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Forest fuel classification
and mapping at large
scale in Mediterranean
Areas
ArcFUEL Final Workshop, 18/12/2013, Thessalon...
Methodology considerations
Low cost
Applicable across Europe
Emphasis on Mediterranean ecosystems
Medium spatial resolutio...
Pilot study sites
Greek (Taksiarhis)
Italian (Cosenza)
Portuguese (Lousã Mountains)
Spanish (Sierra de Las Nieves Natural
...
Greek study site
Area: 10400 ha
Altitude range:
320-1195m
Climate:
Mediterranean
Main
vegetation:
Trees, Shrubs
& Grasses
...
Datasets used
EEA, Corine landcover map
JRC, Forest type map
EFFIS, Forest damage assessment maps
MODIS Vegetation Continu...
Classification scheme
Compliance with FUELMAP
Hierarchical






Main classes
Seasonal behavior
Vegetation density
Ec...
Main class

Temporal detail level

Vegetation density detail level

Ecoregion type detail level

Full detail level

Scrub
...
Detailed FUELMAP class
Peat bogs
Wooded peat bogs
Pastures
Sparse grasslands
Mediterranean grasslands and steppes
Temperat...
Data update
Use latest available dataset release
Assume fire as the primary cause of broad
land cover change between offic...
Data update
Collect all the
EFFIS forest
damage
assessment maps
produced since
the release year
of the landcover
map

ArcF...
Data update
Append the
burned areas

ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries”

1...
Data update
Convert the
land cover
dataset to
vector format

ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Med...
Data update
Update the
vector dataset
for burned
areas
CORINE, update
the “Burnt
area” class
JRC, update the
“Non Forest”
...
Data update
Convert the
updated
dataset back
to raster
format using a
majority filter
CORINE->50m
JRC ->25m

ArcFUEL Final...
Main fuel classes originating from the
JRC forest type map
Broadleaved, Coniferous and Mixed Forest
classes
Aggregate grou...
C

C

C

C

C

B

B

C

B
B

B

C

Aggregation to 50 m

B

C

C

B

B

Updated forest type
map

Aggregation rules
Number o...
JRC Forest type Aggregation

ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries”

17
Main fuel classes originating from the
CORINE map
ArcFuel main class
Ground fuels
Non Wildland fuels

Azonic fuels
Agrofor...
Main fuel classes originating from the
CORINE map

ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean...
Surface fuels
The area not covered by any of the other
classes
Assumed to be covered by Grasses and
Shrubs

ArcFUEL Final ...
Surface fuels

ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries”

21
Conflict resolution
In case of conflicting main classes over the
same area, the class originating from the
most recent dat...
Temporal refinement
Certain main fuel classes contain sub-classes with distinctly
different seasonal behavior.
The physica...
Temporal refinement

ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries”

24
Temporal refinement
Assumption: Distinctly different seasonal NDVI
value differences imply vegetation types with
distinctl...
Temporal refinement
Landsat images selection rules:
 Captured recently and during:
 Summer
 Winter

 Low cloud cover

...
Temporal refinement
Landsat image pre-processing







Calibration
Atmospheric correction
Cloud and shadow masking
...
Temporal refinement

ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries”

28
Temporal refinement
Over areas covered solely by trees, the highest
seasonal NDVI value differences should be
recorded ove...
Temporal refinement
How can the seasonal NDVI value differences,
which are neither too high and neither too low, be
classi...
Temporal refinement
Alternative: use an automated clustering
algorithm such as ISODATA to perform an
unsupervised classifi...
Temporal refinement

ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries”

32
Vegetation Density
Vegetation density is an important fuel
property
At the time, the available data (MOD44B)
is restricted...
Vegetation Density

ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries”

34
Ecoregion type
Ecoregion type effects fire behavior
Improves the compliance with FUELMAP
15 ecoregion types identified ove...
Ecoregion type
European Ecoregion types
Alpine North
Boreal
Nemoral
Atlantic North
Alpine South
Continental
Atlantic Centr...
Full detail
Combine all the
available fuel
property layers

ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Medi...
Full detail
Vegetation fuel class name

Area coverage percentage

Dense Broadleaved Deciduous

15.975%

Dense Broadleaved ...
Methodology overview

ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries”

39
Discussion
Optimum Landsat images may be harder
to find than originally anticipated
Topographic correction is important
Co...
Conclusions
The proposed methodology can be used to
regularly map forest fuel maps suitable for
policy making over Europe,...
Thank you

ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries”

42
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Prof. ioannis gitas (au th) “forest fuel classification and mapping at large scale in mediterran

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Prof. ioannis gitas (au th) “forest fuel classification and mapping at large scale in mediterran

  1. 1. Forest fuel classification and mapping at large scale in Mediterranean Areas ArcFUEL Final Workshop, 18/12/2013, Thessaloniki “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” Dr. Pericles Toukiloglou, Dr. George Eftitsidis & Prof. Ioannis Gitas Aristotle University | Faculty of Forestry and Natural Environment | 55143, Greece ptoukiloglou@for.auth.gr ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 18 December 2013, Aristotle University Research Dissemination Center, Thessaloniki, Greece 1
  2. 2. Methodology considerations Low cost Applicable across Europe Emphasis on Mediterranean ecosystems Medium spatial resolution (~50m) Results compatible with existing applications & projects (e.g. FUELMAP) ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 2
  3. 3. Pilot study sites Greek (Taksiarhis) Italian (Cosenza) Portuguese (Lousã Mountains) Spanish (Sierra de Las Nieves Natural Park) ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 3
  4. 4. Greek study site Area: 10400 ha Altitude range: 320-1195m Climate: Mediterranean Main vegetation: Trees, Shrubs & Grasses ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 4
  5. 5. Datasets used EEA, Corine landcover map JRC, Forest type map EFFIS, Forest damage assessment maps MODIS Vegetation Continuous Fields (collection 5) Ecoregion type map Landsat TM & ETM+ images ASTER, GDEM v2 ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 5
  6. 6. Classification scheme Compliance with FUELMAP Hierarchical      Main classes Seasonal behavior Vegetation density Ecoregion type Full detail ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 6
  7. 7. Main class Temporal detail level Vegetation density detail level Ecoregion type detail level Full detail level Scrub Deciduous Broadleaved forest Open Dense Scrub Evergreen Open Dense Scrub Open Black Sea Mediterranean East Anatolian Lusitanian Pannonic – Pontic Continental Mediterranean North Deciduous Alpine South Scrub Atlantic North Dense Boreal Open Nemoral Evergreen Alpine North Scrub Atlantic Central Dense Mediterranean South Open Mediterranean Mountain Deciduous Coniferous forest Ecoregion Forest Ecoregion Forest Ecoregion Forest Ecoregion Forest Ecoregion Forest Ecoregion Forest Ecoregion Forest Ecoregion Forest Ecoregion Forest Ecoregion Forest Ecoregion Forest Ecoregion Forest Ecoregion + Scrub Deciduous Broadleaved + Open Deciduous Broadleaved + Dense Deciduous Broadleaved + Scrub Evergreen Broadleaved + Open Evergreen Broadleaved + Dense Evergreen Broadleaved + Scrub Deciduous Coniferous + Open Deciduous Coniferous + Dense Deciduous Coniferous + Scrub Evergreen Coniferous + Open Evergreen Coniferous + Dense Evergreen Coniferous + Scrub Deciduous Mixed Forest Ecoregion + Open Deciduous Mixed Forest Dense Surface fuels Ground fuels Non Wildland fuels Azonic fuels Agroforestry Burned areas No fuels Grasses Shrubs Ecoregion + Scrub Evergreen Mixed Forest Open Ecoregion + Open Evergreen Mixed Forest Dense Evergreen Ecoregion + Dense Deciduous Mixed Forest Scrub Mixed forest Ecoregion + Dense Evergreen Mixed Forest Ecoregion + Grasses Ecoregion + Shrubs Ecoregion + Ground fuels Ecoregion + Non Wildland fuels Ecoregion + Azonic fuels Ecoregion + Agroforestry Ecoregion + Burned areas No fuels ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 7
  8. 8. Detailed FUELMAP class Peat bogs Wooded peat bogs Pastures Sparse grasslands Mediterranean grasslands and steppes Temperate, Alpine and Northern grasslands Mediterranean moors and heathlands Temperate, Alpine and Northern moors and heathlands Basic FUELMAP class Associated ArcFuel class Ground fuels Ground fuels Surface fuels Surface fuels Mediterranean open shrublands (sclerophylous) Mediterranean shrublands (sclerophylous) Deciduous broadleaved shrublands (thermophilous) Alpine open shrub lands (conifers) Shrublands in Mediterranean conifer forests Shrublands in Mediterranean sclerophylous forests Scrub Broadleaved forest Shrublands in Mediterranean montane conifer forests Shrublands in thermophilous broadleaved forests Shrublands in beech and mesophytic broadleaved forests Transitional forest Northern open shrublands in broadleaved forests Shrublands in Alpine and Northern conifer forests Mediterranean long needled conifer forest (mediterranean pines) Scrub Coniferous forest Scrub Mixed forest Mediterranean scale-needled open woodlands (juniperus, cupressus) Open Coniferous forest Mediterranean montane long needled conifer forest (black and scots pines) Mediterranean montane short needled conifer forest (firs, cedar) Coniferous forest Alpine long