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ABoVE: Burn Severity, Fire Progression, and Field Data, NWT, Canada, 2015-2016

Documentation Revision Date: 2017-09-27

Data Set Version: 1

Summary

This data set provides a fire progression map for year 2015 and measures of burn severity and vegetation community biophysical data collected from areas that were burned by wildfires in 2014 and 2015 in the Northwest Territories, Canada. Field data collected in 2016 include an estimate of burn severity, seedling/sprouting data, soil moisture, peat depth, thaw depth, and vegetation cover for selected sites.

The fire progression map was made using an algorithm that enabled an assessment of wildfire progression rates at a daily time scale. Fire progression was based on observed active fire detections from both the Terra and Aqua satellites using the MODIS active fire product (MCD14ML; Giglio et al. 2003). The fire progression map enabled an assessment of wildfire progression rates at a daily time step.

This data set includes one fire progression map in a compressed shapefile (.shp within a .zip file). The field data are provided in seven comma-separated (.csv) files. The shapefile data are also provided as a companion file in .kmz format for viewing in Google Earth.

Figure 1. Fire (ZF14) burning outside of Yellowknife, NWT.

Citation

Bourgeau-Chavez, L.L., S. Endres, L. Jenkins, M. Battaglia, E. Serocki, and M. Billmire. 2017. ABoVE: Burn Severity, Fire Progression, and Field Data, NWT, Canada, 2015-2016. ORNL DAAC, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA. https://doi.org/10.3334/ORNLDAAC/1548

Table of Contents

  1. Data Set Overview
  2. Data Characteristics
  3. Application and Derivation
  4. Quality Assessment
  5. Data Acquisition, Materials, and Methods
  6. Data Access
  7. References

Data Set Overview

This data set provides a fire progression map for year 2015 and measures of burn severity and vegetation community biophysical data collected from areas that were burned by wildfires in 2014 and 2015 in the Northwest Territories, Canada. Field data collected in 2016 include an estimate of burn severity, seedling/sprouting data, soil moisture, peat depth, thaw depth, and vegetation cover for selected sites. 

The fire progression map was made using an algorithm that enabled an assessment of wildfire progression rates at a daily time scale. Fire progression was based on observed active fire detections from both the Terra and Aqua satellites using the MODIS active fire product (MCD14ML; Giglio et al. 2003). The fire progression map enabled an assessment of wildfire progression rates at a daily time step.

Project: Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE)

The Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment is a NASA Terrestrial Ecology Program field campaign taking place in Alaska and western Canada between 2016 and 2021. Climate change in the Arctic and Boreal region is unfolding faster than anywhere else on Earth, resulting in reduced Arctic sea ice, thawing of permafrost soils, decomposition of long-frozen organic matter, widespread changes to lakes, rivers, coastlines, and alterations of ecosystem structure and function. ABoVE seeks a better understanding of the vulnerability and resilience of ecosystems and society to this changing environment.

Related data set

ABoVE: Burn Severity, Fire Progression, Landcover and Field Data, NWT, Canada, 2014. ORNL DAAC, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA. http://dx.doi.org/10.3334/ORNLDAAC/1307

This related data set provides peat landcover maps, fire progression maps, burn severity, and vegetation community biophysical data from areas in the Northwest Territories that were burned by wildfires in 2014.

Data Characteristics

Spatial Coverage: Northwest Territories, Canada. Partial coverage in North Slave, South Slave, and Dehcho Regions of Northwest Territories, Canada.

Domain: Core ABoVE

State/territory: NWT

Grid cells: Ah2v1.Bh0v5, Ah2v1.Bh1v4, Ah2v1.Bh1v5, Ah2v1.Bh2v5, and Ah2v2.Bh0v0

Region: Partial coverage in North Slave, South Slave, and Dehcho Regions

Locale: Yellowknife

Spatial Resolution

Fire progression map (shapefile) at 1 km resolution.

Validation field sites are points in the center of 0.5 acre plots.

Above ground biomass, biophysical site characteristics, burn severity, soil moisture, and seedling/sapling data were collected in six plots along two transects representing a 1 ha site.

Temporal Coverage

Field data were collected from 2016-07-09 to 2016-08-08.

Fire progression map covers the period 2015-05-20 to 2015-08-13.

