Mohler, RL; Goodin, DG (2013). Temporal burn scar evolution in tallgrass prairie based on field spectroscopy. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF REMOTE SENSING, 34(20), 7199-7217.
In situ field spectroscopy samples were used to simulate several Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) bands and indices commonly used for burned area detection. Each band or index was tested for its ability to differentiate between burned and unburned tallgrass prairie during several time periods from spring (when burning took place) to late summer (peak biomass) with three analysis of variance tests. The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), global environmental monitoring index (GEMI), global environmental monitoring index - burn scar (GEMI-B), and normalized burn ratio (NBR) indices, as well as MODIS band 7 (longwave mid-infrared; LWMIR), showed virtually no promise for differentiating burned from unburned areas for more than several days after the burn. Others, including the burned area index (BAI), Mid-infrared burn index (MIRBI), and MODIS bands 3 (red), 4 (near-infrared; NIR), 5 (longwave near-infrared; LWNIR), and 6 (shortwave mid-infrared; SWMIR) were able to differentiate between burned and unburned areas well into the growing season - in some cases, even through its entire length. The performance of particular bands and indices often depended on grazing, vegetation phenology, ash/char/soil reflectance, and factors that influenced pre-burn biomass.