Earth  ID: 3869

Boreal Forest Fire Observations and MODIS NDVI

NASA has released a series of new visualizations that show the locations of the millions of fires detected by key fire-monitoring instruments on NASA satellites over the last decade. This visualization shows fire observations made by the MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instruments on board the Terra and Aqua satellites in Europe and Asia from July 2002 through July 2011. "It's incredibly satisfying to see such a long record of fires visualized," said Chris Justice, a scientist from the University of Maryland who leads NASA's effort to use MODIS data to study the world's fires. "It's not only exciting visually, but what you see here is a very good representation of the data scientists use to understand the global distribution of fires and to determine where and how fires are responding to climate change and population growth."

More information on the Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS) is available at

Visualization Credits

Lori Perkins (NASA/GSFC): Lead Animator
Greg Shirah (NASA/GSFC): Animator
Kayvon Sharghi (USRA): Producer
Chris Justice (University of Maryland): Scientist
Louis Giglio (SSAI): Scientist
Adam P Voiland (Wyle Information Systems): Writer
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

Short URL to share this page:


Data Used:
Terra and Aqua/MODIS/Fire Location
Fire location data courtesy of MODIS Rapid Response Project (NASA/GSFC and University of Maryland -
Terra and Aqua/MODIS/Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) also referred to as: NDVI
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.

Dates of Data Used:
July 2002 thorugh July 2011

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

DLESE >> Atmospheric science
DLESE >> Forestry
DLESE >> Natural hazards
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Biosphere >> Ecological Dynamics >> Fire Occurrence
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Human Dimensions >> Natural Hazards >> Fires
SVS >> Hyperwall
SVS >> For Educators
SVS >> Ecosystems
SVS >> Natural Disaster
NASA Science >> Earth
NASA Earth Science Focus Areas >> Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems

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