Study Area: (all latitudes and longitudes given in decimal degrees)

Site (Region) Westernmost Longitude Easternmost Longitude Northernmost Latitude Southernmost Latitude
Northwest Territories, Canada -135.542822 -106.759164 68.326948 59.927009

 

Data File Information

There is one fire progression file in a compressed shapefile (.zip) format. Individual wildfire progression maps can be extracted from this shapefile. The field data are provided in seven comma-separated (.csv) files. The fire progression data are also provided in .kmz format for viewing in Google Earth.

The focus area of this study includes the 2014 NWT fires (ZF17, ZF20, SS3, SS15) and 2015 NWT Fires (ZF14, ZF2, SS50, SS81, SS28).

Most burned areas were divided into multiple sites (for example, SS3-64). Not all areas were visited for all measurements. Refer to Table 4 for a listing of the sites and type of measurements taken which correspond to the .csv data files.

Table 1. File names and descriptions

File names Descriptions
2015_NWT_fireprogression.zip When unzipped, provides fire progression data for year 2015 in a shapefile. The data are also provided as a companion file in .kmz format for viewing in Google Earth.
NWT_wildfires_burn_severity_2016.csv Provides observations of burn severity, adventitious root height, and landcover data. Photos of the plots are noted by number and camera ID in this file.
NWT_wildfires_biophysical_2016.csv Provides biophysical and ground cover data.
NWT_wildfires_Seedling_Sprouting_2016.csv Provides observations of vegetation seedling/saplings and sprouting of mosses and lichen.
NWT_wildfires_inventory_2016.csv Provides site/plot observations, species inventory, diameter, and height.
NWT_wildfires_SoilMoisture_HydrosenseI_2016.csv Provides soil data using a Hydrosense I instrument.
NWT_wildfires_SoilMoisture_HydrosenseII_2016.csv Provides soil data using a Hydrosense II instrument.
NWT_wildfires_fieldvalidation_2016.csv Provides vegetation observations from validation sites.

 

Fire Progression Map

The fire progression map is provided in the compressed shapefile, 2015_NWT_fireprogression.zip. This shapefile shows the overall spatial extent and date (DOY) burned of 1-km pixels of selected fires over the period 2015-05-20 to 2015-08-13. Fire progression was based on observed active fire detections from both the Terra and Aqua satellites using the MODIS active fire product.

Table 2. Attributes of shapefile: 2015_NWT_fireprogression.shp.

FID Shapefile feature
Shape Feature type (polygon)
Date Date burned
id Monitoring trends in burn severity index ID
fire_code Year of burn and district-fire number
fire_name Year of burn and district-fire number (same as fire_code)
fuelbed_ec Ecoregion parameter (“western or “southern”; all “western”)
fuel_moist 1000-hr fuel moisture  (all 0)
fuel_moi_1 duff_fuel_moisture  (all 0)
Julian Day of the year
Month Month

 

Table 3. Spatial Parameters: 2015_NWT_fireprogression.shp

Geographic coordinate system:  GCS_WGS_1984
Angular Unit: Degree (0.0174532925199433)
Prime Meridian: Greenwich (0.0)
Datum: D_WGS_1984

 

Extent of 2015_NWT_fireprogression.shp

West East North South
-135.542822 -106.759164 68.326948 59.927009

 

Field Data

There are seven comma-separated files (.csv) of burn severity, inventory, seedling/sapling, soil moisture, and biophysical data collected in 2016 from selected 2014 and 2015 wildfire areas.

Burn severity was measured at 27 sites located in wildfire areas. Refer to Table 4 for a listing of the areas for all files. Different sites within each area are not listed in the table.

Note: Photos were taken at the sites and are provided in companion files.  A description of the companion files is provided at the end of this section.

Table 4. Summary listing of wildfire areas and data types collected at each site.

Area Burn Severity Biophysical Seedlings Inventory Validation Soil measurements-Hydrosense 1 Soil measurements-Hydrosense 2
SSO           X X
SS3 X X X X   X X
SS27         X X X
SS28 X X X X X X X
SS37         X X X
SS50 X X X X X X X
SS81 X X X X X X X
ZF2 X X X X   X X
ZF14 X X X X X X X
ZF17 X X X X   X X
ZF20 X X X X   X X

 

Burn Severity Data:

This file provides burn severity data collected from 27 locations in eight wildfire areas in July and August of 2016. Data not reported are recorded as -9999 or not_provided.

NOTE: For variables nadircover_: Nadir cover is from a birds-eye view of the plot so multiple layers are not considered and thus all nadir cover values must add to no more than 100 percent.

