During the summer of 2015, wildfires ravaged Montana's Glacier National Park. When the blazes subsided, the Montana Department of Forestry and Resource Management underwent the task of measuring the burn scars to quantify the damaged area. Burn scar measurements provide a baseline for forest regeneration and vegetation succession. However, the massive size of the burn scar makes on-the-ground measurements difficult and impractical. Instead, satellite imagery will form the basis of the measurements.
In these lessons, you'll assume the role of a geospatial scientist working with the Montana Forestry Department to analyze the damage in Glacier National Park. You'll first compare Landsat 8 imagery from before and after the fires. Then, you'll change the band combination of the post-fire imagery in order to emphasize burn scars and make a qualitative judgment. Afterward, you'll quantify your assessment by calculating a Normalized Burn Index (a ratio designed to highlight burned areas) from the imagery. Lastly, you'll create a feature class to represent the burn scar, calculate its acreage, and publish it to ArcGIS Online to share with the department.