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Project ID: 00-1-3-05

Year: 2001

Date Started: 03/27/2001

Date Completed: 07/01/2005

Title: Testing an Approach to Improving Fire Fuel Mapping by Mapping and Modeling Vegetation Structure and Types Based on Combined Field Data

Project Proposal Abstract: This project addresses requirements by the current RFP for more accurate, efficient, and cost-effective development of data for fire fuel research and management (Task 3). By focusing on development of fire fuel input layers, we propose to develop a simple and innovative methodology to bring together data collected from the field with multi-resolution satellite data, resulting in a mapping of required fire fuel parameters: vegetation types, canopy cover density, canopy height, and biomass. The study areas in this mapping are Western United States, Northeastern United States and Alaska. Vegetation type, canopy height, canopy density, and biomass will be mapped for the study areas on the basis of field data collected by fire researchers and the Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis program, and satellite data from Landsat ETM+ (30-meter), and MODIS (500-meter) sensors. The methodology will be developed by adapting and refining existing techniques (K-Nearest Neighbors, mixture modeling, and image classification), and using existing data as much as possible to minimize cost. Linkage with the Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics (MRLC) Interagency Consortium nationwide 30-meter land cover mapping program ensures expandability of the methodology. A proposed calibration and validation effort will use existing site-specific data to calibrate our modeled performance, and to cross-validate over the large mapping areas. Final mapped and field-calibrated data sets are intended for applications of the national fire fuel characteristic classification and fire models, which require recent and accurate vegetation information possible. Transfer of technology and results to the fire science community will be accomplished by working with participating agencies and via algorithm development and linkage to the JFSP web page. Results and the final report will be published on a CD-ROM. By linking existing field data to large-area mapping and modeling, the approach tested in this project is efficient and cost-effective. The use of high intensity field data and next generation satellite data ensures great potentials in accuracy of resulting fire fuels input layers.

Principal Investigator: Zhiliang L. Zhu

Agency/Organization: USGS-Geological Survey

Branch or Dept: National Center

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Michael Fleming

USGS-Geological Survey

ASC-Alaska Science Center

Co-Principal Investigator

Michael Hoppus

Forest Service

NRS-Northern Research Station

Co-Principal Investigator

Donald Ohlen

USGS-Geological Survey

EROS Data Center

Co-Principal Investigator

Jan W. Van Wagtendonk

USGS-Geological Survey

WERC-Yosemite Field Station

Federal Cooperator

Zhiliang L. Zhu

USGS-Geological Survey

National Center

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network


Southern Rockies


There are no project locations identified for this project.

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.")

  ID Type Title
    186 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Techniques for Mapping Vegetation and Wildland Fuel Parameters
    188 Dataset (including spatial) Map Products

Supporting Documents

There are no supporting documents available for this project.

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