Environmental Studies Program


Date of this Version

Spring 5-2012


The objective of this study was to look at a wildfire in the Nebraska Sandhills as a case study for multi-temporal monitoring of burned areas using Landsat-7 satellite images. Eight Landsat-7 scenes were selected and a shapefile of the perimeter of a September 2000 wildfire in the Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge. A true color composite, color infrared composite, and a single-band NDVI output was used for visual analysis. A subset of burned and unburned sections was taken from the NDVI images; the values were graphed and compared. The visual analysis of the true color and color infrared images show the presence and absence of vegetation. The NDVI can be used to quantify the amount, and relative health of the vegetation present. Landsat-7 imagery, especially when converted to NDVI is a useful tool for land managers looking a cheap, and efficient way to monitor landscape level changes.