Low soil moisture and high temperatures as indicators for forest fire occurrence and extent across the Iberian Peninsula

David Chaparro, Merce Vall-Llossera, Maria Piles, Adriano Camps, Christoph Rudiger

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Fires are a concerning topic in Mediterranean areas. They are increasing in number and extension, probably due to the anomalous dry and hot conditions experienced in this region in the last decade. In this study, more than 2,000 fires that took place in the Iberian Peninsula (2010-2014) were analyzed. The new all-weather version of SMOS-derived soil moisture product at fine scale resolution, as well as ERA-Interim Skin Temperature datasets, were used. Soil moisture and temperature anomalies based in these datasets were computed and included in the database. These information allowed analyzing prior-to-fire conditions. Results reported that more than 70% of fires started under dry and hot conditions, and this percentage rose till 94% in the anomalous conditions prior to the biggest fires. A relation between soil moisture, temperature and burned area is found which could set the basis for a fire risk index based on SMOS data and temperature information.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2015 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, IGARSS 2015 - Proceedings
EditorsLorenzo Bruzzone, Paolo Gamba
Place of PublicationPiscataway NJ USA
PublisherIEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781479979295
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2015
EventIEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium 2015 - Fiera Milano Congressi - Milan Convention Center, Milan, Italy
Duration: 26 Jul 201531 Jul 2015
http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/mostRecentIssue.jsp?punumber=7303999 (IEEE Conference Proceedings)


ConferenceIEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium 2015
Abbreviated titleIGARSS 2015
Internet address


  • Fires
  • risk indices
  • Skin Temperature
  • SMOS

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