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Vegetation burn severity mapping using Landsat-8 and WorldView-2

February 1, 2015

We used remotely sensed data from the Landsat-8 and WorldView-2 satellites to estimate vegetation burn severity of the Creek Fire on the San Carlos Apache Reservation, where wildfire occurrences affect the Tribe's crucial livestock and logging industries. Accurate pre- and post-fire canopy maps at high (0.5-meter) resolution were created from World- View-2 data to generate canopy loss maps, and multiple indices from pre- and post-fire Landsat-8 images were used to evaluate vegetation burn severity. Normalized difference vegetation index based vegetation burn severity map had the highest correlation coefficients with canopy loss map from WorldView-2. Two distinct approaches - canopy loss mapping from WorldView-2 and spectral index differencing from Landsat-8 - agreed well with the field-based burn severity estimates and are both effective for vegetation burn severity mapping. Canopy loss maps created with WorldView-2 imagery add to a short list of accurate vegetation burn severity mapping techniques that can help guide effective management of forest resources on the San Carlos Apache Reservation, and the broader fire-prone regions of the Southwest.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2015
Title Vegetation burn severity mapping using Landsat-8 and WorldView-2
DOI 10.14358/PERS.81.2.143
Authors Zhuoting Wu, Barry R. Middleton, Robert Hetzler, John M. Vogel, Dennis G. Dye
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing
Series Number
Index ID 70127397
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Western Geographic Science Center