Table 5. File: NWT_wildfires_burn_severity_2016.csv

Column # Variable Units Description
1 site   Unique name given to a field site. The initial alphanumeric code indicates site and fire number and the second part of the name is a site code designated by the research team.
2 plot   Plot number within the site; there are up to 6 plots per site
3 date YYYYMMDD Sampling date
4 time HH:MM Time at which field work began in local time (MDT)
5 fire_history    
  latitude decimal degrees Latitude of plot. Coordinates were taken with a handheld GPS unit in a plot corner
6 longitude decimal degrees Longitude of plot. Coordinates were taken with a handheld GPS unit in a plot corner
7 observer   Initials of person(s) who collected the data
8 ecosystem   Type of ecosystem; where the site included multiple ecosystem types they are all reported. See documentation for ecosystem characteristics.
9 field_notes_ecosystem    
10 thaw_depth cm Depth of soil to frozen ground layer reported in centimeters from surface
11 peat_depth cm Thickness of organic peat soil layer reported in centimeters
12 ash   Amount of ash present on ground surface. Reported as: No, Light, Moderate, or Heavy
13 moss_unburned percent  Percent of moss in plot (10 x 10-m area) that is unburned
14 moss_singed percent  Percent of moss in plot (10 x 10-m area) that is singed
15 moss_light percent  Percent of moss in plot (10 x 10-m area) that is lightly burned
16 moss_moderate percent  Percent of moss in plot (10 x 10-m area) that is moderately burned
17 moss_severe percent  Percent of moss in plot (10 x 10-m area) that is severely burned
18 litter_unburned percent  Percent of litter in plot (10 x 10-m area) that is unburned
19 litter_singed percent  Percent of litter in plot (10 x 10-m area) that is lightly singed
20 litter_charred percent  Percent of litter in plot (10 x 10-m area) that is charred
21 litter_ashed percent  Percent of litter in plot (10 x 10-m area) that is ashed
22 shrub_unburned percent  Percent of shrubs in plot (10 x 10-m area) that is unburned
23 shrub_scorched percent  Percent of shrubs in plot (10 x 10-m area) that is lightly scorched
24 shrub_limbs percent  Percent of shrubs in plot (10 x 10-m area) with some limbs left
25 shrub_consumed percent  Percent of shrubs in plot (10 x 10-m area) that is consumed
26 live_trees percent  Percent of trees in plot (10 x 10-m area) live and undamaged
27 dead_foliage_intact percent  Percent of trees in plot (10 x 10-m area) dead  but with no foliage consumed
28 dead_foliage_burned percent  Percent of trees in plot (10 x 10-m area) dead with needles and small branches burned
29 dead_trees_secondary percent  Percent of trees in plot (10 x 10-m area) dead with only some secondary branches remaining
30 dead_trees_minor_primary percent  Percent of trees in plot (10 x 10-m area) dead with secondary branches burned and more than 30 percent of primary branches left
31 dead_trees_major_primary percent  Percent of trees in plot (10 x 10-m area) dead with less than 30 percent of primary branches remaining
32 dead_trees_charred_pole percent  Percent of trees in plot (10 x 10-m area) dead with no primary branches and a charred pole
33 root1_ht cm Height from current ground level up to first randomly selected adventitious root reported in meters
34 root2_ht cm Height from current ground level up to second randomly selected adventitious root reported in meters
35 root3_ht cm Height from current ground level up to third randomly selected adventitious root reported in meters
36  root4_ht cm Height from current ground level up to fourth randomly selected adventitious root reported in meters
37  root5_ht cm Height from current ground level up to fourth randomly selected adventitious root reported in meters
38  nadircover_shrublive percent  Percent ground cover composed of live shrubs.
39 nadircover_shrubdead percent  Percent ground cover composed of dead shrubs.
40 nadircover_livewoodydebris percent Percent ground cover composed live woody debris
41 nadircover_woodydebris percent  Percent ground cover composed of woody debris.
42 nadircover_herbaceouslive percent  Percent ground cover composed of live herbaceous plants.
43 nadircover_herbaceousdead percent  Percent ground cover composed of dead herbaceous plants.
44 nadircover_mosslive percent  Percent ground cover composed of live moss.
45 nadircover_mossdead percent  Percent ground cover composed of dead moss.
46 nadircover_liverwortlive percent Percent ground cover composed of live liverwort
47 nadircover_liverwortdead percent Percent ground cover composed of dead liverwort.
48 nadircover_mineralsoil percent Percent ground cover composed of mineral soil
49 nadircover_equisetumlive percent Percent ground cover composed of live equisetum
50 tree_ht1 m Height of tree 1 reported in meters
51 tree_condition1   Condition of tree 1: live or dead
52 tree_ht2 m Height of tree 2 reported in meters
53 tree_condition2   Condition of tree 2: live or dead
54 tree_ht3 m Height of tree 3 reported in meters
55 tree_condition3   Condition of tree 3: live or dead
56 soil_ph   Soil pH
57 camera_id   Camera name used to photograph the site. This is also the companion folder- filename where a photo would be found. Described in the companion files table at the end of this document section
58 north_photo   North facing photo id number
59 east_photo   East facing photo id number
60 south_photo   South facing photo id number
61 west_photo   West facing photo id number
62 nadir_photo   Nadir facing photo id number
63 nadir_seedling_photo   Nadir seedling photo
64 notes   Additional comments

