BURN SEVERITY MAPPING IN AUSTRALIA 2009
Keywords: Hazards, Forest fire, Change detection, Landsat, Landscape
Abstract. In 2009, the Victoria Department of Sustainability and Environment estimated approximately 430,000 hectares of Victoria Australia were burned by numerous bushfires. Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) teams from the United States were deployed to Victoria to assist local fire managers. The U.S. Geological Survey Earth Resources Observation and Science Center (USGS/EROS) and U.S. Forest Service Remote Sensing Applications Center (USFS/RSAC) aided the support effort by providing satellite-derived "soil burn severity " maps for over 280,000 burned hectares. In the United States, BAER teams are assembled to make rapid assessments of burned lands to identify potential hazards to public health and property. An early step in the assessment process is the creation of a soil burn severity map used to identify hazard areas and prioritize treatment locations. These maps are developed primarily using Landsat satellite imagery and the differenced Normalized Burn Ratio (dNBR) algorithm.