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Detecting nighttime fire combustion phase by hybrid application of visible T...

Wang, J., S. Roudini, E. Hyer, R. Xu, M. Zhou, L. C. Garcia, J. Reid, D. A. Peterson, and A. da Silva (2020), Detecting nighttime fire combustion phase by hybrid application of visible T and infrared radiation from Suomi NPP VIIRS, Remote Sensing of Environment, 237, 111466, doi:10.1016/j.rse.2019.111466.

An accurate estimation of biomass burning emissions is partially limited by the lack of knowledge of fire burning phase (smoldering vs. flaming). In recent years, several fire detection products have been developed to provide information of fire radiative power (FRP), location, size, and temperature of fire pixels, but no information regarding fire burning phase is retrieved. The Day-Night band (DNB) aboard Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) is sensitive to visible light from flaming fires in nighttime scenes. In contrast, VIIRS 4 μm moderate resolution band #13 (M13), though capable of detecting fires at all phases, has no direct sensitivity for discerning fire phase. However, the hybrid usage of VIIRS DNB and M-bands data is hampered by their different scanning technology and spatial resolution. In this study, we present a novel method to rapidly and accurately resample DNB pixel radiances to the footprint of M-band pixels, accounting for onboard detector aggregation schemes and bowtie effect removals. The visible energy fraction (VEF) is subsequently introduced as an indicator of fire burning phase. VEF is calculated as the ratio of visible light power (VLP) to FRP for each fire pixel retrieved from the VIIRS 750 m active fire product. A global distribution of VEF values is quantitatively obtained, showing smaller VEF values in regions with mostly smoldering wildfires, such as peatland fires in Indonesia, larger VEF values in regions with flaming wildfires over grasslands and savannas in the sub-Sahelian region, and the largest VEF values associated with gas flaring in the Middle East. Mean VEF for different land cover types or regions is highly correlated with modified combustion efficiency (MCE). These results, together with a case study of the 2018 California Camp Fire, show that the VEF has the potential to be an indicator of fire combustion phase for each fire pixel, appropriate for estimating emission factors at the satellite pixel level.

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Research Program: 
Applied Sciences Program (ASP)
Radiation Science Program (RSP)
Tropospheric Composition Program (TCP)
Suomi NPP