Title page for ETD etd-09062006-102551

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Pennington, Chris
Author's Email Address cpenni2@lsu.edu
URN etd-09062006-102551
Title Burn Scar Mapping in the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge Using Landsat TM and ETM+ Imagery
Degree Master of Science (M.S.)
Department Geography & Anthropology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Anthony J. Lewis Committee Chair
DeWitt Braud Committee Member
J. Andy Nyman Committee Member
  • spectral indices
  • remote sensing
  • satellite
  • marsh fire
  • fire
  • marsh
  • coastal
  • Louisiana
  • normalized burn ratio
  • NBR
  • NDVI
  • TCAP
Date of Defense 2006-07-07
Availability unrestricted
Marsh fires burn on a regular basis on the Southwestern Louisiana Coast from both natural and anthropogenic ignitions. Remote sensing based studies of these fires are scarce. Several burn scar mapping techniques have been developed and implemented for study of forest fires in the American West but have not been applied to marsh fires. Erdas Imagine and ArcGIS Software was used to process Landsat imagery of the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge in accordance with the most commonly used burn scar mapping spectral indices and tested for accuracy against manually digitized burn scar maps. Indices tested included the Normalize Burn Ratio (NBR), Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), and Tasseled Cap Transformation (TCAP). After determining the most accurate burn scar mapping technique, six fire scars were studied in detail over the course of one year to analyze the difference between late Fall and mid- Winter fires. Multi-temporal burn scar extraction methods returned better results than did single image date techniques. It was found that the differenced NDVI was the most accurate method of burned pixel extraction.

Fall and Winter fires exhibited different recovery patterns but returned to similar NDVI levels within the study period suggesting there is no significant difference in overall recovery due to the burn date. Fall and Winter burns did however show different patterns in the post fire “green-up” and therefore fire seasonality may play a role in marsh management depending on the management goals.

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