The technique for satellite monitoring of peatlands in order to determinate their fire hazard and combustion risks

  • Lyidmila Lischenko Scientific Centre for Aerospace Research of the Earth of the Institute of Geological Sciences of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine
  • Ruslan Shevchuk Scientific Centre for Aerospace Research of the Earth of the Institute of Geological Sciences of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine
  • Vladimir Filipovich Scientific Centre for Aerospace Research of the Earth of the Institute of Geological Sciences of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine
Keywords: peat deposits, multispectral satellite imagery, long-wave infrared range, spectral indices, fire hazard, fire safety


Prolonged dry periods in spring and autumn, which are becoming more frequent for the Ukrainian Polissya, contribute to fires, especially in peatlands, that are dangerous for human health and ecosystems in general. Forecasting the risk of such natural and anthropogenic emergencies requires monitoring of current situations. Satellite monitoring provides an accurate information of the disaster and allows to realistically estimate the amount of damage. The article investigates the factors to be taken into account in peatlands monitoring and considers methods of processing of multispectral satellite data (Landsat, Sentinel series) in combination with traditional statistics data and field measurements. The technological diagram for making the studies is proposed. To assess the risks, the values that can be obtained simultaneously with the help of satellite data on large areas are determined: peat soil moisture, peat surface temperature, spectral indices (water, soil), evapotranspiration; the seasons of the greatest risks of fires are defined, and also risks associated with anthropogenic impact (proximity to settlements, agricultural trials, hayfields, careless handling of fire and arson). The condition of peatlands is diagnosed according to the developed criteria and assessed by four levels of fire risk - critical, high, low and insignificant. The study of spectral indices showed that with the help of the SAVI soil index in combination with the analysis of surface temperature, the burned areas and fires are accurately mapped in real-time. To predict the occurrence of fire situations, the use of two variants of the normalized differential water index (NDWI) in combination with thermal imaging is proposed. The test sites provide examples of diagnosing fires and burned areas in peatlands, as well as examples of forecasting fire hazards situations that require close attention of local authorities. Recommendations are given to prevent emergencies related to the burning of peatlands.


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