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TitleRemote sensing applications for mapping large wildfires based on machine learning and time series in Northwestern Portugal
Author(s)Santos, Sarah Moura Batista
Duverger, Soltan Galano
Bento-Gonçalves, António
Franca-Rocha, Washington
Vieira, António
Teixeira, Georgia
KeywordsBurnt area
Spectral index
Google Earth Engine
Landsat time series
Random forest
Issue date24-Jan-2023
PublisherMultidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)
CitationSantos, S. M. B. dos, Duverger, S. G., Bento-Gonçalves, A., Franca-Rocha, W., Vieira, A., & Teixeira, G. (2023). Remote sensing applications for mapping large wildfires based on machine learning and time series in Northwestern Portugal. Fire, 6(2), 43.
Abstract(s)Mapping large wildfires (LW) is essential for environmental applications and enhances the understanding of the dynamics of affected areas. Remote sensing techniques supported by machine learning and time series have been increasingly used in studies addressing this issue and have shown potential for this type of analysis. The main aim of this article is to develop a methodology for mapping LW in northwestern Portugal using a machine learning algorithm and time series from Landsat images. For the burnt area classification, we initially used the Fourier harmonic model to define outliers in the time series that represented pixels of possible burnt areas and, then, we applied the random forest classifier for the LW classification. The results indicate that the harmonic analysis provided estimates with the actual observed values of the NBR index; thus, the pixels classified by random forest were only those that were masked, collaborated in the processing, and reduced possible spectral confusion between targets with similar behaviour. The burnt area maps revealed that ~23.5% of the territory was burnt at least once from 2001 to 2020. The temporal variability of the burnt area indicated that, on average, 6.504 hectares were affected by LW within the 20 years. The annual burnt area varied over the years, with the minimum annual area detected in 2014 (679.5 hectares) and the maximum mapped area detected in 2005 (73,025.1 hectares). We concluded that the process of defining the mask with the outliers considerably reduced the universe of pixels to be classified within each image, which leaves the training of the classifier focused on separating the set of pixels into two groups with very similar spectral characteristics, thus contributing so that the separation of groups with similar spectral behaviour was performed automatically and without great sampling effort. The method showed satisfactory accuracy results with little omission for burnt areas.
Publisher version
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:CECS - Artigos em revistas internacionais / Articles in international journals

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