Changes on albedo after a large forest fire in Mediterranean ecosystems
Área de conocimiento
Datos de la obra
Proceedings of SPIE, 2015, vol. 9610, 961018-1
Fires are one of the main causes of environmental alteration in Mediterranean forest ecosystems. Albedo varies and evolves seasonally based on solar illumination. It is greatly influenced by changes on vegetation: vegetation growth, cutting/planting forests or forest fires. This work analyzes albedo variations due to a large forest fire that occurred on 19- 21 September 2012 in northwestern Spain. From this area, albedo post-fire images (immediately and 1-year after fire) were generated from Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM+) data. Specifically we considered total shortwave albedo, total-, direct-, and diffuse-visible, and near-infrared albedo. Nine to twelve weeks after fire, 111 field plots were measured (27 unburned plots, 84 burned plots). The relationship between albedo values and thematic class (burned/unburned) was evaluated by one-way analysis of variance. Our results demonstrate that albedo changes were related to burned/unburned variable with statistical significance, indicating the importance of forestry areas as regulators of land surface energy fluxes and revealing the potential of post-fire albedo for assessing burned areas. Future research, however, is needed to evaluate the persistence of albedo changes.