Mapping and 3D visualization of forest fuels using high resolution satellite images and geo-informatics techniques for fire management

Fuel mapping is essential for fire management, particularly for assessing the hazard of a fire and the risk of its occurrence in an area, as well as for simulating its spread and intensity across the landscape. However, fuel mapping is an extremely difficult, expensive and complex process that requires specialized knowledge in a) high-resolution satellite image analysis, b) fire behavior, c) landscape ecology, d) fuel modeling and e) geographic information systems. This study maps fuel and fire behavior parameters (speed of spread, flame length, thermal front intensity) in the area of ​​the Amali Peninsula (Prefecture of Lesvos) using geoinformatics, fire behavior simulation programs and statistic methods on a spatial data base. The ultimate goal is the creation of allometric equations for the estimation of the biomass of shrubs and trees and their application in space, once the independent variables are calculated through satellite images. Finally, the 3D visualization of the fuel models contributes to a better understanding of the fuel allocation and the simulation of the phenomenon of forest fires. The results of this study include the estimation of shrub and tree biomass using allometric equations, the development of a methodology to estimate biomass directly from high-resolution satellite imagery, and the creation - mapping - 3D visualization of fuel models representative of the study area using actual measurements. The methodology and results of cartographic modeling are of research and practical interest in supporting decisions regarding the prevention and suppression of forest fires.



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