Identification of wildfire precursor conditions: Linking satellite based fire and soil moisture data

Christoph Aubrecht, Christoph Elvidge, Kimberly Baugh, Sebastian Hahn

Research output: Chapter in Book or Conference ProceedingsBook chapter


Since satellite remote sensing of fires started in the 1970s, fire monitoring has become increasingly important, particularly in the context of mitigating social impacts. Light from fires can be identified in nighttime satellite imagery featuring the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum. A procedure for detection of fire lights and near real-time monitoring of spatial patterns of fire occurrence has been successfully implemented based on low-light imaging data from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program, Operational Linescan System (DMSP-OLS). Satellite based soil moisture data can be used to investigate potential correlations between soil conditions and water related hazards such as floods and droughts, the latter often closely associated with wildfire incidence. It is envisaged that regional monitoring of soil moisture can help to identify changes in the conditions of an ecological system before major impacts take place. Information on current and previous soil conditions enable identification of potentially hazardous situations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputational Vision and Medical Image Processing: VipIMAGE 2011
EditorsJoão Manuel R.S. Tavares, Natal Jorge
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Research Field

  • Former Research Field - Energy
  • Former Research Field - Innovation Systems and Policy


  • nighttime lights
  • fire detection
  • soil moisture anomaly
  • time series


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