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Depending on vegetation conditions at the time of burning, not all standing biomass present in the area affected by fire will be burnt with the same intensity. The amount and type of herbaceous cover, combined with its moisture content, influence the amount of biomass burnt, the type of combustion and hence the quantity and types of chemical emissions to the atmosphere. In the framework of the experiment for regional sources and sinks sinks of oxidants (EXPRESSO), covering the central Africa region, a study was undertaken to assess how NOAA-AVHRR satellite data could provide useful information to assess vegtation moisture. The paper presents results of investigations using a Relative Greeness Index (RGI). First, monthly thematic maps of vegetation moisture, derived from NOAA-AVHRR RGI (at 5km resolution, for the period 1984-1991) are presented and compared with rainfall patterns to confirm the validity of the method. Second, the method is applied to NOAA-AVHRR data (at 1 km resolution) retrieved during the EXPRESSO campaign period and ten day thematic maps of vegetation moisture are presented. Variations in chemical components and the NO(x)/NO(y) ratio observed during the EXPRESSO campaign appear to be related to vegetation status evolution and biomass burning processes observed with NOAA-AVHRR satellite data.

Additional information

Authors: CECCATO P, SAI/GVM/ Ispra (IT);FLASSE S, University of Greenwich (GB)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Journal of Geophysical research - Special Issue Expresso, 1998
Record Number: 199910243 / Last updated on: 1999-03-12
Original language: en
Available languages: en