeriment for Regional Sources and Sinks of Oxydants) and
to a research activity of the European Union on the modelling of
emissions of black carbon aerosols at global scale. Moreover the FIRE
project is involved in a co-operative research with the UE's TREES
(TRopical Ecosystem and Environment observation from Space) project:
the detection of fires is an essential part of the alarm system under
development, in the TREES project, to pinpoint zones of active
deforestation.
References:
Gregoire J-M., 1993, Description quantitative des regimes de feu en
zone soudanienne d'Afrique de l'Ouest. SECHERESSE no. 1, vol. 4, mars
1993, 37-45
Gregoire J-M., Belward A.S. et Kennedy P., 1993. Dynamiques de
saturation du signal dans la bande 3 du senseur AVHRR: Handicap majeur
ou source d'information pour la surveillance de l'environnement en
milieu soudano-guineen d'Afrique de l'Ouest ? International Journal of
Remote Sensing, 1993, Vol. 14, No. 11, 2079-2095
Belward A.S., Gregoire J-M., D'Souza G., Trigg S., Hawkes M., Brustet
J-M., Sera D., Tireford J-L., Charlot J-M. and Vuattoux R., 1993,
In-Situ, real time fire detection using NOAA/AVHRR data. proceedings
of the VI AVHRR Data User's Meeting, Belgirate, Italy, 29th June - 2nd
July 1993, published by EUMETSAT, Darmstadt, Germany, EUM P 12, ISSN
1015 9576, 333-339
Belward A.S., Kennedy P.J., and Gregoire J-M., 1994. The limitations
and potential of AVHRR GAC data for continental scale fire
studies. Int. J. Remote Sensing, 1994, Vol. 15, No. 11, 2215-2234
Kennedy P.J., Belward A.S., and Gregoire J-M., 1994. An improved
approach to fire monitoring in West Africa using AVHRR
data. Int. J. Remote Sensing, 1994, Vol. 15, No. 11, 2235-2255
Malingreau J.P., and Belward A.S., 1994, Recent activities in the
European Community for the creation and analysis of global AVHRR data
sets. Int. J. Remote Sensing, 1994, vol. 15, no. 17, pp. 3397-3416
Brivio P.A., Gregoire J-M., Lefeivre B., and Ober G., 1994. Use of the
rose-diagram method for vegetation fire patterns analysis at regional
scale in Africa. 14th Int. CODATA Conf. "Data knowledge in a changing
world", Chambery, France, 18-22 September 1994.
Koffi B., J-M.Gregoire, G.Mahe and J-P.Lacaux, 1995, Remote sensing of
bush fires dynamics in Central Africa from 1984 to 1988: analysis in
relation to regional vegetation and pluviometric patterns. Atmospheric
Research 39 (1995) 179-200
Belward A.S., Hollifield A., and James M., 1995, The potential of the
NASA GAC Pathfinder product for the creation of global thematic data
sets: the case of biomass burning patterns Int. J. Remote Sensing,
1995, Letter RES100942, p.9
Koffi B., Gregoire J-M., Brivio P.A., et Lacaux J-P.,
1995. Teledetection satellitaire et chimie des pluies: Deux approches
complementaires pour l'etude de l'impact des feux de vegetation sur le
contenu chimique de la troposphere en region tropicale. Compte-rendus
Seminaire "IGAC-DEBITS -Africa (IDAF): dry and wet depositions in
Africa", Yamoussoukro, Cote d'Ivoire, 5-8 decembre 1994 , p. 4, WMO,
IGBP, ENRICH, MEDIAS-France, Avril 1995
Eva H, Belward A.S., Gregoire J-M., Moula M., Brustet J-M., Janodet
E. and Viovy N., 1995, The application of Along Track Scanning
Radiometer data to Burnt Area mapping in different savannah ecosystems
in Central Africa. Proceedings of the meteorological satellite data
user's conference, Winchester, UK, EUMETSAT, 4th to 8th Sep. 1995
Ehrlich D., Gregoire J-M., Eva H., Janodet E., and Koffi B., 1995,
Fire detection, land cover characterization and burnt area estimation
in the savannah-forest transition zone of Central Africa. Publication
of the European Communities, EUR 16314 EN, Brussels.Luxembourg, 1995,
pp. 72
Gregoire J-M., 1995, FIRE: FIre in global Resource and Environmental
monitoring A project of the European Commission. MEDIAS Newsletter,
no. 7, aout 1995, pp. 13-14
Brivio P.A., Gregoire J-M., Koffi B., and Ober G., 1995, An automatic
clustering technique applied to the study of vegetation fire patterns
distribution in the African continent. Proceeding IGARSS,95
Quantitative remote sensing for science and applications, Vol. 1,
pp. 112-114, Firenze, 10-14 July 1995.
Brivio P.A., Ober G., Koffi B., and Gregoire J-M., 1995, Techniques
for spatio-temporal analysis of vegetation fires in the tropical belt
of Africa. in Global Process Monitoring and Remote Sensing of the
Ocean and Sea Ice, Paris France 25-28 September 1995, Deering D.W. and
Gudmandsen P. Editors, Proceedings EUROPTO Series SPIE Vol. 2586,
162-171, 1995
Barbosa P., and Gregoire J-M., 1995, Mapping of burnt surfaces at
continental scale. A methodological approach for the analysis of
NOAA/AVHRR/GAC time series. EARSeL Workshop on Remote sensing and GIS
applications to forest fire management, Universidad de Alcala de
Henares, Spain, 7th - 9th September 1995, 53-57
Jones S., 1995, Spatio-temporal distribution of vegetation fire in
continental Southeast Asia as monitored by 1 km AVHRR data. IGBP-DIS
Workshop on Global Fire Monitoring, JRC, Ispra, October 17-19, 1995,
IGBP-Global Change Report, Stockolm, in press 1996.