needled conifer forest (pines) Alpine short needled conifer forest (fir, alp. spruce) Northern long needled conifer forest (scots pine) Northern short needled conifer forest (spruce) Mediterranean evergreen broadleaved forest Thermophilous broadleaved forest Mesophytic broadleaved forest Beech forest Montane beech forest White birch boreal forest Mixed Mediterranean evergreen broadleaved with conifers forest Mixed thermophilous broadleaved with conifers forest Mixed mesophytic broadleaved with conifers forest Mixed beech with conifers forest Riparian vegetation Coastal and inland halophytic vegetation and dunes Aquatic Marshes Agroforestry areas No fuel Dense Coniferous forest Open Broadleaved forest Broadleaved forest Dense Broadleaved forest Open Mixed forest Mixed forest Dense Mixed forest Other fuels No fuel Non Wildland fuels Azonic fuels Burned areas Agroforestry No fuel ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 8
  9. 9. Data update Use latest available dataset release Assume fire as the primary cause of broad land cover change between official land cover map releases Update land cover datasets for burned areas using the yearly EFFIS forest damage assessment maps ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 9
  10. 10. Data update Collect all the EFFIS forest damage assessment maps produced since the release year of the landcover map ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 10
  11. 11. Data update Append the burned areas ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 11
  12. 12. Data update Convert the land cover dataset to vector format ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 12
  13. 13. Data update Update the vector dataset for burned areas CORINE, update the “Burnt area” class JRC, update the “Non Forest” class ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 13
  14. 14. Data update Convert the updated dataset back to raster format using a majority filter CORINE->50m JRC ->25m ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 14
  15. 15. Main fuel classes originating from the JRC forest type map Broadleaved, Coniferous and Mixed Forest classes Aggregate groups of four neighboring 25m pixels to 50m ones The mixed class is created through the aggregation of both broadleaved and coniferous pixels ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 15
  16. 16. C C C C C B B C B B B C Aggregation to 50 m B C C B B Updated forest type map Aggregation rules Number of 25m resolution pixels Broadleaved Coniferous Non Forest 4 0 0 3 0 1 3 1 0 2 0 2 2 1 1 2 2 0 1 0 3 1 1 2 1 2 1 1 3 0 0 0 4 0 1 3 0 2 2 0 3 1 0 4 0 C C M B Assigned class Broadleaved Forest Broadleaved Forest Broadleaved Forest Broadleaved Forest Broadleaved Forest Mixed Forest Non Forest Mixed Forest Coniferous Forest Coniferous Forest Non Forest Non Forest Coniferous Forest Coniferous Forest Coniferous Forest M Forest main classes ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 16
  17. 17. JRC Forest type Aggregation ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 17
  18. 18. Main fuel classes originating from the CORINE map ArcFuel main class Ground fuels Non Wildland fuels Azonic fuels Agroforestry Burned areas No fuels CORINE class Peat bogs Discontinuous urban fabric Green urban areas Sport and leisure facilities Non-irrigated arable land Vineyards Inland marshes Salt marshes Agro-forestry areas Burnt areas Estuaries Industrial or commercial units Port areas Airports Coastal lagoons Fruit trees and berry plantations Olive groves Annual crops associated with permanent crops Complex cultivation patterns Permanently irrigated land Salines Intertidal flats Land principally occupied by agriculture, with significant areas of natural vegetation Dump sites Water courses Beaches, dunes, sands Road and rail networks and associated land Water bodies Continuous urban fabric Bare rocks Rice fields Glaciers and perpetual snow Mineral extraction sites Construction sites Sea and ocean ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 18
  19. 19. Main fuel classes originating from the CORINE map ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 19
  20. 20. Surface fuels The area not covered by any of the other classes Assumed to be covered by Grasses and Shrubs ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 20
  21. 21. Surface fuels ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 21
  22. 22. Conflict resolution In case of conflicting main classes over the same area, the class originating from the most recent dataset is retained If the conflicting classes originate from equally current datasets, then the class originating from the highest resolution dataset is retained ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 22
