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Data release for it matters when you measure it: using snow-cover Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) to isolate post-fire conifer regeneration

Metadata Updated: October 29, 2023

Landsat Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) is commonly used to monitor post-fire green-up; however, most studies do not distinguish new growth of conifer from deciduous or herbaceous species, despite potential consequences for local climate, carbon and wildlife. We found that dual season (growing and snow cover) NDVI improved our ability to distinguish conifer tree presence and density. We then examined the post-fire pattern (1984–2017) in Landsat NDVI for fires that occurred a minimum of 20 years ago (1986–1997). Points were classified into four categories depending on whether NDVI, 20 years post-fire, had returned to pre-fire values in only the growing season, only under snow cover, in both seasons or neither. We found that each category of points showed distinct patterns of NDVI change that could be used to characterise the average pre-fire and post-fire vegetation condition Of the points analysed, 43% showed a between-season disagreement if NDVI had returned to pre-fire values, suggesting that using dual-season NDVI can modify our interpretations of post-fire conditions. We also found an improved correlation between 5- and 20-year NDVI change under snow cover, potentially attributable to snow masking fast-growing herbaceous vegetation. This study suggests that snow-cover Landsat imagery can enhance characterisations of forest recovery following fire.

Access & Use Information

Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

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Metadata Created Date June 1, 2023
Metadata Updated Date October 29, 2023

Metadata Source

Harvested from DOI EDI

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date June 1, 2023
Metadata Updated Date October 29, 2023
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Identifier USGS:5bf45cc2e4b045bfcae1bfa5
Data Last Modified 20200820
Category geospatial
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 010:12
Metadata Context
Metadata Catalog ID
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Harvest Object Id ce654e10-92e8-4bc2-b31a-8ab6fec30a4b
Harvest Source Id 52bfcc16-6e15-478f-809a-b1bc76f1aeda
Harvest Source Title DOI EDI
Metadata Type geospatial
Old Spatial -117.883956,35.938028,-104.264439,50.154321
Publisher Hierarchy White House > U.S. Department of the Interior > U.S. Geological Survey
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash e1e2acb4e635b4d6e5095bf7accbfdf0c699734d18c07c2db7bcb02b20351c7d
Source Schema Version 1.1
Spatial {"type": "Polygon", "coordinates": -117.883956, 35.938028, -117.883956, 50.154321, -104.264439, 50.154321, -104.264439, 35.938028, -117.883956, 35.938028}

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