NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Goddard Space Flight Center


Fire Energetics and Emissions Research

FEER Updates


01.Feb.2017 - Updated getMODFIREdata and getFEERdata scripts.

14.Dec.2016 - Biomass burning land cover product description uploaded.

10.Nov.2016 - Expanded and enhanced the Northern Sub-Saharan Africa Project homepage.

13.Oct.2016 - Global MODIS Fires Google Earth product restored and enhanced.

Biomass Burning Land Cover Type

The public release of the FEER BB-LCT v2 is still forthcoming. We hope the following information concerning the product will be helpful in the meantime. You may contact us with any questions regarding the future release of this product.


Biomass burning (BB) is an extensive and persistent phenomenon across the world, and emits a signifiant amount of smoke aerosols and gases into the atmosphere, as represented in the FEERv1.0 emissions product. This product uses a land cover type (LCT) product at either 0.5° or 0.1° resolutions to determine emission ratios for the conversion of total particulate matter totals to various other smoke consituents. Due to the fact that fires are closely associated with land cover types, it became apparent that a fire-prone land cover type product at those spatial resolutions were needed, resulting in the FEER BB-LCT v1 product. Now several years later, version 2 of the FEER BB-LCT product improves upon the initial version in its land cover input source and fire-to-land-cover matching methodology.


The official MODIS land cover type product is available in either the 0.5km tiled format (MCD12Q1), or as the 5.6km gridded format (MCD12C1) [Friedl et al. 2010]. In the following examples, we have used the MCD12C1 yearly product to first create a climatological derivative product at the same resolution using the IGBP classification scheme and the internal assessment values (i.e. a measure of classification confidence). Due to the fact that emission factors for different species are generally given for only a handful of land classifications, we aggregated the resulting MCD12C1 Climatological product into fewer land cover types. These climatological results are displayed in the following images:

The FEER BB-LCT v2 product uses this climatological land cover product at 3arcmin resolution in conjunction with the MODIS Active Fire product (MOD14/MYD14) at 1km resolution. Individual fire detections from 2003-2012 were matched with the underlying land cover type, resulting in a new climatological land cover map that is biased towards the land cover types that are prone to burn instead of simply the land cover type with the greatest coverage per grid cell. The differences between this product and a downscaled MCD12C1 Climatological product are highlighted below for 0.5° resolution (disregarding water pixels to eliminate coastal effects), resulting in a difference of 8% between the two classifications over land areas (10% for the 1° product, 3% for the 0.1° product). The next iteration of the FEER emissions product (FEERv1.1) will use this improved FEER BB-LCT v2 land cover product.

Supporting Documents

AGU 2016 Fall Meeting
Spatial Relationships between Biomass Burning and Land Use / Land Cover Dynamics in Sub-Saharan Africa