Spatio-temporal variation of biomass burning fires over Indian region using satellite data

The present study analyses the satellite derived active fire occurrences over Indian region during 2003–2018 based on moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) and visible infrared imaging radiometer suite (VIIRS) sensors. The biomass fires show a large spatial and temporal variation with maxima observed in two phases: (1) premonsoon (combination forest fires and crop residue burning) and (2) postmonsoon period (crop residue burning only). On an annual average, the fraction of fire occurrences during premonsoon and postmonsoon is observed to be 57% and 24% from MODIS and 61% and 19% from VIIRS, respectively. Significant interannual variability of fire count was observed over Indian region. The annual average of active fire counts was found to be ∼75,786 for MODIS and ∼574,381 for VIIRS, respectively and also show the significant (95% confidence) increasing trend with a rate of 2.7% yr–1 and 3.4% yr–1 for MODIS and VIIRS, respectively. Regionally, most of the states (8 states) show the significantly increasing trends (10–30% yr–1) except north-east states (6 states) were found the decreasing trends (2–5% yr–1). Further, there were seven biomass burning (BB) hotspot regions are identified over India based on the 16 years of MODIS statistical fire density map. Annual fraction of fire types (either forest fire or crop residue burning) derived using MODIS land cover type product and were found range from 40% to 57% of annual total fires from forest and 39% to 55% from crop residue respectively on an all-India basis and has a strong regional/seasonal variation. These results on BB hotspots will be useful to address the regional fire mitigation strategies and emissions sources in India.

Shaik, D. S., Kant, Y., Sateesh, M., Sharma, V., Rawat, D. S., & Chandola, H. C. (2023). Spatio-temporal variation of biomass burning fires over Indian region using satellite data. Atmospheric Remote Sensing, 121–138.

The current research work was carried out under ISRO-GBP project on Aerosol Radiative Forcing over India and authors are grateful to ISRO for financial support. Dr. Shaik Darga Saheb acknowledges ISRO-GBP for providing fellowship to carry out the study at IIRS, Dehradun. The authors gratefully acknowledge the constant encouragement received from Head, MASD and Director, IIRS. The authors would like to thank MODIS and VIIRS science data teams for providing active fire data sets.



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