Title: An Improved Algorithm for the Detection of Plumes Caused by Natural or Technological Hazards Using AVHRR Imagery
Authors: CHRYSOULAKIS NektariosYAHIA HusseinHERLIN IsabellePRASTACOS PoulicosGRAZZINI JACOPOCARTALIS Constantinos
Citation: REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT vol. 108 p. 393-406
Publisher: ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC
Publication Year: 2007
JRC N°: JRC34286
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC34286
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Fires caused by natural or technological disasters emit large amounts of smoke which, once formed into plumes, may affect the human health and the environment. Satellite remote sensing data provide an effective tool to achieve detection and monitoring of these plumes over large areas on a routine basis. Discrimination of plumes on satellite images is a prerequisite to study and retrieve physical, chemical and optical properties of emitted smoke. An improved algorithm for the detection of plumes caused by natural or technological hazards using AVHRR imagery is presented in this study. The method is based on a multi-temporal and multi-spectral change detection algorithm. It is performed in two main steps: a) appropriate spectral and spatial filters are applied on the images acquired before and after a fire event in visible and near-infrared ranges in order to extract the core of the plume; b) a criterion on spectral information is defined as an homogeneity measure that enables, through a modified version of the region-growing method, the spatial expansion of the detected core to include the complete area covered by the plume. Through this approach, a pixel is identified as a plume pixel if it is “close” to the core plume pixels in both spatial and spectral spaces. The algorithm was developed and calibrated using AVHRR images acquired over Spain before and during a major forest fire event on July 16, 2005. It was applied using past events of natural and technological hazards in several locations to ensure its global applicability and robustness. The algorithm produced accurate results in all cases of plumes, either in natural or in technological fire events. Three application cases are presented in this study: A major fire in an industrial installation in London (December 11, 2005), a major fire in Baghdad during the recent war in Iraq (April 1, 2003) and a forest fire in California (September 29, 2005).
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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