Brazilian Smoke Pall and Fires on August 27, 1997
The figure above is a Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-8) visible image taken on the morning of August 27, 1997 (11:45 UTC). The yellow line shows the extent of a smoke pall observed in the GOES imagery. The smoke appears as a fairly uniform milky white expanse with clouds interspersed. The smoke pall covers more than 6 million square kilometers and extends over the land and the Atlantic Ocean. The smoke accumulation is associated with agricultural burning and deforestation activities during the previous week primarily in Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Northern Argentina. The inset outlined in blue shows a close-up view of the area of Rondonia as observed in th GOES-8 infrared (4 micron) imagery. The dark spots indicate active fires burning in the early afternoon on August 27.
The second figure depicts the locations of fires observed with the GOES-8 Automated Biomass Burning Algorithm (ABBA) throughout the day on August 27, 1997. It clearly shows the variability in burning patterns and amounts of fires throughout the day with peak burning occuring in early to mid-afternoon (17:45 UTC). The GOES platform is the only civil instrument able to monitor this diurnal variability and characterize the fires as they burn. At 17:45 UTC on August 27, 1997 the GOES ABBA detected 2,695 fires burning in the region. A summary of fires observed throughout the day indicated that over 4,100 unique fires were detected with the GOES ABBA on August 27. Thirty-seven percent of these fires were located in a seasonal tropical broadleaf ecosystem; fourty-three percent were located in savanna/grasslands/shrub ecosystems; and the remaining fires were divided among a number of ecosystem types. The ecosystem classification is based on the Olson World Ecosystems data set.
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