Earth  ID: 3624

2008 Northern Australia Fire Observations

The data used to generate this animation were collected by the NASA MODIS intrument. Data are collected four times per day using two satellite platforms. The instrument design included the capability to identify active fires sensing in the middle infrared part of the spectrum. The fire data used in the animation were generated by the MODIS advanced processing system at NASA. The MODIS Global Fire data are available free of charge and within a few hours of satellite acquisition. The fire data are used by scientists and fire managers around the world.

The fires that these data show include - savanna fires, wildfires, managed fires, agricultural fires, and thermal anomalies associated with power plants or gas flares. Fires occur around the world at different times of the year.

MODIS is entering its 10th year of data collection and we are using the data to study the global distribution of fires and document changed in fire regimes due to climate or land use change.

These fire data are used by Australian fire managers and scientists. Dr Chris Justice and the MODIS team participated in the NAILSMA experiment. NAILSMA was commissioned by the Northern Australia Land and Water Taskforce to convene a forum to bring together key Indigenous water experts from across the north of Australia to discuss their water interests and issues. This part of Northern Australia is an important area in terms of biodiversity and fire is an integral ecosystem process. We are interested in applying these data and other data from the MODIS instrument to better understand the occurence of fire and its characteristics in the Northern Territories with respect to emissions of trace gases into the atmosphere an the imacts of fire on the ecosystem.

Visualization Credits

Lori Perkins (NASA/GSFC): Lead Animator
Greg Shirah (NASA/GSFC): Animator
Michelle Williams (UMBC): Producer
Chris Justice (University of Maryland): Scientist
Louis Giglio (Science Systems and Applications Inc. (SSAI)): Scientist
Inbal Becker Reshef (University of Maryland): Scientist
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

Fire location data courtesy of MODIS Rapid Response Project (NASA/GSFC and University of Maryland -

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Shuttle Radar Topography Mission - SRTM
Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission - TRMM

Data Used:
Gridded Population of the World (Version 3 Beta)
Earth Probe/TOMS/Aerosol Index
Terra and Aqua/MODIS/Fire Location 2001/10/01 - 2002/09/30
10-meter DEM
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

This item is part of these series:
Multisensor Fire Observations
Agriculture Animations - Fires

Goddard TV Tape:
G2008-042HD -- HD Fires, Ozone, and Air Quality RT

DLESE >> Atmospheric science
SVS >> Biscuit
DLESE >> Forestry
SVS >> Hayman
DLESE >> Natural hazards
SVS >> Rodeo
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Biosphere >> Ecological Dynamics >> Fire Occurrence
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Human Dimensions >> Natural Hazards >> Fires
GCMD >> Location >> Australia
SVS >> For Educators
SVS >> Forest Fires
NASA Science >> Earth
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Human Dimensions >> Natural Hazards >> Wildfires

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version