|Title||Detecting small areas burned through Sentinel data|
|Group||Soil Physics and Land Management group|
|Supervisor(s)||Supervisors: dr Cathelijne Stoof (SGL), dr. Harm Bartholomeus (GRS)/ ir. Onno Roosenschoon/ COBRA|
|Contact info||Cathelijne Stoof|
|Description||Wildland fire occurrence and size is quantified around the world using satellite imagery, which allows rapid detection of area burned even in inaccessible and remote terrain. Yet the downside of current burned area products is that they are not able to capture small fires. MODIS thermal anomalies data for instance detects active fire fronts, but in small wildfires or management burns the size of the flaming front is typically below the MODIS detection limit. This does not only challenge assessment of areas burned by management fires but also that of areas burned in temperate regions, where fires may still be infrequent but pose major challenges for society because of low preparedness and awareness for wildland fire risk. Given that climate change is expected to increase fire risk in these regions, knowing the extent of area burned by small fires will become increasingly important.
An interesting new opportunity is provided by Sentinel data, that may allow detection of burned areas given the high resolution and frequency. In this project, you will explore what the smallest area burned is that Sentinel data can detect, by training Sentinel data classification on field-measured fire perimeter data for the UK, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. You will provide advice on the potential for using Sentinel data for small fire detection, which is a first step in a larger project towards quantification of area burned by small fires.