Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Developing a regional canopy fuels assessment strategy using multi-scale lidar

October 20, 2011

Accurate assessments of canopy fuels are needed by fire scientists to understand fire behavior and to predict future fire occurrence. A key descriptor for canopy fuels is canopy bulk density (CBD). CBD is closely linked to the structure of the canopy; therefore, lidar measurements are particularly well suited to assessments of CBD. LANDFIRE scientists are exploring methods to integrate airborne and spaceborne lidar datasets into a national mapping effort. In this study, airborne lidar, spaceborne lidar, and field data are used to map CBD in the Yukon Flats Ecoregion, with the airborne lidar serving as a bridge between the field data and the spaceborne observations. The field-based CBD was positively correlated with airborne lidar observations (R2=0.78). Mapped values of CBD using the airborne lidar dataset were significantly correlated with spaceborne lidar observations when analyzed by forest type (R2=0.62, evergreen and R2=0.71, mixed). Though continued research is necessary to validate these results, they do support the feasibility of airborne and, most importantly, spaceborne lidar data for canopy fuels assessment.

Publication Year 2011
Title Developing a regional canopy fuels assessment strategy using multi-scale lidar
Authors Birgit E. Peterson, Kurtis Nelson
Publication Type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Index ID 70156802
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center