The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLVIII-M-1-2023
15 Aug 2023
 | 15 Aug 2023


E. Çolak and F. Sunar

Keywords: Deep Learning, Cycle-GAN, Image Translation, Sentinel-2, Sentinel-1, Forest Fire Burned Area Mapping

Abstract. For the management of the forest and the assessment of impacts on ecosystems, post-fire burned area mapping is crucial for sustainable environment and forestry. While optical remote sensing data has been extensively used for monitoring forest fires due to its spatial and temporal resolutions, it is susceptible to limitations imposed by poor weather conditions. To overcome this challenge, the complementary use of optical and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data is beneficial, as SAR can penetrate clouds and capture images in all-weather conditions. However, SAR lacks the necessary spectral features for comprehensive forest fire monitoring and burned area mapping. To overcome these limitations, this study proposes a Cycle-Consistent Generative Adversarial Networks (Cycle-GAN) based deep feature translation method for burned area mapping by combining optical and SAR data. This approach allows for the retrieval of precise information of interest with a level of precision that cannot be achieved by either optical or SAR data alone. The Cycle-GAN uses a cyclic structure to transfer data from one domain (optical) to another domain (SAR) into the same feature space. As a result, it can maintain its spectral characteristics while providing ongoing and current information for monitoring forest fires. For this purpose, Burn Area Index (BAI), Mid Infrared Burn Index (MIRBI), Normalised Burn Ratio (NBR) were determined using optical data and image translation was performed with Cycle-GAN on SAR data. The accuracy of the fake BAI, MIRBI and NBR spectral burn indices determined from the SAR was established by correlating the original spectral burn indices determined from the optical data. The results demonstrate a significant correlation between the real and generated fake burn indices, particularly with a noteworthy correlation coefficient of 0.93 observed for the NBR index. In addition, the findings validate the effectiveness of the generated indices in accurately representing and quantifying the extent of burned areas.