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COSMO-SkyMed potential to detect and monitor Mediterranean maquis fires and regrowth: a pilot study in Capo Figari, Sardinia, Italy

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Vaglio Laurin, G., Avezzano, R., Bacciu, V., Del Frate, F., Papale, D., & Virelli, M. (2018). COSMO-SkyMed potential to detect and monitor Mediterranean maquis fires and regrowth: a pilot study in Capo Figari, Sardinia, Italy. iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, 11, 389-395. doi:10.3832/ifor2623-011.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-3996-4
Abstract
Mediterranean maquis is a complex and widespread ecosystem in the region, intrinsically prone to fire. Many species have developed specific adaptation traits to cope with fire, ensuring resistance and resilience. Due to the recent changes in socio-economy and land uses, fires are more and more frequent in the urban-rural fringe and in the coastlines, both now densely populated. The detection of fires and the monitoring of vegetation regrowth is thus of primary interest for local management and for understanding the ecosystem dynamics and processes, also in the light of the recurrent droughts induced by climate change. Among the main objectives of the COSMO-SkyMed radar constellation mission there is the monitoring of environmental hazards; the very high revisiting time of this mission is optimal for post-hazard response activities. However, very few studies exploited such data for fire and vegetation monitoring. In this research, Cosmo-SkyMed is used in a Mediterranean protected area covered by maquis to detect the burnt area extension and to conduct a mid-term assessment of vegetation regrowth. The positive results obtained in this research highlight the importance of the very high-resolution continuous acquisitions and the multi-polarization information provided by COSMO-SkyMed for monitoring fire impacts on vegetation.