 

Vegetation Biophysical Data:

This file provides vegetation community biophysical data collected 27 locations in eight wildfire areas in July and August of 2016. Data not provided are reported as not_provided.

Table 6. File: NWT_wildfires_biophysical_2016.csv

Column # Variable Unit Description
1 site   Unique name given to a field site. The initial alphanumeric code indicates site and fire number and the second part of the name is a site code designated by the research team
2 plot   Plot number within site
3 plot_Size   Size of sampling plot reported in meters by meters
4 date YYYY-MM-DD Sampling date
5 observer text Initials of person(s) who collected the information
6 latitude decimal degrees Latitude of plot. Coordinates were taken with a handheld GPS unit in a plot corner
7 longitude decimal degrees Longitude of plot. Coordinates were taken with a handheld GPS unit in a plot corner
8 time HH:MM Time that data collection at that location began in local time MDT (UTC-6)
9 live_canopy_cover percent Percent of canopy (tree) cover classified as live
10 dominant_cover   Description of the dominant cover type. Choices included: forested; shrub; herbaceous or some combination of these cover types 
11 ecosystem   Ecosystem type(s) represented in the plot: bog; fen; lowland; upland see table for defining characteristics
12 medium_shrub_cover percent Percent of medium shrubs present
13 ground_wetness   Description of the soil moisture status: dry, moist, soggy, standing water, or some combination of these conditions
14 soil_top_moss_condition   Notes on the condition of the top layer of organic soil (moss) with respect to burning: ash, burned, singed, charred, or unburned
15 soil_live_moss_thickness cm Thickness of the live moss component of the organic soil layer reported in centimeters
16 soil_dead_moss_layer_thickness cm Thickness of the dead moss component of the organic soil layer reported in centimeters
17 soil_upper_duff_layer_thickness cm Thickness of the upper duff component of the organic soil layer reported in centimeters
18 soil_lower_duff_layer_thickness cm Thickness of the lower duff component of the organic soil layer reported in centimeters
19 total_peat_depth cm Depth of entire peat layer calculated as the sum of the previous 4 columns reported in centimeters from surface 
20 low_shrubs_coverage percent Percent of ground covered in low shrubs reported as percent of total plot area
21 low_shrubs_distribution   Pattern of distribution of low shrubs: reported as E (even), P (peripheral), or patchy
22 woody_debris_coverage percent Percent of ground covered in woody debris reported as percent of total plot area
23 woody_debris_distribution   Pattern of distribution of low shrubs: reported as E (even), P (peripheral), or patchy
24 sphag_coverage percent Percent of ground covered in Sphagnum moss reported as percent of total plot area
25 sphag_distribution   Pattern of distribution of Sphagnum moss: reported as E (even), P (peripheral), or patchy
26 reindeer_lichen_coverage percent Percent of ground covered in reindeer lichen reported as percent of total plot area
27 reindeer_lichen_distribution   Pattern of distribution of reindeer lichen: reported as E (even), P (peripheral), or patchy
28 grasses_coverage percent Percent of ground covered in grasses reported as percent of total plot area
29 grasses_distribution   Pattern of distribution of grasses: reported as E (even), P (peripheral), or patchy
30 herbaceous_coverage percent Percent of ground covered in herbaceous plants reported as percent of total plot area
31 herbaceous_distribution   Pattern of distribution of herbaceous plants: reported as E (even), P (peripheral), or patchy
32 feather_moss_coverage percent Percent of ground cover that was feather moss
33 feather_moss_coverage_distribution   Pattern of distribution of feather moss
34 other_lichen_coverage percent percent
35 other_lichen_coverage_distribution   Pattern of distribution of lichens
36-47  othertype_groundcoverX   Description of other ground cover types. There are four additional “other” ground cover types. Each ground cover type is followed by the columns othertype_groundcoverX_coverage and othertype_groundcoverX_distribution where X is 1, 2, 3, or 4. See the descriptions below
36-47  othertype_groundcoverX_coverage percent Percent of ground covered in other ground cover reported as percent of total plot areas. There are four additional “other” ground covers with the one variable described above and below
36-47  othertype_groundcoverX_distribution   Pattern of distribution of other ground cover: reported as E (even), P (peripheral), or patchy. There are four additional “other” ground covers with the two variables described above

