GLOBE Projects

GLOBE Side Navigation

Analyzing the Correlation between Terrain and the Characteristics of Wildfires

Student(s):Trisha Gorusu, Katherine Bittle, Dafne Rodriguez, Renee Easterbrook
Grade Level:Secondary School (grades 9-12, ages 14-18)
GLOBE Teacher:Cassie Soeffing
Contributors:Dr. Russanne Low, SME, IGES. Peder Nelson, SME, OSU. Andrew Clark, SME, IGES. Dr. Erika Podest, SME, NASA JPL.
Report Type(s):International Virtual Science Symposium Report, Mission Mosquito Report
Protocols:Land Cover Classification, Earth As a System, Mosquitoes
Presentation Video: View Video
Presentation Poster: View Document
Optional Badges:I am a Problem Solver, I am a Data Scientist, I make an Impact
Date Submitted:01/17/2024
Wildfires, also known as bush or forest fires, pose significant threats to land cover, wildlife, humans, and property due to their rapid spread and difficulty in containment. This study explores the correlation between terrain and wildfire characteristics in respective areas. By analyzing terrain based on average elevation and average angle of slope, while also considering variables like wind speed and temperature, then studying the terrain’s effects on wildfires by first characterizing wildfires in terms of surface reflectance, spread, and landcover changes, the data may then be used to find underlying correlations. The research then contributes to identifying patterns that can aid in developing improved wildfire prevention methods. Data sets from LCMS, ArcGIS, Google Earth Engine, Earth Explorer by USGS, NOAA, NCEI NOAA, GLOBE Observer, and Cal Fire were used for the study. The most significant correlation found was between surface reflectance and terrain. Future studies should include additional variables like humidity and human activities to better assess the effects of topography on wildfires.