Comparison of AVIRIS and Landsat ETM+ detection capabilities for burn severity

Remote Sensing of Environment
By: , and 



Our study compares data on burn severity collected from multi-temporal Airborne Visible and Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) with similar data from the Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) using the differenced Normalized Burn Ratio (dNBR). Two AVIRIS and ETM+ data acquisitions recorded surface conditions immediately before the Hoover Fire began to spread rapidly and again the following year. Data were validated with 63 field plots using the Composite Burn Index (CBI). The relationship between spectral channels and burn severity was examined by comparing pre- and post-fire datasets. Based on the high burn severity comparison, AVIRIS channels 47 and 60 at wavelengths of 788 and 913 nm showed the greatest negative response to fire. Post-fire reflectance values decreased the most on average at those wavelengths, while channel 210 at 2370 nm showed the greatest positive response on average. Fire increased reflectance the most at that wavelength over the entire measured spectral range. Furthermore, channel 210 at 2370 nm exhibited the greatest variation in spectral response, suggesting potentially high information content for fire severity. Based on general remote sensing principles and the logic of variable spectral responses to fire, dNBR from both sensors should produce useful results in quantifying burn severity. The results verify the band–response relationships to burn severity as seen with ETM+ data and confirm the relationships by way of a distinctly different sensor system.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Comparison of AVIRIS and Landsat ETM+ detection capabilities for burn severity
Series title Remote Sensing of Environment
DOI 10.1016/j.rse.2003.12.015
Volume 92
Issue 3
Year Published 2004
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Western Ecological Research Center
Description 12 p.
First page 397
Last page 408
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