11 Nov 2021
11 Nov 2021
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

SMOS L-VOD shows that post-fire recovery of dense forests is slower than what is depicted with X- and C-VOD and optical indices

Emma Bousquet1, Arnaud Mialon1, Nemesio Rodriguez-Fernandez1, Stéphane Mermoz2, and Yann Henry Kerr1 Emma Bousquet et al.
  • 1Centre d’Etudes Spatiales de la Biosphère (CESBIO), Université de Toulouse (CNES/CNRS/INRAE/IRD/UPS), 18 av. Edouard Belin, bpi 2801, 31401 Toulouse CEDEX 9, France
  • 2GlobEO, 31400 Toulouse, France

Abstract. Anthropogenic climate change is now considered to be one of the main factors causing an increase in both frequency and severity of wildfires. These fires are prone to release substantial quantities of CO2 in the atmosphere and to destroy natural ecosystems while reducing biodiversity. Depending on the ecosystem and climate regime, fires have distinct triggering factors and impacts. To better analyse and describe fire impact on different biomes, we investigated pre and post fire vegetation anomalies at global scale. The study was performed using several remotely sensed quantities ranging from optical vegetation indices (the enhanced vegetation index (EVI)) to vegetation opacities obtained at several microwave wavelengths (X-band, C-band, and L-band vegetation optical depth (X-VOD, C-VOD, and L-VOD)), ranging from 2 to 20 cm. It was found that C- and X-VOD are mostly sensitive to fire over low vegetation areas (grass and small bushes) or over tree leaves; while L-VOD depicts better the fire impact on tree trunks and branches. As a consequence, L-VOD is probably a better way of assessing fire impact on biomass. The study shows that L-VOD can be used to monitor fire affected areas as well as post-fire recovery, especially over densely vegetated areas.

Emma Bousquet et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on bg-2021-289', David Chaparro, 09 Dec 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Emma Bousquet, 12 Jan 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on bg-2021-289', Matthias Forkel, 09 Jan 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Emma Bousquet, 29 Jan 2022

Emma Bousquet et al.

Emma Bousquet et al.


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Short summary
Pre and post fire values of four climate variables and four vegetation variables were analysed at the global scale, in order to observe i) the general fire likelihood factors, and ii) the vegetation recovery trends over various biomes. The main result of this study is that L-band vegetation optical depth (L-VOD) is the most impacted vegetation variable and the longer to recover over dense forests. L-VOD could then be useful for post-fire vegetation recovery studies.