The transferability of a dNBR-derived model to predict burn severity across 10 wildland fires in western Canada
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Nicholas O. Soverel; Nicholas C. Coops; Daniel D. B. Perrakis; Lori D. Daniels; Sarah E. Gergel
Publication Year: 2011

Cataloging Information

  • Abies lasiocarpa
  • boreal forests
  • burn severity
  • Canada
  • coniferous forests
  • disturbance
  • dNBR - differenced (or delta) Normalized Burn Ratio
  • Douglas-fir
  • Engelmann spruce
  • fire case histories
  • fire intensity
  • fire management
  • fire regimes
  • fire size
  • forest management
  • Landsat
  • lodgepole pine
  • montane forests
  • national parks
  • Parks Canada
  • Picea engelmannii
  • Pinus contorta
  • Populus tremuloides
  • post-fire recovery
  • Pseudotsuga menziesii
  • quaking aspen
  • remote sensing
  • remote sensing
  • shrubs
  • subalpine fir
  • TCT - Tasselled Cap Transformation
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: October 1, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 49600
Tall Timbers Record Number: 26024
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Journals - I
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Wildfire is a complex and critical ecological process that is an integral component of western Canadian terrestrial ecosystems. Therefore, Canadian land management agencies such as Parks Canada require detailed burn severity data for the monitoring and managing of both wildland and prescribed fires. In order to gather this type of information for our study, the acquisition of Landsat imagery was acquired and the differenced Normalized Burn Ratio was computed, a technique that has been shown to be sensitive to field measured burn severity. It is less known if this technique can be transferred and extrapolated over space and time so as to make routine and operational application of the approach feasible. To answer this question, we combined burn severity data from 10 fires across western Canada to test the transferability of an overall model as well as one stratified by land cover and ecozone. Finally, we tested the statistical benefit of incorporating pre- and post-fire data directly into the statistical model using transformations of the remote sensing imagery. Our results indicated that an overall differenced Normalized Burn Ratio derived model successfully estimated burn severity for the majority of fires in the study, which supports its transferability across multiple western Canadian landscapes.

Online Link(s):
Soverel, Nicholas O.; Coops, Nicholas C.; Perrakis, Daniel D.B.; Daniels, Lori D.; Gergel, Sarah E. 2011. The transferability of a dNBR-derived model to predict burn severity across 10 wildland fires in western Canada. International Journal of Wildland Fire 20(4):518-531.