Southwest United States Disasters

Southwest United States Disasters

Incorporating CDRs and MODIS to Create a Predictive Model of Post-Burnout Vegetation Regrowth in Relation to Flood Risk

This study investigated the relationship between the vegetation regrowth process and flooding following wildfire events in Arizona within the Lower Colorado River Basin. Extensive studies have been conducted on post-burnout rainfall-run-off relationships or post-burnout vegetation regeneration, but few establish a relationship between both processes. In this study, Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) Earth observations were first used to create a surface indicating vegetation regrowth rate on a per-pixel basis following historical wildfire events.

Next, historical flood events were identified in the NOAA PERSIANN precipitation Climate Data Records to establish precipitation trends associated with increased post-wildfire flooding risk. The relationships between precipitation anomalies, time since the fire, and vegetation regrowth were then used to predict flooding. By utilizing remotely-sensed vegetation and precipitation data in a study area with limited in situ data, this analysis developed an additional long-term predictive tool for managing future post-fire hazards.

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information
Summer 2015
Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS), Collaborator, POC: Gregg Garfin
Western Regional Climate Center (WRCC), Collaborator, POC: Tim Brown
NASA Earth Observations
CMORPH-CDR, Passive microwave and infrared from several geostationary satellites
Jason Zylberman (Project Lead)
Jennifer Holder
Lance Watkins
DeWayne Cecil (Global Science & Technology [GST] National Centers for Environmental Information [NCEI])
Gregg Garfin (Climate Assessment for the Southwest [CLIMAS])
Tim Brown (Western Regional Climate Center [WRCC])
Michael Schaffner (NWS Salt Lake City)

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