Dr Ulanbek Turdukulov

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Research@Locate Presentation:
Exploring Kimberley bushfires in space and time

Dr Ulanbek Turdukulov, Lecturer at Curtin University  

STREAM: PROTECT

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5 Things You Will Learn

  1. Bushfires are result of a complex interaction of environmental and social factors
  2. We need to analyse (the past) behaviour of bushfires in addition to just forecasting the ignition condition
  3. Bushfires behave differently over the years
  4. Tracking and visualising helps understanding the bushfire behaviour
  5. It is possible to track bushfires using Landgate’s FireWatch product containing NOAA derived hotspots

Target Audience

DEFS, Emergency planners, Spatial planners, (Bush) Fire analytsts and modellers

Presentation Overview

The occurrence and spread of bushfires is a complex interplay of several environmental and social factors. There are have been number of studies that allow bushfire modelling and simulations prior to or during fire events. However, none of these systems is able to look beyond the initial phase of the bushfire development and provide a historical overview of the bushfire developments: their occurrences and lifetimes, movement behaviors and size variations and general patterns over space and time. This overview is important for observing trends in bushfires as well for calibrating the model parameters.

The aim of this project is to perform such a spatio-temporal overview of bushfires in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. The source data are daily fire hotspots for the last decade from 2004 until 2014 obtained from Landgate. These hotspots are used to identify individual fires and track their movements in time. Then using descriptive statistics and two visualization methods such as animation and space-time cube, spatio-temporal patterns and trends are explored. It was found that on average bushfires had lifetime of three days and there was a rising trend for bushfires recorded over the ten years, with most fires occurring near the coastal areas of the region in 2012. At the peak of the trend, there was also an emergence of much larger fires occurring in the southeast inland regions. Several environmental and social factors can correlate with the increase in size and frequency of the fires over the last few years that require further investigation.

The occurrence and spread of bushfires is a complex interplay of several environmental and social factors. There are have been number of studies that allow bushfire modelling and simulations prior to or during fire events. However, none of these systems is able to look beyond the initial phase of the bushfire development and provide a historical overview of the bushfire developments: their occurrences and lifetimes, movement behaviors and size variations and general patterns over space and time.

This overview is important for observing trends in bushfires as well for calibrating the model parameters. The aim of this project is to perform such a spatio-temporal overview of bushfires in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. The source data are daily fire hotspots for the last decade from 2004 until 2014 obtained from Landgate. These hotspots are used to identify individual fires and track their movements in time. Then using descriptive statistics and two visualization methods such as animation and space-time cube, spatio-temporal patterns and trends are explored. It was found that on average bushfires had lifetime of three days and there was a rising trend for bushfires recorded over the ten years, with most fires occurring near the coastal areas of the region in 2012.

At the peak of the trend, there was also an emergence of much larger fires occurring in the southeast inland regions. Several environmental and social factors can correlate with the increase in size and frequency of the fires over the last few years that require further investigation.

Biography

I am a Lecturer at Spatial Sciences. My research interests are mainly around spatial and temporal data visualisation and analysis, including time-series of remote sensing data. I teach units related Geographic Information System and Geographic visualisation. I came to Curtin as a Lecturer in 2014. Prior to that, I have been working at the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) in the Netherlands. I have a PhD degree from Utrecht University (the Netherlands), MSc degree from ITC (the Netherlands) and Diploma degree from St-Petersburg State University (Russia). Briefly worked as cartographer in Kyrgyzstan and Russia before moving to the Netherlands.


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