Developing a regional canopy fuels assessment strategy using multi-scale lidar
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.
|Developing a regional canopy fuels assessment strategy using multi-scale lidar
|Birgit E. Peterson, Kurtis Nelson
|USGS Publications Warehouse
|Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center