Mapping continental-scale biomass burning and smoke palls over the Amazon basin as observed from the Space Shuttle

by Michael R Helfert, Kamlesh P Lulla
Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing ()


Space Shuttle and Skylab-3 photography has been used to map the areal extent of Amazonian smoke palls associated with biomass burning (1973-1988). Areas covered with smoke have increased from approximately 300,000 sq km in 1973 to continental-size smoke palls measuring approximately 3,000,000 sq km in 1985 and 1988. Mapping of these smoke palls has been accomplished using space photography mainly acquired during Space Shuttle missions. Astronaut observations of such dynamic and vital environmental phenomena indicate the possibility of integrating the earth observation capabilities of all space platforms in future Global Change research.

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