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
    Author(s): Q. Meng; R.K. Meentemeyer
    Date: 2011
    Source: International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation. 13(1): 120-126
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: View PDF  (445.46 KB)


    Most of fire severity studies use field measures of composite burn index (CBI) to represent forest fire severity and fit the relationships between CBI and Landsat imagery derived differenced normalized burn ratio (dNBR) to predict and map fire severity at unsampled locations. However, less attention has been paid on the multi-strata forest fire severity, which represents fire activities and ecological responses at different forest layers. In this study, using field measured fire severity across five forest strata of dominant tree, intermediate-sized tree, shrub, herb, substrate layers, and the aggregated measure of CBI as response variables, we fit statistical models with predictors of Landsat TM bands, Landsat derived NBR or dNBR, image differencing, and image ratioing data. We model multi-strata forest fire in the historical recorded largest wildfire in California, the Big Sur Basin Complex fire. We explore the potential contributions of the post-fire Landsat bands, image differencing, image ratioing to fire severity modeling and compare with the widely used NBR and dNBR. Models using combinations of post-fire Landsat bands perform much better than NBR, dNBR, image differencing, and image ratioing. We predict and map multi-strata forest fire severity across the whole Big Sur fire areas, and find that the overall measure CBI is not optimal to represent multi-strata forest fire severity.

    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.


    Meng, Q.; Meentemeyer, R.K. 2011. Modeling of multi-strata forest fire severity using Landsat TM data. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation. 13(1): 120-126.


    Google Scholar


    fire severity, multi-strata, dNBR, heterogeneous landscapes, Landsat TM

    Related Search

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