 

Seedling and Sprouting Data:

This file provides observations of vegetation seedling/saplings and sprouting of mosses and lichen collected from 27 locations in eight wildfire areas in July and August of 2016. Missing or data not reported are provided as -9999 or not_provided.

Table 7. File: NWT_wildfires_seeedling_sprouting_2016.csv

Column # Variable Unit Description
1 site   Unique name given to a field site. The initial alphanumeric code indicates site and fire number and the second part of the name is a site code designated by the research team.
2 plot   Plot number within the site; there are up to 6 plots per site
3 date YYYY-MM-DD Sampling date
4 observers   Initials of person(s) who collected data
5 plot_size m Plot sizes as meter x meter
6 species   Scientific name of vegetation species measured
7 veg_stage   Growth stage of vegetation: seedling or sprouting
8 number   Number of seedlings or sproutings recorded
9 seedbed   Seedbed type: sphagnum, unburned organic material (duff and litter), thick burned organic material, thin burned organic material, or exposed mineral soil
10 percent_cover percent

Percent ground cover composed of species in plot. Percent cover used in cases where unable to count such as moss or lichens.

 

Plot Vegetation Inventory Data

This file provides site/plot observations, species inventory, diameter, and height data collected from eight wildfire areas and 27 sites in July and August of 2016. Data not provided or missing are reported as -9999.

Table 8. File: NWT_wildfires_inventory_2015.csv

Column # Variable Unit Description
1 site   Unique name given to a field site. The initial alphanumeric code indicates site and fire number and the second part of the name is a site code designated by the research team.
2 plot   Plot number. Each site had up to six plots
3 date YYYY-MM-DD Sampling date
4 observer   Initials of person(s) who collected the information  
5 plot_size m x m Size of sampling plot reported as meters by meters
6 life_form   Life form: shrub or tree
7 condition   Stem condition either standing or fallen
8 species   Scientific name of stem measured
9 basal_diameter cm Basal diameter measured at ground level
10 DBH cm Diameter at Breast Height (DBH) reported in centimeters measured at 1.3-meters above the ground
11 height m   Height of stem reported in meters
12 status   Alive or dead

 

Soil Moisture and Temperature Data:

There are two files for soil data collected from the same 11 wildfire areas in July and August of 2016. One file provides measurements made with a Hydrosense I instrument, and the second file provides measurements made with a Hydrosense II. The same variables are provided in both files. The probe period and %VWC were collected at two to six points within each plot.

Data not provided or missing are reported as -9999.

Table 9. Data  files: NWT_soil_moisture_hydrosense_1_2016.csv and NWT_soil_moisture_hydrosense_2_2016.csv 

Column # Variable Units/format Description
1 site   Unique name given to a field site
2 date YYYY-MM-DD Date of measurements
3 start_time HH:min Time of measurements
4 observers   Initials of person(s) who collected data
5 probe_depth   Depth of probe
6 soil_ temp_1   Soil temperature measurement
7 plot_1_period    
8 vmc_plot_1 % Percent volumetric moisture content
9 soil_temp_2   Soil temperature measurement
10 plot_2_period    
11 vmc_plot_2 % Percent volumetric moisture content
12 soil_temp_3   Soil temperature measurement
13 plot_3_period    
14 vmc_plot_3 % Percent volumetric moisture content
15 soil_temp_4   Soil temperature measurement
16 plot_4_period    
17 vmc_plot_4 % Percent volumetric moisture content
18 soil_temp_5   Soil temperature measurement
19 plot_5_period    
20 vmc_plot_5 % Percent volumetric moisture content
21 soil_temp_6   Soil temperature measurement
22 plot_6_period    
23 vmc_plot_6 % Percent volumetric moisture content

 

Vegetation Community Characterization Data:

Measurements were collected from six wildfire areas. Data not provided or not reported are recorded as -9999 or as not_provided.

