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23 January 2001 Detection of potential illegal changes on forest burned areas with vegetation indices and map algebra
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Legislation was introduced in Portugal to enable the Portuguese Forest Services (DGF) to implement a management strategy to control forest plantation in forest burned areas. Under this legislation, the forest owners have to notify DGF after a fire in order to replant the same species, or to seek DGF’s permission if the previous species is to be replaced. We developed a methodology that uses Earth Observation (EO) data to identify the species composition of the forests before being burned, and to yearly supervise the burnt areas in order to identify new reforestations and check if the forest owners are in compliance with the Portuguese legislation on burnt areas. Our methodology is based on vegetation indices differencing and map algebra leading to the production of maps where potential illegal areas are identified. These areas are then field checked to identify the forest species that was planted and compare it with the pre-fire forest cover to detect legal and illegal situations. The methodology was successfully tested in a study area in central Portugal with an extension of 640 km2. The results are encouraging for an operational implementation of the methodology by DGF, leading to an efficient application of this specific legislation.
© (2001) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Mario R. Caetano, Paulo M. Barbosa, and Teresa G. Santos "Detection of potential illegal changes on forest burned areas with vegetation indices and map algebra", Proc. SPIE 4171, Remote Sensing for Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Hydrology II, (23 January 2001);

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