  23. 23. Temporal refinement Certain main fuel classes contain sub-classes with distinctly different seasonal behavior. The physical properties of these sub-classes differ over different seasons and thus so do their properties as a fuel. The main fuel classes that can be further sub-classified based on their seasonal behavior are:  the Broadleaved, Coniferous and Mixed forest fuels, which can be sub-classified to Deciduous and Evergreen  and the Surface fuels, which can be sub-classified to Grasses and Shrubs ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 23
  24. 24. Temporal refinement ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 24
  25. 25. Temporal refinement Assumption: Distinctly different seasonal NDVI value differences imply vegetation types with distinctly different seasonal behavior Assumption: Seasonal NDVI value differences are not affected considerably by factors other than the physical properties of the vegetation ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 25
  26. 26. Temporal refinement Landsat images selection rules:  Captured recently and during:  Summer  Winter  Low cloud cover ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 26
  27. 27. Temporal refinement Landsat image pre-processing       Calibration Atmospheric correction Cloud and shadow masking Topographic correction NDVI calculation Seasonal NDVI value difference calculation (summer-winter) ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 27
  28. 28. Temporal refinement ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 28
  29. 29. Temporal refinement Over areas covered solely by trees, the highest seasonal NDVI value differences should be recorded over Deciduous, and the lowest over Evergreen trees Over areas covered solely by surface fuels, the highest seasonal NDVI value differences should be recorded over Grasses, and the lowest over Shrubs ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 29
  30. 30. Temporal refinement How can the seasonal NDVI value differences, which are neither too high and neither too low, be classified? No optimum set of seasonal NDVI value criteria for distinguishing the classes across Europe  Wide in-class variability  Wide range of possible image reception dates Empirical criteria would be costly ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 30
  31. 31. Temporal refinement Alternative: use an automated clustering algorithm such as ISODATA to perform an unsupervised classification  Two classes  Performed over an area covered solely by two vegetation types with distinctly different seasonal behavior  Classified area should be large enough to include both vegetation types ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 31
  32. 32. Temporal refinement ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 32
  33. 33. Vegetation Density Vegetation density is an important fuel property At the time, the available data (MOD44B) is restricted to tree forest fuels Three sub-classes based on vegetation coverage percentage:  Scrub (0-10%)  Open (10-40%)  Dense (40-100%) ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 33
  34. 34. Vegetation Density ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 34
  35. 35. Ecoregion type Ecoregion type effects fire behavior Improves the compliance with FUELMAP 15 ecoregion types identified over Europe ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 35
  36. 36. Ecoregion type European Ecoregion types Alpine North Boreal Nemoral Atlantic North Alpine South Continental Atlantic Central Pannonic – Pontic Lusitanian Anatolian Mediterranean Mountain Mediterranean North Mediterranean South Mediterranean East Black Sea ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 36
  37. 37. Full detail Combine all the available fuel property layers ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 37
  38. 38. Full detail Vegetation fuel class name Area coverage percentage Dense Broadleaved Deciduous 15.975% Dense Broadleaved Evergreen 20.564% Dense Coniferous Deciduous 0.026% Dense Coniferous Evergreen 5.585% Dense Mixed Evergreen 0.128% Grasses 24.170% Non Fuels 17.635% Non Wildland Fuels 0.662% Scrub Broadleaved Deciduous 5.146% Scrub Broadleaved Evergreen 4.007% Scrub Coniferous Deciduous 0.004% Scrub Coniferous Evergreen 1.078% Scrub Mixed Evergreen 0.252% Shrubs 4.770% ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 38
  39. 39. Methodology overview ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 39
  40. 40. Discussion Optimum Landsat images may be harder to find than originally anticipated Topographic correction is important Compositing Landsat images may improve the results ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 40
  41. 41. Conclusions The proposed methodology can be used to regularly map forest fuel maps suitable for policy making over Europe, at low cost The methodology could be further improved in the future ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 41
  42. 42. Thank you ArcFUEL Final Workshop “Forest Fires: Fuel mapping in the Mediterranean countries” 42

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