Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub


    The spectral, spatial and temporal characteristics of the Landsat data record make it appropriate for mapping fire scars. Twenty-two annual fire scar maps from 1972-­2002 were produced from historical Landsat imagery for a semi-arid savannah landscape on the South Africa-­Botswana border, centred over Madikwe Game Reserve (MGR) in South Africa. A principal components transformation (PCT) helped differentiate the spectral signal of fire scars in each image. A simple, nonparametric, supervised classification (parallelepiped) of the PCT data differentiated burned and unburned areas. During most years, fire occurrences and the percentage of area burned annually were lowest in Botswana, highest in MGR, and intermediate in South Africa outside MGR. These fire scar maps are aiding MGR managers, who are endeavouring to restore a more active fire regime following decades of fire exclusion.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Hudak, A. T., Brockett, B. H. 2004. Mapping fire scars in a southern African savannah using Landsat imagery. International Journal of Remote Sensing. 25(16): 3231-3243.


    fire scars, Africa, savannah, Landsat, spectral, spatial and temporal characteristics, principal components transformation (PCT)

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page