Table 10. File: NWT_wildfires_fieldvalidation_2016.csv

Column # Variable Name Unit Description
1 site   Unique name given to a field point
2 date YYYYMMDD Sampling date
3 time HH:MM Time at which field work began in local time (MDT)
4 latitude decimal degrees Latitude of plot. Coordinates were taken with a handheld GPS unit in a plot corner
5 longitude decimal degrees Longitude of plot. Coordinates were taken with a handheld GPS unit in a plot corner
6 observers Text Initials of person(s) who collected data
7 thaw_depth cm Depth of soil to frozen ground layer reported in centimeters. Measurements were made from the top of the ground cover at the 37 unburned sites.
8 peat_depth cm Depth of organic peat soil  reported in centimeters
9 soil_pH   pH units
10 ecosystem   Type of ecosystem, individually or in combination; Bog/Bog Like, Fen/Fen Like, Treed Bog, Shrub Fen, Treed Fen, Open Fen, Upland, Marsh, Shrubby, Sparse Trees, Lowland White Pine
11 ground_wetness   Wetness of ground: Dry (no moisture present), Moist (moisture present but not saturated), Soggy (saturated with water but no areas of standing water), or Standing Water (visible standing water present in plot)
12 vegetation   List of vegetation species present
13 dense_trees percent Percent of plot covered in dense trees. Plot areas were 0.5 acre
14 dense_trees_dist   Description of dense tree distribution: E (evenly distributed), C (center only), and P (peripheral)
15 moderate_trees percent Percent of plot covered in moderate trees. Plot areas were 0.5 acre
16 moderate_trees_dist   Description of moderate tree distribution: E (evenly distributed), C (center only), and P (peripheral)
17 sparse_trees percent Percent of plot covered in sparse trees. Plot areas were 0.5 acre
18 sparse_trees_dist   Description of sparse tree distribution: E (evenly distributed), C (center only), and P (peripheral)
19 open_water percent Percent of plot covered in open water. Plot areas were 0.5 acre
20 open_water_dist   Description of open water distribution: E (evenly distributed), C (center only), and P (peripheral)
21 shrubby percent Percent of plot covered in shrubs. Plot areas were 0.5 acre
22 shrubby_dist   Description of shrub distribution: E (evenly distributed), C (center only), and P (peripheral)
23 moss percent Percent of plot  covered in moss. Plot areas were 0.5 acre
24 moss_dist   Description of moss distribution: E (evenly distributed), C (center only), and P (peripheral)
25 grass_sedge percent Percent  of plot covered in grass/sedge. Plot areas were 0.5 acre
26 grass_sedge_dist   Description of grass/sedge distribution: E (evenly distributed), C (center only), and P (peripheral)
27 herbaceous_cover  percent Herbaceous cover
28 herbaceous_cover_dist   Distribution of herbaceous cover
29 other_descrip   Description of other types of ground cover
30 other percent Percent  of plot covered in other vegetation. Plot area is 0.5 acre
31 other_dist   Description of other vegetation distribution: E (evenly distributed), C (center only), and P (peripheral)
32 spp1 genus_species Scientific name of dominant species ( grasses and sedges not identified to species)
33 spp1_live_ht m Average height of live dominant species 1
34 spp1_dead_ht m Average height of dead dominant species 1
35 spp1_density percent Percent of area covered by dominant species 1
36 spp1_live percent Percent of dominant species 1 live (by area)
37 spp1_dead percent Percent of dominant species 1 dead (by area)
38 spp1_stage   Growth Stage for dominant species:  dormant, emerging, seedling, immature, mature, flowering
39 spp2 genus_species Scientific name of dominant species ( grasses and sedges not identified to species)
40 spp2_live_ht m Average height of live dominant species 2
41 spp2_dead_ht m Average height of dead dominant species 2
42 spp2_density percent Percent of area covered by dominant species 2
43 spp2_live percent Percent of dominant species 2 live (by area)
44 spp2_dead percent Percent of dominant species 2 dead (by area)
45 spp2_stage   Growth Stage for dominant species:  dormant, emerging, seedling, immature, mature, flowering
46 ht_lowest_living_branch m Height of average lowest living branch reported in meters
47 soil_live_moss cm Depth of live moss layer present in 40-cm soil profile
48 soil_dead_moss cm Depth of dead moss layer present in 40-cm soil profile
49 soil_upper_duff cm Depth of upper duff layer present in 40-cm soil profile
50 soil_ lower_duff cm Depth of lower duff layer present in 40-cm soil profile
51 and columns 53, 55, 57, 59, 61, 63 sample_x_depth   Depth of sample for seven samples where X=sample1 to sample 7
52, and columns 54, 56, 58, 60, 62, 64 sample_x_horizon   Sample horizon for seven samples where X=sample1 to sample 7
65 camera_id   Camera name used to photograph the site- this is also the companion file name where a photo would be found. Described in the companion files table at the end of this document section
66 north_photo North facing photo id number North facing photo id number
67 east_photo East facing photo id number East facing photo id number
68 south_photo South facing photo id number South facing photo id number
69 west_photo West facing photo id number West facing photo id number
70 nadir_photo Nadir facing photo id number Nadir facing photo id number
71 other_photos   Additional photos
72 notes    Comments

