Remotely sensed data fusion for spatiotemporal geostatistical analysis of forest fire hazard

Stavros Sakellariou, Pedro Cabral, Mário Caetano, Filiberto Pla, Marco Painho, Olga Christopoulou, Athanassios Sfougaris, Nicolas Dalezios, Christos Vasilakos

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Abstract

Forest fires are a natural phenomenon which might have severe implications on natural and anthropogenic ecosystems. Future projections predict that, under a climate change environment, the fire season would be lengthier with higher levels of droughts, leading to higher fire severity. The main aim of this paper is to perform a spatiotemporal analysis and explore the variability of fire hazard in a small Greek island, Skiathos (a prototype case of fragile environment) where the land uses mixture is very high. First, a comparative assessment of two robust modeling techniques was examined, namely, the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) knowledge-based and the fuzzy logic AHP to estimate the fire hazard in a timeframe of 20 years (1996–2016). The former technique was proven more representative after the comparative assessment with the real fire perimeters recorded on the island (1984–2016). Next, we explored the spatiotemporal dynamics of fire hazard, highlighting the risk changes in space and time through the individual and collective contribution of the most significant factors (topography, vegetation features, anthropogenic influence). The fire hazard changes were not dramatic, however, some changes have been observed in the southwestern and northern part of the island. The geostatistical analysis revealed a significant clustering process of high-risk values in the southwestern and northern part of the study area, whereas some clusters of low-risk values have been located in the northern territory. The degree of spatial autocorrelation tends to be greater for 1996 rather than for 2016, indicating the potential higher transmission of fires at the most susceptible regions in the past. The knowledge of long-term fire hazard dynamics, based on multiple types of remotely sensed data, may provide the fire and land managers with valuable fire prevention and land use planning tools.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5014
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Volume20
Issue number17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • Analytical Hierarchy Process
  • Forest fire hazard
  • Fuzzy logic
  • Remote sensing
  • Spatial variability
  • Spatiotemporal analysis

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