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Wednesday, April 11 • 11:30am - 11:45am
SYMPOSIA-13: Data Mining Historical MODIS Hotspots Archive to Characterize Global Fire Regimes

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AUTHORS: Jitendra Kumar, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN; William W. Hargrove, USDA Forest Service, Asheville, NC; Steven P. Norman, USDA Forest Service, Asheville, NC; Forrest M. Hoffman, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN

ABSTRACT: Fire Regimes are conceptually useful to land managers and are qualitatively understood, but few quantitative techniques exist for empirically delineating geographic regions whose wildfire spatial and temporal characteristics, re-visitation frequency and intensities are similar. We present a comprehensive effort which considers the extensive and consistent thermal “hotspot” data which are collected globally by the two MODIS sensors during their 17-year orbital history. Such consistent and ubiquitous remote sensing data provides an opportunity to produce a nearly two-decade quantitative discrimination of different global fire regimes, including tele-connections across hemispheres. We do not filter or remove human-caused fires from wildfires, instead considering and classifying both types of fire regimes holistically. To appropriately address opposing seasonal juxtaposition across northern and southern hemispheres we develop a special transformation of fire dates which allows statistical identification and discrimination of, say, “summer” fires, regardless of the calendar month in which they occurred across the hemispheres. This date transform permits the delineation of similar fire regimes which occur in both the northern and southern hemispheres, without causing any discontinuities at the equator. On the basis of about 20 descriptive “hotspot” variables, we produced a series of global maps at multiple levels of fire regime discrimination. By applying principal component analysis on the 20 “hotspots” variables we also quantify the degree of similarities among the different global fire regimes and quantitatively identify the reasons, or characteristics, for the similarity or the differences. Several examples of geographically distant locations which share similar fire regime characteristics were found, and some of these fire “tele-connections” span across different hemispheres. Locations experiencing the same or similar global fire regimes may have similar ecological effects and impacts from fire, and similar management knowledge and successful adaptation strategies might be borrowed, shared, or adopted. Regularly occurring human-caused fires can also be easily identified globally.

Wednesday April 11, 2018 11:30am - 11:45am CDT
Water Tower Parlor