 

Companion Files

File name Description
1326_photos.zip

Compressed directory containing photos (in .jpg format) numbered 2910-3385 showing study areas in the data file NWT_Wildfires_burn_severity_2016.csv.

The photos are noted as a number and by the camera used to take the photos (camera_id 1326) in the data file. For each photo, there is also the same photo stamped with the latitude and longitude (_tag.jpg), two map files for the site (_Map1 and _Map2.jpg), and a thumbnail image of the photo (_thm.jpg).

This zip file also contains a pdf named 1326_temp_tag-Standard.pdf which provides a compilation of all of the images and map files just described, and the file 1326_geo.kml for viewing the photos in Google Earth.

1326_geo.zip A compressed shapefile of point features (1326_geo.shp) that provides metadata about the photographs in 1326_photos.zip: location, elevation, photo direction, timestamp, and camera model
1326_geo_FOV.zip A compressed shapefile of polygon features (1326_geo_FOV.shp) that depict the fields of view of the photographs in 1326_photos.zip
1327_photos.zip

Additional photos (*.jpg format) taken of the study sites not included in the data files. For each photo, there is also the same photo stamped with the latitude and longitude (_tag.jpg), two map files for the site (_Map1 and _Map2.jpg), and a thumbnail image of the photo (_thm.jpg).

This zip file also contains a pdf named 1327_temp_tag-Standard.pdf which provides a compilation of all of the images and map files just described, and the file 1327_geo.kml for viewing the photos in Google Earth

1327_geo.zip A shapefile of point features (1327_geo.shp) that provides metadata about the photographs in 1327_photos.zip: location, elevation, photo direction, timestamp, and camera model
1327_geo_FOV.zip A shapefile of polygon features (1327_geo_FOV.shp) that depict the fields of view of the photographs in 1327_photos.zip
2015_NWT_fireprogression.kmz The shapefile 2015_NWT_fireprogression.shp provided in .kmz format for visualization in Google Earth
Wildfires_2014_NWT_Canada.pdf This guide document in pdf format

 

Application and Derivation

The goal was to identify and collect remote sensing and field data to support the science necessary to investigate the impacts and consequences of the 2014 and 2015 fires in Northwest Territories.

Quality Assessment

Data Acquisition, Materials, and Methods

Study areas

This project used remote sensing and field data to characterize the impacts of wildfires that occurred in 2014 and 2015 in the North Slave, South Slave, and Dehcho Regions of Northwest Territories, Canada. The ABoVE Project grid locations of these study areas are Ah2v1.Bh0v5, Ah2v1.Bh1v4, Ah2v1.Bh1v5, Ah2v1.Bh2v5, and Ah2v2.Bh0v0. For additional information, refer to the ABoVE Grid Reference:  https://above.maps.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=ad3dc7c0ecef41bb8e2d928ce2ed7a48

The focus area of this study focuses on four 2014 NWT fires (ZF17, ZF20, SS3,SS15) and five 2015 NWT Fires (ZF14, ZF2, SS50, SS81, SS28).

site location map

Figure 2. Wildfire areas with burned and validation field site locations in the Northwest Territories.

