Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2021-113
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2021-113

  04 May 2021

04 May 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Refined burned-area mapping protocol using Sentinel-2 data increases estimate of 2019 Indonesian burning

David Gaveau1, Adria Descals2, Mohammad Salim1, Douglas Sheil3, and Sean Sloan4,5 David Gaveau et al.
  • 1TheTreeMap Bagadou Bas 46600 Martel, France
  • 2CREAF, Centre de Recerca Ecològica i Aplicacions Forestals, E08193 Bellaterra (Cerdanyola de Vallès), Catalonia, Spain
  • 3Forest Ecology and Forest Management Group, Wageningen University & Research, PO Box 47, 6700 AA, Wageningen, The Netherlands
  • 4Department of Geography, Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, BC, Canada
  • 5Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australia National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Abstract. Like many tropical forest nations, Indonesia is challenged by landscape fires. A confident understanding of the area and distribution of burning is crucial to understanding the implications of these fires and how they might best be reduced. Given uncertainties surrounding different burned-area estimates, and the substantial differences that arise using different approaches, the accuracy, and merits of such estimates require formal examination.

Despite investment in fire mitigation measures since the severe El-Niño 2015 fire season, severe burning struck Indonesia again in late 2019. Here, drawing on Sentinel-2 satellite time-series analysis, we present and validate new 2019 burned-area estimates for Indonesia. The corresponding burned-area map is available at: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4551243. We show that > 3.11 million hectares (Mha) burned in 2019, 31 % of which on peatlands. This burned-area extent is double the Landsat-derived Official estimate of 1.64 Mha from the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry, and 50 % more that the MODIS MCD64A1 burned-area estimate of 2.03 Mha. It has greater reliability as these alternatives, attaining a user’s accuracy of 97.9 % (CI: 97.1 %–98.8 %) compared to 95.1 % (CI: 93.5 %–96.7 %) and 76 % (CI: 73.3 %–78.7 %), respectively. It omits fewer burned areas, particularly smaller- (< 100 ha) to intermediate-sized (1000 ha) burn scars, attaining a producer’s accuracy of 75.6 % (CI: 68.3 %–83.0 %) compared to 49.5 % (CI: 42.5 %–56.6 %) and 53.1 % (CI: 45.8 %–60.5 %), respectively. The frequency–area distribution of the Sentinel-2 burn scars follows the apparent fractal-like power-law or “pareto” pattern often reported in other extensive fire studies, suggesting good detection over several magnitudes of scale. Our relatively accurate estimates have important implications for carbon-emission calculations from forest and peatland fires in Indonesia. Our approach is amenable to the ongoing production of accurate annual burned-area maps for environmental monitoring and policy in South-East Asia.

David Gaveau et al.

Status: open (until 25 Aug 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on essd-2021-113', Dasapta Erwin Irawan, 05 May 2021 reply
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2021-113', Anonymous Referee #1, 26 May 2021 reply
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', David Gaveau, 16 Jun 2021 reply

David Gaveau et al.

Data sets

2019 burned area map for Indonesia using Sentinel-2 data Gaveau, David; Descal, Adrià; Salim, Mohammad; Sheil, Douglas; Sloan, Sean https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4551243

Application to visualise pre- and post-fire composites, all three burned area products, and reference points with screenshots Gaveau, David; Descal, Adrià; Salim, Mohammad; Sheil, Douglas; Sloan, Sean https://thetreemap.users.earthengine.app/view/burn-area-validation-simplified

David Gaveau et al.

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Short summary
Severe burning struck Indonesia in 2019. Drawing on Sentinel-2 satellite imagery, we present and validate new 2019 burned-area estimates for Indonesia. We show that > 3.11 million hectares (Mha) burned in 2019, double the official estimate from the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry. Our relatively more accurate estimates have important implications for carbon-emission calculations from forest and peatland fires in Indonesia.