iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Fuel type characterization based on coarse resolution MODIS satellite data

A Lanorte   , R Lasaponara

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 60-64 (2008)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor0451-0010060
Published: Feb 28, 2008 - Copyright © 2008 SISEF

Research Articles

Fuel types is one of the most important factors that should be taken into consideration for computing spatial fire hazard and risk and simulating fire growth and intensity across a landscape. In the present study, forest fuel mapping is considered from a remote sensing perspective. The purpose is to delineate forest types by exploring the use of coarse resolution satellite remote sensing MODIS imagery. In order to ascertain how well MODIS data can provide an exhaustive classification of fuel properties a sample area characterized by mixed vegetation covers and complex topography was analysed. The study area is located in the South of Italy. Fieldwork fuel type recognitions, performed before, after and during the acquisition of remote sensing MODIS data, were used as ground-truth dataset to assess the obtained results. The method comprised the following three steps: (I) adaptation of Prometheus fuel types for obtaining a standardization system useful for remotely sensed classification of fuel types and properties in the considered Mediterranean ecosystems; (II) model construction for the spectral characterization and mapping of fuel types based on two different approach, maximum likelihood (ML) classification algorithm and spectral Mixture Analysis (MTMF); (III) accuracy assessment for the performance evaluation based on the comparison of MODIS-based results with ground-truth. Results from our analyses showed that the use of remotely sensed MODIS data provided a valuable characterization and mapping of fuel types being that the achieved classification accuracy was higher than 73% for ML classifier and higher than 83% for MTMF.


Remote Sensing, MODIS, Fuel types

Authors’ address

A Lanorte
R Lasaponara
Italian National Council of Research (CNR), Institute of Methodologies of Environmental Analysis, C. da S. Loja, I-85050, Tito Scalo, PZ (Italy)

Corresponding author



Lanorte A, Lasaponara R (2008). Fuel type characterization based on coarse resolution MODIS satellite data. iForest 1: 60-64. - doi: 10.3832/ifor0451-0010060

Paper history

Received: Feb 16, 2006
Accepted: Apr 23, 2007

First online: Feb 28, 2008
Publication Date: Feb 28, 2008
Publication Time: 10.37 months

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