Validation areas

A total of 13 field locations at six wildfire areas were sampled in NWT, Canada as validation sites. None of the validation sites were burned but the sites were taken to train and validate the pre-burn peatland type map. Data collection followed a standardized protocol. Field crews used a hand held GPS, a GPS camera, maps of aerial photographs, and tape measures. At each location, a vegetative index was constructed, ecosystem type was assigned, species diversity noted, dominant species composition assigned, water level measured, vegetation life stage recorded, and height and density measured for the overstory. Thaw depth was measured with a peat rod from the top of the moss to the frozen layer. Additionally, hand drawn maps and delineation of laminated aerial photograph maps distinguished unique vegetation types and species transition areas. Geolocated photographs were taken in the four cardinal directions at a centralized location providing an additional layer of validation and ground truth for each location.

Fire Progression Maps

A fire progression algorithm was used that enabled an assessment of wildfire progression rates at a daily time scale. This algorithm was developed as a semi-automated approach suitable for developing daily estimates of area burned from satellite observations of fire occurrence. Fire progression was based on observed active fire detections from both the Terra and Aqua satellites using the MODIS active fire product (MCD14ML; Giglio et al., 2003). Fire progression was assessed at a daily time step and was based on the first observation of fire occurrence in a particular MODIS 1-km pixel within a burn scar. The algorithm was focused on modeling the approximate date of burning within the combined burned area product using the date/time information contained in the MODIS active fire product and adjusted for the local standard time correction.

Active fire detections were first processed using the Fire Spread Reconstruction (FSR) approach, which clusters individual fire points in space-time to identify contiguous fire events and groups of fire events creating a single burn scar (Loboda and Csiszar 2007). The clustered fire events were subsequently processed to separate the first date of fire detection within a specific MODIS pixel from subsequent detections, wherein the pixel continues to emit a sufficient amount of thermal energy to warrant the detection of on-going burning. The date of burning between adjacent dates of fire detections in fire progression surfaces was interpolated using the inverse distance mapping algorithm with a radius of 3 km. 

Field Data (refer to Table 4 for a listing of the sites)

Biophysical site characteristics, burn severity, soil moisture, thaw depth, and seedling/sapling data were collected in up to six plots along two transects representing a homogenous area of 100 x 100-m. 

Burn Severity

Burn severity was measured at 27 locations in eight wildfire areas. A 10 sq m plot was created using reel tape. Burn damage severity class was recorded for moss, litter, shrub and canopy. Nadir percent cover by vegetation class was recorded for live/dead shrubs, woody debris, herbaceous, and moss. Three representative tree heights were recorded and up to five adventitious root heights were recorded. Peatland type, thaw depth, and peat thickness as well as ash presence are also reported for all plots.

burned plot

Figure 3. Photo of a burned site (fire SS3) near Kakisa.

Biophysical Characteristics 

Field surveys were conducted at eight wildfire areas. The data file provides peatland type, wetness, thaw depth, soil organic layer thicknesses and the type of ground cover present as well as area covered by each ground cover type. Plot size varied from 1 sq m to 10 sq m.

Soil Moisture

Soil moisture data were collected at 11 wildfire areas with Hydrosense 1 and Hydrosense II instruments at the same 40 sites (refer to Table 4 for a listing of the sites). Five measurements were made at each depth for each plot. 

Temperature was measured using a Hannah Instruments HI 145 probe. Two different lengths of probes were used: 20 cm and 12 cm. Both probes were placed straight down into the soil. In addition, at  6 cm depth, the 12 cm probe was placed at a 30- degree angle. The probe period and %VMC were collected at six points within each plot. For validation of remote sensing data, the moisture data were collected during Radarsat-2 overpasses.

Seedling/Sprouting

A total of eight wildfire areas were sampled. Plots of either 1 sq m or 0.5 sq m were set up in the corner of each site, where all seedling and sprouting vegetation was recorded along with the ground cover type. 

Inventory-Aboveground Biomass

A total of 11 areas were sampled. At each site a plot was taped off (varying in size between 1 to 10 sq m) and each standing tree/shrub was measured. The tree/shrub species and DBH or basal diameter was recorded along with the height of representative trees. 

Data Access

These data are available through the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC).

ABoVE: Burn Severity, Fire Progression, and Field Data, NWT, Canada, 2015-2016

Contact for Data Center Access Information:

References

Giglio, L., Descloitres, J., Justice, C.O., and Y.J. Kaufman (2003) “An Enhanced Contextual Fire Detection Algorithm for MODIS.” Remote Sensing of Environment 87, no. 2-3, 276-282. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0034-4257(03)00184-6 

Loboda TV, Csiszar IA (2007) Reconstruction of fire spread within wildland fire events in Northern Eurasia from the MODIS active fire product. Global and Planetary Change 56, 258–273. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2006.07.015