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Proceedings Paper

Detection of potential illegal changes on forest burned areas with vegetation indices and map algebra
Author(s): Mario R. Caetano; Paulo M. Barbosa; Teresa G. Santos
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Paper Abstract

Legislation was introduced in Portugal to enable the Portuguese Forest Services (DGF) to implement a management strategy to control forest plantation in forest burned areas. Under this legislation, the forest owners have to notify DGF after a fire in order to replant the same species, or to seek DGF’s permission if the previous species is to be replaced. We developed a methodology that uses Earth Observation (EO) data to identify the species composition of the forests before being burned, and to yearly supervise the burnt areas in order to identify new reforestations and check if the forest owners are in compliance with the Portuguese legislation on burnt areas. Our methodology is based on vegetation indices differencing and map algebra leading to the production of maps where potential illegal areas are identified. These areas are then field checked to identify the forest species that was planted and compare it with the pre-fire forest cover to detect legal and illegal situations. The methodology was successfully tested in a study area in central Portugal with an extension of 640 km2. The results are encouraging for an operational implementation of the methodology by DGF, leading to an efficient application of this specific legislation.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 January 2001
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 4171, Remote Sensing for Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Hydrology II, (23 January 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.413929
Show Author Affiliations
Mario R. Caetano, Ctr. Nacional de Informacao Geografica (Portugal)
Paulo M. Barbosa, Ctr. Nacional de Informacao Geografica (Italy)
Teresa G. Santos, Ctr. Nacional de Informacao Geografica (Portugal)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4171:
Remote Sensing for Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Hydrology II
Manfred Owe; Guido D'Urso; Eugenio Zilioli, Editor(s)

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