ISSN 2070-7401 (Print), ISSN 2411-0280 (Online)
Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa


Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2022, Vol. 19, No. 5, pp. 164-175

Assessing the extent of landscape fires in the Middle Amur Lowland using long-term satellite data time series

A.V. Ostroukhov 1 
1 Institute of the Water and Ecology Problems FEB RAS, Khabarovsk, Russia
Accepted: 18.10.2022
DOI: 10.21046/2070-7401-2022-19-5-164-175
Studies of pyrogenic transformation of the landscapes of the temperate zone of the Russian Federation have traditionally focused on analyzing the impact of forest fires. However, the extent of landscape fires in non-forest geosystems, where they are also widespread, is still poorly understood. An assessment of the long-term average scale, recurrence, and spatial specificity of landscape fires in non-forest geosystems of the Middle Amur Lowland, in the Russian Federation’s Khabarovsk Territory, was carried out using an analysis of long-term series of remote sensing data of the Earth of medium spatial resolution (Landsat-5, -7, -8). According to the findings, fires affect 25.4 % of the total area of the study region on average each year, but in some years, this figure exceeds 50 %. Large areas of the territory were exposed to repeated fire, from 2 to 36 times in 37 years. During this period, fires covered more than 38 million ha, accounting for 938 % of the total land area of the Middle Amur lowland. Forest fires accounted for only 12 % of this area in this case. At the same time, fires passed through meadow and meadow-mire geosystems, as well as floodplain areas (the area of fires in them equals 1317.4 % of the total area of these geosystems). The spatial distribution of fires in the territory is related not only to the degree of development of the territory and transportation infrastructure, but also to the specifics of nature management, and are frequently caused by hunting, fishing, and collecting wild plants, which determines the high frequency of fires along rivers and lakes in the northern and central parts of the plain. A comparison of the data obtained with the materials of automatic mapping of fires and their consequences reveals that the methods used in automatic mapping of burns are insufficiently accurate, resulting in a significant underestimation of the area of fires in non-forest lands.
Keywords: landscape fires, remote sensing data, Landsat, non-forest geosystems, Middle Amur Lowland
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