Summary Results from:

Validation of GOES and MODIS active fire detection products using ASTER and ETM+ data
As they relate to the validation of MOD14

Authors: Wilfrid Schroeder, Elaine Prins, Louis Giglio, Ivan Csiszar , Christopher Schmidt, Jeffrey Morisette, Douglas Morton

Source: Remote Sensing of Environment 112 (2008) 2711-2726

Link to: Access Publication


In this study we implemented a comprehensive analysis to validate the MODIS and GOES satellite active fire detection products (MOD14 and WFABBA, respectively) and characterize their major sources of omission and commission errors which have important implications for a large community of fire data users. Our analyses were primarily based on the use of 30 m resolution ASTER and ETM+ imagery as our validation data. We found that at the 50% true positive detection probability mark, WFABBA requires four times more active fire area than is necessary for MOD14 to achieve the same probability of detection, despite the 16x factor separating the nominal spatial resolutions of the two products. Approximately 75% and 95% of all fires sampled were omitted by the MOD14 and WFABBA instantaneous products, respectively; whereas an omission error of 38% was obtained for WFABBA when considering the 30-minute interval of the GOES data. Commission errors for MOD14 and WFABBA were found to be similar and highly dependent on the vegetation conditions of the areas imaged, with the larger commission errors (approximately 35%) estimated over regions of active deforestation. Nonetheless, the vast majority (N 80%) of the commission errors were indeed associated with recent burning activity where scars could be visually confirmed in the higher resolution data. Differences in thermal dynamics of vegetated and non-vegetated areas were found to produce a reduction of approximately 50% in the commission errors estimated towards the hours of maximum fire activity (i.e., early-afternoon hours) which coincided with the MODIS/Aqua overpass. Lastly, we demonstrate the potential use of temporal metrics applied to the mid-infrared bands of MODIS and GOES data to reduce the commission errors found with the validation analyses.