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Project ID: 10-1-02-14

Year: 2010

Date Started: 07/01/2010

Date Completed: 06/28/2013

Title: A Validated Framework for Assessing Canopy Fuels Across Heterogeneous Landscapes Using LIDAR

Project Proposal Abstract: Our proposed research will improve canopy fuel estimates for Pitch pine, and will provide a transportable framework for the quantification of canopy fuels in three dimensions across large, heterogeneous landscapes. We will address Task #2, Conifer canopy fuels estimation, in JFSP-RFA # FA-RFA010-0001. We will first extend the range of existing allometric relationships used to estimate canopy fuel characteristics for Pitch Pine, using sequential destructive harvest of plots, coupled with an upward sensing light detection and ranging (LIDAR) system, standard forest census techniques, and optical techniques for assessing canopy fuels. We and others have demonstrated the ability to link LIDAR data to tree- and plot-based models of 3-dimensional canopy fuel distributions to produce calibrated, grid-based maps that do not simply characterize maximum canopy bulk density (CBD), but describe the entire canopy height profile in terms of fuel density in 1-meter layers. Thus, by linking LIDAR-derived canopy height profiles to actual distributions of CBD derived from destructive harvests, we will eliminate inaccuracies in the prediction of 3-dimensional canopy fuel loading. We will then use downward sensing scanning LIDAR datasets to scale 1-meter layer canopy bulk density estimates across much larger, heterogeneous areas. The relationships between upward and downward LIDAR systems are well-characterized, and because these scaled metrics provide accurate estimates of crown bulk density (CBD) and other canopy fuel characteristics, they will be appropriate for current fire behavior models such as the FVS-Fire and Fuels Extension, and for the next-generation of canopy fuel models such as WFDS, which require high resolution canopy fuel loading information. We will then evaluate the accuracy of these 3-dimensional crown fuel estimates with further field sampling, using both destructive harvest and non-destructive sampling techniques in a second set of plots distributed across our study landscape. Our proposed project will assist state and federal wildland fire managers map and model canopy fuels in and near wildland-urban interface, and evaluate the efficiency of mechanical canopy fuel reduction treatments.

Principal Investigator: Kenneth L. Clark

Agency/Organization: Forest Service

Branch or Dept: NRS-Silas Little Experimental Forest

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Nicholas S. Skowronski

Forest Service

NRS-Northern Research Station

Federal Cooperator

Kenneth L. Clark

Forest Service

NRS-Silas Little Experimental Forest

Federal Fiscal Representative

David Garrison

Forest Service

NRS-Northern Research Station

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network

Lake States









Project Deliverables

Final Report view or print

("Results presented in JFSP Final Reports may not have been peer-reviewed and should be interpreted as tentative until published in a peer-reviewed source.") Final Report view or print

("Results presented in JFSP Final Reports may not have been peer-reviewed and should be interpreted as tentative until published in a peer-reviewed source.")

  ID Type Title
view or print   3007 Journal Article Remote Sensing of Environment
view or print   5587 Poster Assessing Canopy Fuels Across Heterogeneous Landscapes Using LiDAR

Supporting Documents

There are no supporting documents available for this project.

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