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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: USDA Black Carbon Initiative: a Portfolio of Proposed Activities

Location: Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory

2012 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Interactions with Russian agricultural scientific exchange scholars will be used to gather information from agronomic experts in the wheat producing regions of Russia as a means to identify opportunities for use of cultural practices that reduce the need for fires. Remote sensing approaches will be used to identity wheat producing fields in the region and detection of burn areas will be used to estimate extent of agricultural burning.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
ARS will use MODIS and AWFiS imagery to identify wheat producing fields in the region based on phenology. The resulting classification along with detection of burn areas will be used to estimate the percentage of field subject to burning. A visiting scientist or post doctoral fellow will conduct this research.


3.Progress Report:

Efforts have been initiated to coordinate research between ARS and Forest Service with focus on black carbon emissions from agricultural burning in Russia and the potential impacts on warming in the Arctic region. We conducted an assessment of the available Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiomenter (MODIS) fire products, consisting of two Burned Area products and the Active Fire product, to determine suitability for mapping agricultural burns in Russia. The assessment included a literature review of the products, a review of product technical documents containing algorithm details, an interview of product developers, and an analysis of product performance over Altai Krai during peak burning season. The final recommendation is that the available global MODIS burned area and active fire products are not suitable for use in agricultural areas, supporting the need to develop a product specifically for Russian agriculture.


Last Modified: 4/18/2014
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