The Collection 5 MODIS Burned Area Product — Global Evaluation by Comparison with the MODIS Active Fire Product

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The results of the first consecutive 12 months of the NASA Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) global burned area product are presented. Total annual and monthly area burned statistics and missing data statistics are reported at global and continental scale and with respect to different land cover classes. Globally the total area burned labeled by the MODIS burned area product is 3.66×106 km2 for July 2001 to June 2002 while the MODIS active fire product detected for the same period a total of 2.78×106 km2, i.e., 24% less than the area labeled by the burned area product. A spatio-temporal correlation analysis of the two MODIS fire products stratified globally for pre-fire leaf area index (LAI) and percent tree cover ranges indicate that for low percent tree cover and LAI, the MODIS burned area product defines a greater proportion of the landscape as burned than the active fire product; and with increasing tree cover (N60%) and LAI (N5) the MODIS active fire product defines a relatively greater proportion. This pattern is generally observed in product comparisons stratified with respect to land cover. Globally, the burned area product reports a smaller amount of area burned than the active fire product in croplands and evergreen forest and deciduous needle leaf forest classes, comparable areas for mixed and deciduous broad leaf forest classes, and a greater amount of area burned for the non-forest classes. The reasons for these product differences are discussed in terms of environmental spatio-temporal fire characteristics and remote sensing factors, and highlight the planning needs for MODIS burned area product validation.

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Remote Sensing of Environment



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