Remote sensing of environment vol:101 issue:3 pages:399-414
This paper evaluated the capacity of SPOT VEGETATION time-series to monitor the vegetation biomass and water content in order to improve fire risk assessment in the savanna ecosystem of Kruger National Park in South Africa. First, the single date and integrated vegetation index approach, which quantify, the amount of herbaceous biomass at the end of the rain season, were evaluated using in situ biomass data. It was shown that the integral of the Ratio Vegetation Index (iRVI) during the rain season was the most suitable index to estimate herbaceous biomass (R-2=0.69). Next, the performance of single, greenness, and accumulated remotely sensed fire risk indices, related to vegetation water content, were evaluated using fire activity data. The Accumulated Relative Normalised Difference Vegetation Index Decrement (ARND) performed the best when estimating fire risk (c-index=0.76). Finally, results confirmed that the assessment of fire risk was improved by combination of both the vegetation biomass (iRVI) and vegetation water content (ARND) related indices (c-index =0.80). The monitoring of vegetation biomass and water content with SPOT VEGETATION time-series provided a more suitable tool for fire management and suppression compared to satellite-based fire risk assessment methods, only related to vegetation water content. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.