Malingreau J.P., and Dwyer E., 1995, A framework for the preparation
and analysis of the Global Fire Product. IGBP-DIS Workshop on Global
Fire Monitoring, JRC, Ispra, October 17-19, 1995, IGBP-Global Change
Report, Stockolm, in press 1996.
Malingreau J.P., Leysen M., and Degrandi F., 1995, Detecting and
measuring burn scars in tropical vegetation using ERS-1 SAR
data. IGBP-DIS Workshop on Global Fire Monitoring, JRC, Ispra, October
17-19, 1995, IGBP-Global Change Report, Stockolm, in press 1996.
Eva H., 1995, Along Track Scanning Radiometer data fro burnt area
mapping. IGBP-DIS Workshop on Global Fire Monitoring, JRC, Ispra,
October 17-19, 1995, IGBP-Global Change Report, Stockolm, in press
1996.
Eva H., and Flasse S., 1995, A comparison of contextual and threshold
active fire detection algorithms. IGBP-DIS Workshop on Global Fire
Monitoring, JRC, Ispra, October 17-19, 1995, IGBP-Global Change
Report, Stockolm, in press 1996.
Dwyer E., and Malingreau J.P., 1995, Global Fire Product. IGBP-DIS
Workshop on Global Fire Monitoring, JRC, Ispra, October 17-19, 1995,
IGBP-Global Change Report, Stockolm, in press 1996.
Barbosa P., and Gregoire J-M., 1995, Mapping of burnt surfaces at
continental scale. The potential of NOAA/AVHRR/GAC time
series. IGBP-DIS Workshop on Global Fire Monitoring, JRC, Ispra,
October 17-19, 1995, IGBP-Global Change Report, Stockolm, in press
1996.
Gregoire J-M., 1995, Use of AVHRR data for the study of vegetation
fires in Africa: Fire management perspectives. EURO COURSES Remote
Sensing Volume 5, Advances in the use of AVHRR data for land
applications, edited by D'Souza G., Belward A.S. and Malingreau J-P.,
p. 469, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1995, 310-334
Malingreau J-P., and Gregoire J-M., 1996, Developing a global
vegetation fire monitoring system for global change studies: current
possibilities and perspectives. AGU Conference on "Biomass Burning and
Global Change", Williamsburg, Virginia, USA, March 13-17 1995, in
press 1996
B.Koffi, J-M.Gregoire, H.D. Eva, 1996, Satellite monitoring of
vegetation fires on a multi-annual basis at continental scale, in
Africa. in proceedings of the AGU Conference "Biomass Burning and
Global Change", Williamsburg, Virginia, USA, March 13-17 1995,
J. Levine editor, MIT Press, in press 1996.
Moula M., Brustet J.M., Fontan J., Eva H., and Gregoire J-M., 1996,
Contribution of Spread-Fire Model in the Study of Savannah Fires. AGU
Conference on "Biomass Burning and Global Change", Williamsburg,
Virginia, USA, March 13-17 1995, J. Levine editor, MIT Press, in
press 1996.
Cooke W.F., Koffi B., and Gregoire J-M., 1996, Seasonality of
vegetation fires in Africa from remote sensing data and application to
a global chemistry model. Journal of Geophysical Research, 101 (D15),
21051 - 21065, 1996.
Koffi B., 1995, The continental fire product for Africa as derived
from NOAA-AVHRR-GAC images - Definition and methods. JRC Technical
Note no. I.96.04, p. 20, January 96
Koffi B., Koffi E., and Gregoire J.-M., [1996]. Atlas of fire
seasonality and its interannual variability for the African
continent. Publication of the European Commission, EUR 16407,
Luxembourg, p.20, 1996.
Eva H., and Gregoire J-M. [1996]. Regional Burnt Area Detection with
ERS-1 Along Track Scanning Radiometer Data. proceedings E.G.S. Annual
Meeting - Session OA19: Biomass Burning, European Geophysical Society,
La Haye, Pays-Bas, 6-10 mai 1996, in press.
Brivio P.A., Gregoire J-M., Lefeivre B., and Ober G., 1996. Use of the
rose-diagram method for vegetation fire patterns analysis at regional
scale in Africa. in "Geoscience and Water Resources: Environmental
Data Modeling". C. Bardinet and J.J. Royer (eds), Springer-Verlag. in
press, 1996.
Gregoire J-M., Barbosa P., Dwyer E., Eva H., Jones S., Koffi B.,
Malingreau J.P., 1996. Vegetation fire research at the Monitoring
Tropical Vegetation Unit: Product availability - June
1996. Publication of the European Commission, EUR 16433 EN,
Brussels.Luxembourg, June 1996, pp. 84.
Project Contact:
J-M. Gregoire
Monitoring Tropical Vegetation Unit
Space Applications Institute
Joint Research Center of the European Commission, TP. 440, 21020
ISPRA, ITALY.
Tel: (39) 332 78 92 15 / 9830.
Fax: (39) 332 78 90 73.
E-mail: jean-marie.gregoire@jrc.it