Live fuel moisture content estimation from MODIS: A deep learning approach

Liujun Zhu*, Geoffrey I. Webb, Marta Yebra, Gianluca Scortechini, Lynn Miller, François Petitjean

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    23 Citations (Scopus)


    Live fuel moisture content (LFMC) is an essential variable to model fire danger and behaviour. This paper presents the first application of deep learning to LFMC estimation based on the historical LFMC ground samples of the Globe-LFMC database, as a step towards operational daily LFMC mapping in the Contiguous United States (CONUS). One-year MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) time series preceding each LFMC sample were extracted as the primary data source for training. The proposed temporal convolutional neural network for LFMC (TempCNN-LFMC) comprises three 1-D convolutional layers that learn the multi-scale temporal dynamics (features) of one-year MODIS time series specific to LFMC estimation. The learned features, together with a few auxiliary variables (e.g., digital elevation model), are then passed to three fully connected layers to extract the non-linear relationships with LFMC. In the primary training and validation scenario, the neural network was trained using samples from 2002 to 2013 and then adopted to estimating the LFMC from 2014 to 2018, achieving an overall root mean square error (RMSE) of 25.57% and a correlation coefficient (R) of 0.74. Good consistency on spatial patterns and temporal trends of accuracy was observed. The trained model achieved a similar RMSE of 25.98%, 25.20% and 25.93% for forest, shrubland, and grassland, respectively, without requiring prior information on the vegetation type.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)81-91
    Number of pages11
    JournalISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


    Dive into the research topics of 'Live fuel moisture content estimation from MODIS: A deep learning approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this