Remote Sensing of large wildland fires in the European Mediterranean Basin (MEGAFiReS)
The objective of this project is to establish an integrated framework to analyze satellite remote sensing images for operational manaqement of large wildland fires in the Mediterranean countries of the European Union (EU). Three research objectives will be pursued:
1. To develop methodologies for fire risk rating and mapping, on both global and local scales, based on satellite remote sensing and Geoqraphic Information System (GIS) techniques.
Global maps of fire risk for all the EU Mediterranean countries will be produced, considering shortterm and lonq-term risks. For the short-term risk, the temporal and spatial variation in fuel moisture contents will be estimated from meteoroloqical and Earth resources satellites. Long-term or structural risk will be generated by integrating satellite data within a GIS specifically designed for fire risk mapping. Special attention will be given to the spatial modelling of the human component, both using GIS and remote sensing techniques. 2. To test the application of satellite remote sensing data to fire detection and fire fighting.
Maps of burning areas for all the EU Mediterranean countries will be generated. Minimum size of a fire to be detected by current satellite sensors will be determined considering the special characteristics of Mediterranean wildlands. Satellite images on the evolution of large fires will be compared with the spatial simulation of fire-growth derived from GIS techniques. Real-time acquisition of satellite images and transmission to fire fighting personnel to inform them about fire front propagation will be tested.
3. To inventory, map and assess the effects of large forest fires in the Mediterranean countries of Europe, considering the analysis of satellite data assisted by ground techniques. Global yearly maps of large fires in all the EU Mediterranean countries will be produced from low resolution sensors; also local, more detailed inventories, of specific large fires with high resolution data (SPOT, Landsat, ERS) will be elaborated.
These objectives will be developed at two levels of detail: global-scale and local-scale. The former implies to portray the whole EU Mediterranean basin at 1:4,000,000 scale, and it will be used to gain a global view of the spatial patterns of fire risk and fire ocurrence, all across EU Mediterranean basin. The latter will allow a deep understanding of the various forest fire causes and effects in the different EU Mediterranean countries. The participation in this project of experts from all these Mediterranean countries will assure the correct adaptation of general methodologies to the specific environmental characteristics of the different Mediterranean regions.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts