Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Recent developments in the use of satellite observation technology have led to new insights into the dynamics of vegetation communities and of large-scale disturbances occurring therein. In particular, data derived from thermal sensors carried on board space platforms have provided regular information on the occurrence and distribution of fires in tropical and subtropical ecosystems. Experience gained so far in the use of the thermal data provided by the NOAA-AVHRR system supports a better evaluation of the problems related to the resolution and sensitivity of the sensor. These limitations appear to have a greater impact upon the correct determination of fire size and fire temperature, than upon the ability to assess the overall distribution and frequency of fire points in the ecosystems. More important in this respect are the shortcomings introduced by the temporal sampling (time of overpass) and cloudiness conditions, which still prevent the formation of a fully reliable count. The AVHRR instrument has so far provided a large number of data on biomass burning in a wide range of tropical ecosystems.

Additional information

Authors: MALINGREAU J-P, JRC Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: 3rd International Symposium on Fire Ecology, Freiburg (DE), May 16-20, 1989
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 34632 ORA
Record Number: 199110444 / Last updated on: 1994-12-02
Original language: en
Available languages: en