Skip all navigation and jump to content Jump to site navigation
NASA Logo - Goddard Space Flight Center

+ NASA Homepage

    
Goddard Space Flight Center
About MODIS News Data Tools /images2 Science Team Science Team Science Team

   + Home
ABOUT MODIS
 

December 22, 2014

December 21, 2014

December 20, 2014

December 19, 2014

December 18, 2014

December 17, 2014

December 16, 2014

 

 

July 17, 2013 - Fires in northern Australia
Fires in northern Australia Image used for Spacing Purposes
Satellite: Aqua
Date Acquired: 7/1/2013
Resolutions: 1km (282.4 KB)
500m (1011.1 KB)
250m (2.4 MB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Credit: Jeff Schmaltz
MODIS Land Rapid Response Team,
NASA GSFC

Northern Australiaís bushfire season was well underway by the beginning of July, 2013. On July 1 the Aqua satellite flew over the region, allowing the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument flying aboard to capture this true-color image of the winterís fires.

Most of the hotspots, especially the large ones, are found in the Northern Territory, where long plumes of gray smoke are blown strongly to the northwest by heavy winds. The northern tip of Western Australia is also speckled with red hotspots and some thinner plumes of smoke. The red spots mark areas where the thermal sensors on the MODIS instrument have detected temperatures higher than background. When accompanied by smoke, these hotspots are strongly suggestive of actively burning fires.

Most of Australia suffers from bushfire at one season or another. However, the highest risk of wildfires varies along with the climatology of the regions. In the northern section, the winter and spring are the sunniest times of the year, the hottest times of the year, and the time when the lush growth of summer and fall has dried to tinder. In addition, intense high pressure systems often settle over the region, driving strong southeastern winds which can fan a spark into an inferno in a matter of minutes. In contrast, risk of bushfire in highest in southern Western Australia in the spring and summer, when fuels have dried after winter rains and surges of hot air from the interior raise the risk of fire.

FirstGov logo Privacy Policy and Important Notices NASA logo

Curator: Brandon Maccherone
NASA Official: Shannell Frazier

NASA Home Page Goddard Space Flight Center Home Page