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NEW PAPER: Burned Area Detection and Mapping: Intercomparison of Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 Based Algorithms over Tropical Africa

Optical-based algorithms are significantly more accurate than SAR based algorithms, particularly over regions where persistent cloud cover is not an issue.

This is the key finding of a new study, involving the Fire_cci team, which compared the performance of Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 burned area detection and mapping algorithms in tropical and sub-tropical Africa during the 2015–2016 fire seasons.

Tiles used for inter-comparison together with the mean daily cloud cover (2015) and the total burned (2016), according to the FireCCI5.1 global product. The source of the optical imagery used to generate the reference fire perimeters for each of the analysed tiles is also shown.

Figure 1: Tiles used for inter-comparison together with the mean daily cloud cover (2015) and the total burned (2016), according to the FireCCI5.1 global product. The source of the optical imagery used to generate the reference fire perimeters for each of the analysed tiles is also shown.
 

Although optical-based algorithms were found to be more accurate, based on their findings the authors envisage a future, complementary role for radar sensors to improve burned area detection in regions with persistent cloud cover.

Reference: Tanase, M.A. et al. (2020) Burned Area Detection and Mapping: Intercomparison of Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 Based Algorithms over Tropical Africa. Remote Sens. 2020, 12(2), 334. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12020334