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Project ID: 00-1-3-01

Year: 2001

Date Started: 11/20/2000

Date Completed: 02/05/2007

Title: The Use of Landsat 7 (ETM+) and AVIRIS Data to Map Fuel Characteristic Classes in Western Ecosystems

Project Proposal Abstract: In order to plan, monitor, and implement fuels management programs, alternative methods of mapping fuels need to be developed. Landsat 7 Thematic Mapper imagery and Airborne Visible Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) hyperspectral data show promise for characterizing the condition of fuels and changes in those conditions over time. This project addresses Task 3 and has as its objective to test the accuracy, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of these sources of remotely sensed data for developing fuel characterization classes for a variety of western US ecosystems based on field data collected at five different locations. Forest fuels and vegetation data necessary for characterizing fuel classes have been collected from over 900 plots in the Sierra Nevada. Collection of similar data from dyer 360 plots in the Southern Cascades has been completed, as has one year of data collection from 165 plots in the Northern Rockies. It is proposed to collect shrub fuels data from the Great Basin and grass fuels data from the short grass prairie in order to extend the analysis beyond forest types. Plot locations were and will be randomly located by unique Normalized Difference Vegetation Index value clusters identified on Landsat 5 TM imagery. A temporal sequence of Landsat 7 scenes will be purchased for each ecosystem spanning one calendar year, and a NDVI calculated for each scene. Broad vegetation types and fuel characteristic classes will be distinguished using seasonal differences in NDVI and ancillary data themes. Data from the plots will be used to establish relationships between fuel characteristics and each NDVI cluster. A similar approach will be used to determine the accuracy and effectiveness of spectrum matching and end member analysis of AVIRIS data. Preliminary results from this approach are already in field use, and enhancement of these results as well, as their extension to other vegetation and fuels types will prove essential for predicting fire behavior, monitoring fuel condition changes, and providing a means for fuel assessments.

Principal Investigator: Jan W. Van Wagtendonk

Agency/Organization: USGS-Geological Survey

Branch or Dept: WERC-Yosemite Field Station

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Carl H. Key

USGS-Geological Survey

CCME-Climate Change in Mountain Ecosystems

Co-Principal Investigator

Ralph R. Root

USGS-Geological Survey

Rocky Mountain Geographic Science Center

Federal Cooperator

Jan W. Van Wagtendonk

USGS-Geological Survey

WERC-Yosemite Field Station

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network




Great Basin

Great Plains

Lake States

Oak Woodlands

Northern Rockies




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
    546 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Workshops, at each site, to instruct land managers in the methods, interpretation, limitations and use of the mapped products.

Supporting Documents

There are no supporting documents available for this project.

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