The Southern Africa Fire Network (SAFNet) Regional Burned-area Product-validation Protocol

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The development of appropriate validation techniques is critical to assess uncertainties associated with satellite-data-based products, to identify needed product improvements and to allow products to be used appropriately. At regional to global scales, there are several outstanding issues in the development of robust validation methodologies, including the need to increase the quality and economy of product validation by developing and promoting international validation standards and protocols. This paper describes a protocol developed to validate a regional southern Africa burned-area product derived from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) 500m time series data. The protocol is based upon interpretations by members of the Southern Africa Fire Network (SAFNet) of multitemporal Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper plus (ETM + ) data to derive maps of the location and approximate date of burning. The validation data are derived using Landsat ETM+ scenes distributed to encompass representative regional variation in the conditions for which the MODIS burned-area product was generated and to capture the more important factors that influence product performance. The protocol was developed by consensus to ensure inter-comparison of the independent data derived by the different SAFNet members and to allow these data to be scaled up to provide regional validation of the MODIS burned-area product. Biomass burning in southern Africa, the ETM+ sampling rationale, the interpretation and mapping approach, SAFNet member fire activities, and illustrative 2001 results and difficulties encountered with the protocol are described.

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Interantional Journal of Remote Sensing





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