Mapping Soil Moisture as an Indicator of Wildfire Risk Using Landsat 8 Images in Sri Lanna National Park, Northern Thailand

Kansuma Burapapol, Ryota Nagasawa

Abstract


Severely dry climate plays an important role in the occurrence of wildfires in Thailand. Soil water deficits increase dry conditions, resulting in more intense and longer burning wildfires. The temperature vegetation dryness index (TVDI) and the normalized difference drought index (NDDI) were used to estimate soil moisture during the dry season to explore its use for wildfire risk assessment. The results reveal that the normalized difference wet index (NDWI) and land surface temperature (LST) can be used for TVDI calculation. Scatter plots of both NDWI/LST and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI)/LST exhibit the triangular shape typical for the theoretical TVDI. However, the NDWI is more significantly correlated to LST than the NDVI. Linear regression analysis, carried out to extract the maximum and minimum LSTs (LSTmax, LSTmin), indicate that LSTmax andLSTmin delineated by the NDWI better fulfill the collinearity requirement than those defined by the NDVI. Accordingly, the NDWI-LST relationship is better suited to calculate the TVDI. This modified index, called TVDINDWI-LST, was applied together with the NDDI to establish a regression model for soil moisture estimates. The soil moisture model fulfills statistical requirements by achieving 76.65% consistency with the actual soil moisture and estimated soil moisture generated by our model. The relationship between soil moisture estimated from our model and leaf fuel moisture indicates that soil moisture can be used as a complementary dataset to assess wildfire risk, because soil moisture and fuel moisture content (FMC) show the same or similar behavior under dry conditions.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/jas.v8n10p107

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