Applying the tropical peatland combustion algorithm to landsat-8 operational land imager (Oli) and sentinel-2 multi spectral instrument (msi) imagery

Parwati Sofan, David Bruce, Eriita Jones, M. Rokhis Khomarudin, Orbita Roswintiarti

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7 Citations (Scopus)
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This study establishes a new technique for peatland fire detection in tropical environments using Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2. The Tropical Peatland Combustion Algorithm (ToPeCAl) without longwave thermal infrared (TIR) (henceforth known as ToPeCAl-2) was tested on Landsat-8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) data and then applied to Sentinel-2 Multi Spectral Instrument (MSI) data. The research is aimed at establishing peatland fire information at higher spatial resolution and more frequent observation than from Landsat-8 data over Indonesia’s peatlands. ToPeCAl-2 applied to Sentinel-2 was assessed by comparing fires detected from the original ToPeCAl applied to Landsat-8 OLI/Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) verified through comparison with ground truth data. An adjustment of ToPeCAl-2 was applied to minimise false positive errors by implementing pre-process masking for water and permanent bright objects and filtering ToPeCAl-2’s resultant detected fires by implementing contextual testing and cloud masking. Both ToPeCAl-2 with contextual test and ToPeCAl with cloud mask applied to Sentinel-2 provided high detection of unambiguous fire pixels (>95%) at 20 m spatial resolution. Smouldering pixels were less likely to be detected by ToPeCAl-2. The detected smouldering pixels from ToPeCAl-2 applied to Sentinel-2 with contextual testing and with cloud masking were only 35% and 56% correct, respectively; this needs further investigation and validation. These results demonstrate that even in the absence of TIR data, an adjusted ToPeCAl algorithm (ToPeCAl-2) can be applied to detect peatland fires at 20 m resolution with high accuracy especially for flaming. Overall, the implementation of ToPeCAl applied to cost-free and available Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2 data enables regular peatland fire monitoring in tropical environments at higher spatial resolution than other satellite-derived fire products.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3958
Pages (from-to)1-37
Number of pages37
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Landsat-8
  • Peatland fires detection
  • Sentinel-2
  • SWIR
  • TIR


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