Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) for forest damage monitoring in south-western Europe
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L. A. Pérez-Rodríguez, C. Quintano, P. García-Llamas, V. Fernández-García, A. Taboada, J. M. Fernández-Guisuraga, E. Marcos, S. Suárez-Seoane, L. Calvo, A. Fernández-Manso, "Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) for forest damage monitoring in south-western Europe," Proc. SPIE 11130, Imaging Spectrometry XXIII: Applications, Sensors, and Processing, 111300K (6 September 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2531265
Prescribed burns are being considered as a management tool for the prevention of forest fires in many countries that have important firefighting problems. Knowledge of fire intensity and eliminated vegetation fuel are of great interest to evaluate their effectiveness. Both parameters are directly related to burn severity, so their evaluation is fundamental to predict the post-fire evolution of burned area. In this study we evaluated two prescribed burnings carried out in North of Spain during October 2017 by using multispectral data from an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). In particular, four surface reflectance images were obtained in green (550 nm), red (660 nm), red-edge (735 nm) and near infrared (790 nm) at very high spatial resolution (GSD 20 cm) from which different spectral indexes were computed. Additionally, vegetation and soil burn severity was measured in 153 field plots and an analysis of variance (ANOVA) between each spectral index and burn severity (both in vegetation and soil) was performed. A Fisher’s least significant difference test determined that three vegetation burn severity levels and two soil burn severity levels could be statistically distinguished. The identification of such burn severity levels is sufficient and useful to forest managers. We conclude that multispectral data from UAVs may be considered as a valuable indicator of burn severity for prescribed burnings.
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