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Validation of MODIS Active Fire Detection Products Derived from Two Algorithms

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  • 1 Terrestrial Information Systems Branch, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
  • | 2 Department of Geography, University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, Maryland
  • | 3 Centro de Previsão do Tempo e Estudos Climáticos, INPE, Sao Jose dos Campos, Sao Paolo, Brazil
  • | 4 Department of Geography, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland
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Abstract

Fire influences global change and tropical ecosystems through its connection to land-cover dynamics, atmospheric composition, and the global carbon cycle. As such, the climate change community, the Brazilian government, and the Large-Scale Biosphere–Atmosphere (LBA) Experiment in Amazonia are interested in the use of satellites to monitor and quantify fire occurrence throughout Brazil. Because multiple satellites and algorithms are being utilized, it is important to quantify the accuracy of the derived products. In this paper the characteristics of two fire detection algorithms are evaluated, both of which are applied to Terra’s Moderate Resolution Imagine Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data and with both operationally producing publicly available fire locations. The two algorithms are NASA’s operational Earth Observing System (EOS) MODIS fire detection product and Brazil’s Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE) algorithm. Both algorithms are compared to fire maps that are derived independently from 30-m spatial resolution Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) imagery. A quantitative comparison is accomplished through logistic regression and error matrices. Results show that the likelihood of MODIS fire detection, for either algorithm, is a function of both the number of ASTER fire pixels within the MODIS pixel as well as the contiguity of those pixels. Both algorithms have similar omission errors and each has a fairly high likelihood of detecting relatively small fires, as observed in the ASTER data. However, INPE’s commission error is roughly 3 times more than that of the EOS algorithm.

* Corresponding author address: Jeffrey T. Morisette, Terrestrial Information Systems Branch, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Mail Code 614.5, Greenbelt, MD 20771. jeff.morisette@nasa.gov

This article included in the Large-Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere (LBA) Experiment special collection.

Abstract

Fire influences global change and tropical ecosystems through its connection to land-cover dynamics, atmospheric composition, and the global carbon cycle. As such, the climate change community, the Brazilian government, and the Large-Scale Biosphere–Atmosphere (LBA) Experiment in Amazonia are interested in the use of satellites to monitor and quantify fire occurrence throughout Brazil. Because multiple satellites and algorithms are being utilized, it is important to quantify the accuracy of the derived products. In this paper the characteristics of two fire detection algorithms are evaluated, both of which are applied to Terra’s Moderate Resolution Imagine Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data and with both operationally producing publicly available fire locations. The two algorithms are NASA’s operational Earth Observing System (EOS) MODIS fire detection product and Brazil’s Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE) algorithm. Both algorithms are compared to fire maps that are derived independently from 30-m spatial resolution Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) imagery. A quantitative comparison is accomplished through logistic regression and error matrices. Results show that the likelihood of MODIS fire detection, for either algorithm, is a function of both the number of ASTER fire pixels within the MODIS pixel as well as the contiguity of those pixels. Both algorithms have similar omission errors and each has a fairly high likelihood of detecting relatively small fires, as observed in the ASTER data. However, INPE’s commission error is roughly 3 times more than that of the EOS algorithm.

* Corresponding author address: Jeffrey T. Morisette, Terrestrial Information Systems Branch, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Mail Code 614.5, Greenbelt, MD 20771. jeff.morisette@nasa.gov

This article included in the Large-Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere (LBA) Experiment special collection.

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